Archive for the ‘beauties’ Category


Solange, 2016.

Solange Knowles (1986- ) is an American R&B singer best known as the little sister of picture-perfect Beyonce. She has had three number one hits on the American dance charts:

Beyonce's sister gets attacked

2008: I Decided

Solange - Sandcastle Disco [Official Video]

2008: Sandcastle Disco

Solange T O N Y a Msica video

2009: T.O.N.Y.

The last two she wrote with Cee-Lo of Gnarls Barkley. All three songs are from her second album, “Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams” (2008). Like Raphael Saadiq, her music sounds like it is from the 1960s but made now –  neo-Motown sort of stuff. Partly because she loves old soul music and partly, no doubt, because she is desperately trying not to sound like her sister! Her first album, “Solo Star” (2003), was all over the place in terms of musical style. Hadley Street is the street in Houston, Texas where her father’s record company stands and where she recorded the album.

She was never one of the main members of Destiny’s Child, though she has been a dancer and backing singer for them and one time did fill in for Kelly Rowland. When she was 15 she travelled the world with them as a dancer. After that her father thought she was old enough to handle a recording contract. Out of that came “Solo Star”.

“Solo Star” did not do well. She went into acting and landed parts in two films: she played the daughter of Vanessa Williams and Cedric the Entertainer in “Johnson Family Vacation” (2004) and then the head black cheerleader in “Bring It On: All or Nothing” (2006), the third film in that series.

In 2004 she married a football player, Daniel Smith. They had a son later that year, Daniel Julez J. Smith, and moved to the mountains of Idaho. In 2007 they divorced. Solange moved to Hollywood with her son.

Up to this point she had taken whatever opportunities came her way. They were great opportunities but she lacked inner direction. In Idaho it seems she got her head together and made up her mind to become a singer and songwriter, singing the kind of music she liked, not whatever producers like the Neptunes or Timbaland were pushing at her, making her sound like every other singer out there. She knew she liked Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes and so on, and she started from there, writing songs. That was the beginning of what became “Hadley St. Dreams”.

In August 2009 she cut off her hair. It was a brave move but it seems to have worked out well: she looks better in short hair. It brings out the beauty of her face much more.

She made my list of women with the most beautiful lips, just ahead of Molly Ringwald.

As someone who hates how Beyonce is pushed so hard at us and as someone who is a second son, it is hard for me not to like Solange. But even apart from that I do like her music more (featured here twice so far).

I know someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows her! Yes, we are that tight.

– Abagond, 2010.

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My favourite pictures from Le Coil. Five of these pictures have already appeared elsewhere on my blogs.

Nina Keita, Ivorian model

India Arie, American singer

Angela Davis, American professor

Jessika M’Bengue, French model

Pharah Y, Swedish clothes designer

Solange, American singer

“Frame” by Dawn Okoro, American artist

Res, an American singer, with Talib Kweli

Valerie June, American singer

Cassandra Wilson, American singer

Tara (model) and Nydia (graduate student) in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Vintage hairstyles

Naimah, writer from the Lower East Side in New York

Alexandria, make-up artist from Soho, New York

Pictures by Brianna McCarthy, who blogs at Passion Fruit

Photo by Adam Tilman-Young

Photo by Laurent PIRAM

Karine, model from Guadeloupe

Sharri in Soho, New York, who blogs at The Brisk Convergence

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Angela Bassett in “Waiting to Exhale” (1995) in her most iconic scene.


Angela Bassett (1958- ), an American actress, is perhaps the best black female actress alive in Hollywood. She is both more beautiful and far more talented than Halle Berry, the only black woman so far to win an Oscar for best actress. Bassett has played Tina Turner, the wife of Malcolm X (twice) and the mother of Biggie Smalls.

Some of her films:

  • 1991: Boyz N the Hood
  • 1992: Malcolm X
  • 1993: What’s Love Got to Do with It
  • 1995: Waiting to Exhale (pictured above)
  • 1995: Strange Days
  • 1998: How Stella Got Her Groove Back
  • 2006: Akeelah and the Bee
  • 2008: Meet the Browns
  • 2009: Notorious

I already knew who she was by the time she appeared in “Malcolm X” but apparently it was playing Tina Turner a year later in “What’s Love Got to Do with It” that made her name with mainstream American audiences.

She lost the lead in “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge” (1999) to Halle Berry. She turned down the lead in “Monster’s Ball” (2001) because of how it shows black women – and because she does not do nude scenes. Halle Berry took that part and went on to win an Oscar for best actress.

Angela Bassett was born on the very same day as Madonna: August 16th 1958. She was born in Harlem but her mother soon moved to St Petersburg, Florida, where she grew up in public housing.

In 1974 she saw James Earl Jones in “Of Mice and Men” on a school trip to Washington, DC:

I just sat there after the play, boo-hoo crying, weeping. I couldn’t move, and I remember thinking, “My gosh, if I could make somebody feel the way I feel right now!”

From that moment she began to think about becoming an actress.

She got a scholarship to Yale. After getting her degree in African American Studies, she studied acting at the Yale School of Drama. She had to unlearn her Southern accent. There she met Courtney B. Vance, whom she would one day marry.

After Yale she acted in some television ads, the soap opera “Guiding Light” and two August Wilson plays. Then her friend Larry Fishburne helped her to land a part in “Boyz N the Hood”. She played the mother of the main character – but to her she was playing her own mother. That got her noticed as a serious actress in Hollywood.

In 1993 she starred opposite Fishburne in “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, with her cast as Tina to his Ike. She broke her hand during shooting – but that only helped her to play Tina Turner even better. Tina Turner did her make-up and taught her the dance moves. One reviewer said that Bassett, “captures the erotic youthquake that was Tina Turner in the ’60s and early ’70s”.

In 1997 she married actor Courtney B. Vance. He played her husband when she appeared in the last season of “ER” (2008-2009). They have a boy and a girl: Slater and Bronwyn, both born in 2006 by means of a surrogate mother (Bassett was 47 at the time of their birth).

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Gina Torres (1969- ) is an American actress. She starred in the television shows “Firefly” (2002-2003) and “Cleopatra 2525” (2000-2001), but in general she plays a supporting character in science fiction & fantasy or FBI agent sort of shows, like “Hercules”, “24”, “Alias”, “Standoff” and two of the Matrix films. You can see her now in “FlashForward” which is an FBI science fiction show!  She is tall, pretty and does her own stunts. Oh, and she can sing opera too.


gina18Those who do not watch those sort of shows might remember her as the wife of Chris Rock in “I Think I Love My Wife” (2007).

Off stage she is the wife of Larry Fishburne, another serious black actor. They married in 2002 and had a daughter, Delilah, in 2007. They live in New Rochelle, New York just north of New York City

She is tall, thin and has beautiful eyes and beautiful lips! Her natural hair seems to be Type 3. She is as tall as a model: 5 foot 10 (1.78 m). And as tall as her husband!

At first I thought she was Nuyorican. She is in fact from New York – she was born in Manhattan and grew up in the Bronx – but her parents came from Cuba, not Puerto Rico. Her father was a newspaper typesetter.

Her parents loved Latin jazz and so did she. She wanted to be a singer – and had talent: she got into La Guardia High School for the Arts in New York. She sang opera, jazz and gospel. She wanted to go to university and had the grades but her parents did not have the money.

So she went to Lincoln Center and did office work hoping to get noticed. She did. That led to stage acting (“Dreamgirls”, “Antigone”, “Blood Wedding” and others) and, in time, to television. From 1995 to 1996 she played Magdelena on the soap opera “One Life to Live”.

She got her start as an action character on “Xena: Warrior Princess” in 1997. She only appeared once, but that led to a regular part on “Hercules” (1998-1999) and then to two seasons of  “Cleopatra 2525” (2000-2001) where she was one of the three main characters. That led to parts on the Matrix films and primetime shows.


You have to have a spirit of warrior in you. You’re going to be facing battles as a woman in this industry and a woman of color. You have to be prepared to face battles of respect and pride and sexuality, and you can’t tire of fighting.

How Larry Fishburne won her heart: the Wikipedia says they met on the set of a Matrix film. Not true: they met and dated years before. One of their dates was during the New York blizzard of 1995: all the snow of one winter fell in one day. And they were outside having a snowball fight in Fort Tryon Park! Then they sat down on a bench overlooking the Hudson River. Sitting there knee-deep in snow he pulled out his harmonica and serenaded her.


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linda40Linda Harrison (1945- ) is an American actress. She is world-famous, though not by name, for one part in one film where she spoke no lines at all: she played Nova, Charlton Heston’s girlfriend in “Planet of the Apes” (1968). She was also in “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” (1970) where she said just one word: “Taylor!”, the name of Heston’s character.

linda43I think she is one of the most beautiful white women ever. I was reminded of her when I was on Zaius Nation the other day.

She grew up in Berlin, Maryland on the Delmarva Peninsula. In the early 1960s she won a string of beauty contests in Maryland, becoming Miss Maryland in 1965 – and coming close to winning Miss USA.

In 1965 she came to New York to become a model and maybe an actress. She did a screen test for 20th Century Fox and landed a seven-year contract!

In 1966 she played a cheerleader twice on the television show “Batman” and was in a Jerry Lewis film, “Way… Way Out”.

linda04In 1967 she was in “A Guide for the Married Man”: she appears for five minutes with blonde hair but says no lines. She also became the first woman ever to play Wonder Woman for television (the show failed).

In 1968 she was in “Planet of the Apes”. Again no lines, but this time there was a good reason: her character lives in a world where apes talk and humans do not!

linda06About playing Nova she says:

I felt very intuitive that my particular personality and nature were like Nova. Automatically, I’d say that’s about 80% of the part. The director, the producer and the writer talked with me about her, and they described her as “sub-human.” We hadn’t really had an actress play “sub-human” before. Nova’s not like Raquel Welch’s character in “One Million Years B.C.” (1966). She was more primitive because of the apes’ suppression. We played it by ear and experimented. It was really a moment-to-moment thing.

The trope is Nubile Savage, kissing cousin of the Jungle Princess.

linda51In 1969 she played a regular character on the television show “Bracken’s World”, which was cancelled in the second season. About this time she made the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine and became friends with editor Helen Gurley Brown.

Also in 1969 she married Richard Zanuck, a producer whose father ran Fox. After “Bracken’s World” Harrison dropped out of sight to become a mother to two sons, Harrison and Dean. She divorced in 1978.

She later appeared in some other films, like “Airport 1975″ (1974) and “Cocoon” (1985), but nothing to top Nova.

She almost played Roy Scheider’s wife in “Jaws” (1975). Her husband produced “Jaws” and wanted her for the part, but unfortunately he was overruled by the head of Universal who put in his own wife instead.

Harrison appeared briefly in Tim Burton’s 2001 remake of “Planet of the Apes” as Woman In Cart.

These days you can still see her at science fiction conventions!


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Here are the world’s most beautiful East Asian women that I know of. As you will soon be able to tell, I live in America  and know next to nothing about film or music in East Asia. I count only women who are famous enough to have an article in the Wikipedia and who are at least part East Asian by blood (but not part black). I count South East Asia as part of East Asia.


1. Patricia Ford (1969- ) was an American swimsuit model from Hawaii. Back in 1995 her pictures were on the Internet like free dollar bills. The pictures from her calendar back then were amazing: I could look at them forever. She is a mix of German, Irish, Portuguese, Chinese and Hawaiian. More.

2. Nicole Scherzinger (1978- ) is an American singer, also from Hawaii. She is best known as the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls. Her father is Filipino, her mother is part Hawaiian and part Russian. Whatever she is, she is beautiful!

3. Pia Reyes (1964- ) is a model from Manila in the Philippines. She was the Playboy Playmate of the Month for November 1988.

4. Tia Carrere (1967- ) is an American actress, also from Hawaii. She was Cassandra in the Wayne’s World films of the 1990s. She is full Filipino by blood.

5. Sung-Hi Lee (1970- ) is an American model, best known for appearing in Playboy. She was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to America when she was eight.

6. Ann Curry (1956- ) is an American news presenter. I used to see her on the morning news on NBC and hear only half of what she said because she was so beautiful. She was born in Guam to a white father (who is part Cherokee) and a Japanese mother. I thought she was ten years younger than she is.

7. Faye Wong (1969- ) is a singer from Hong Kong. She has sold over 97 million records, making her the best-selling female singer of Cantonese pop music. In Japan she is called the Diva of Asia. I am not a fan but I keep running across her pictures on the Internet being struck by her beauty.

8. Nancy Kwan (1939- ) is an American actress from the 1960s. I know her from the Hollywood film, “The World of Suzy Wong” (1960). She was born in Hong Kong. She is half Cantonese and half Scottish.

9. Vanessa Mae (1978- ) is a British violin player. She was born in Singapore to a Thai father and a Chinese mother.

10. Sonia Couling (1974- ) is a Thai model and actress from Bangkok. Her father is English, her mother Thai. I only know about her from seeing her on someone else’s list of beautiful women!

Honourable mentions: Lisa Ling, Vanessa Hudgens.

No, I did not forget Lucy Liu. She looks kind of mean or something.

I love black hair and high cheekbones and East Asian eyes are often pretty, but I do not go for paleness and thinness in women.

Women from the Philippines, Thailand and southern China are better looking to me than women farther north.

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AliciaKeysAlicia Cook (c. 1979- ), better known by her stage name of Alicia Keys, was one of the top American R&B singers of the 2000s. She is best known for “Fallin'” (2001) , which made her name and is still her most unforgettable song to date. Smokey Robinson says she is one of the best new singers.

So far six of her songs have hit number one on the American R&B chart:

  • 2001: Fallin’
  • 2003; You Don’t Know My Name
  • 2004: If I Ain’t Got You
  • 2004: My Boo (with Usher)
  • 2007: No One
  • 2008: Like You’ll Never See Me Again

“Superwoman” and “Teenage Love Affair” never hit number one.

Half these songs also hit number one on the American pop chart:  “Fallin'”, “My Boo” and “No One”.

For comparison, during this same period Beyonce had five number one hits on both the R&B and pop charts in America and Mariah Carey had three each.

Mariah and Beyonce have sold way more records than Alicia Keys: they have been at it longer and their music crosses over to white audiences better.

Alicia Keys is not only talented and successful but beautiful – one of the most beautiful black women according to white people. She is half Italian by blood and looks nearly white.

Her father is black (Jamaican); her mother is white (Italian-American). She considers herself to be black, not biracial or mixed race. Unlike with Mariah Carey, it has never been a question. Also, unlike Carey, her early music was more clearly black too.

She was born in Harlem. Her parents split when she was two. She saw little of her father, a flight attendant, though he did remain in her life. Her mother was often poor but somehow she always found money for Alicia’s piano lessons. Alicia:

I’ve had a deep love for music since I was four… . Music came before everything, everything, everything. I would risk everything for it.

By seven she could play classical piano. By 11 she was writing songs. One of the songs on her first album she wrote at 14. She continued to learn and practise her singing and piano.

In 1997 she got a record deal with Columbia Records – and dropped out of Columbia University. But then Columbia Records did what they did to Aretha Franklin and Bruce Springsteen before her: tried to make her into someone else:

I felt that they wanted me to be a clone of Mariah or Whitney, and I couldn’t do that. I’m not the sequined dress type, or the high-heeled type, or the all-cleavage type. I’m not coming like that for no one.

They parted ways.

Clive Davis, the very man who brought us Whitney Houston, stepped in. He was struck by her talent and beauty. She was struck by how he took her seriously.

After many delays – Davis was kicked out of Arista and formed J Records, bringing Keys with him – she completed her first album in 2001. “Nothing before its time,” she says. Davis got her on Oprah’s television show and the rest is history.

– Abagond, 2009.

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Aaliyah Haughton (1979-2001), better known as just Aaliyah, was an American R&B singer who sold 24 million records worldwide and was an up-and-coming Hollywood actress. She died eight years ago today at the age of 22 in a plane crash. She called her singing “street but sweet”. As one fan at her funeral put it, she was beautiful both on the outside and on the inside.

Her number one songs on the American R&B charts:

  • 1994: Back & Forth
  • 1996: If Your Girl Only Knew
  • 1996: One in a Million
  • 1998: Are You That Somebody?
  • 2002: Miss You

I mainly remember her for these (their chart position in parentheses):

1998: Are You That Somebody? (#1)

2001: More Than a Woman (#7)

2002: Rock the Boat (#2)

Aaliyah was born in Brooklyn but mainly grew up in Detroit. Her mother gave up being a singer so that she could bring up Aaliyah and her older brother, Rashad. (Despite their Arab names, they seem to be Catholic.)

Aaliyah had singing lessons from an early age, took part in school plays and at age 11 appeared on the television talent show, “Star Search”:

Aaliyah in Star Search

1990: My Funny Valentine

She lost, but later that year she performed with Gladys Knight in Las Vegas and a year later got her first record deal. You see, her uncle was married to Gladys Knight and managed R. Kelly! Kelly wrote and produced Aaliyah’s first album, “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number” (1994).

It came out when she was 15 and produced a number one hit, “Back & Forth”.  But she was not the only 15-year-old girl with a number one hit that year: Brandy had one too: “I Wanna Be Down”.

That summer Aaliyah and R. Kelly got married! They both deny it but there is a marriage certificate. Aaliyah put down her age as 18, not 15. Her parents had the marriage annulled because she was underage.

After that Aaliyah and R. Kelly parted ways. She went to Atlantic Records where Timbaland and Missy Elliott wrote and produced her second and third albums: “One in a Million” (1996) and “Aaliyah” (2001).

She graduated from high school in 1997 and then went into acting, her second love. She appeared in “Romeo Must Die” (2000) opposite Jet Li  and in Anne Rice’s “Queen of the Damned” (2002).  At the time of her death she was set to appear in the Matrix films and was on a level with the likes of Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba and Zoe Saldana in terms of the sort of parts she was getting.

Flying back to Florida from the Bahamas on August 25th 2001 after doing the video for “Rock the Boat”, the plane went down right after take-off and blew up. She and seven others on board died instantly. The plane was overloaded.

At her funeral in New York her body was taken to the church in a silver casket inside a glass carriage pulled by horses. At the end of the funeral they let 22 white doves fly into the sky, one for each year of her short life.

– Abagond, 2009, 2015.

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Here is the list of the women with the most beautiful lips in the world, who are famous enough to have an article in the Wikipedia (I have to draw the line somewhere). Merely my opinion, of course.

I am well aware that some people think big lips are ugly, but I am not one of them. Growing up people made fun of my lips, so maybe that has something to do with it.

Note that this is very much a work in progress as I am sure there are some who have slipped my mind or who I do not even know about yet.


1. Paula Lima (1970- ) is a Brazilian MPB singer from Sao Paulo. I love the way she moves her mouth, so that is probably why I love her lips as much as I do.


2. Jill Marie Jones (1975- ) is an American actress. She was on “Girlfriends” (2000-2006) and was once a cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys.

3. Tweet (1971- ) is an American R&B singer, probably best known for “Call Me” (2002).

4. Naomi Campbell (1970- ) is a British supermodel from the 1990s.

5. Erykah Badu (1971- ) is an American R&B singer.

6. Gina Torres (1969- ) is an American actress. She was Chris Rock’s wife in “I Think I Love My Wife” (2007). She is married to Larry Fishburne. No single picture does her lips justice.

7. Regina Taylor (1960- ) is an American actress. She played Lilly Harper, the maid on “I’ll Fly Away” in the early 1990s.

8. Bre Scullark (1985- ) is an American model. In 2005 she came in third on season five of “America’s Next Top Model”.

9. Sanaa Lathan (1971- ) is an American actress who made her name by starring in “Love & Basketball” (2000).

10. Estelle (1980- ) is a British R&B singer best known for “American Boy” (2008).

11. Angelina Jolie (1975- ) is an American actress, girlfriend of Brad Pitt and mother of children from the four corners of the earth. People make a big deal about her lips – and they are great – but it is not like black women did not have lips as good as or better before she came along.

12. Lisa Bonet (1967- ) is an American actresss, best known for playing Denise Huxtable in the 1980s on “The Cosby Show”.

13. Bipasha Basu (1979- ) is a Indian model and Bollywood actress.

14. Rosario Dawson (1979-) is an American actress.


15. Sophia Loren (1934- ) is an Italian film actress, a Hollywood beauty from the 1950s and 1960s.

16. Solange Knowles (1986- ) is an American R&B singer, best known as Beyonce’s little sister.

17. Molly Ringwald (1968- ) an American actress best known for starring in a string of John Hughes films in the 1980s:  “Sixteen Candles” (1984), “Breakfast Club” (1985) and “Pretty in Pink” (1986).

18. Natalie Imbruglia (1975- ) is an Australian singer and actress best known for the song “Torn” (1997).

19. Keri Hilson (1982- ) is an American singer and songwriter best known for singing “Knock You Down” (2009).

20. Tisha Campbell (1968- ) is an American television actress. She is best known for starring in “Martin” (1992-1997) and “My Wife and Kids” (2001-2005).

Honourable mentions: Sharon Leal, Sade, Heather Headley, Serena Williams, Isadora Ribeiro, Monica Vitti, Meagan Good, Rojane Fradique, Vilayna Lasalle, Eve, Lauryn Hill, Toni Braxton, Brandy Norwood, Gloria Reuben, Lil’ Mo, Phyllis Hyman.

– Abagond, 2009.

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Meagan Good (1981- ) is an American actress and beauty. She was named for an NAACP Image Award for playing Cisely Baptiste in “Eve’s Bayou” (1997). But despite her beauty and talent, she mostly winds up playing supporting characters. She has yet to play the lead in a film that makes it big.

meagan1She is one of four children of a Los Angeles police officer, growing up in Canyon Country north of the city. She is part black, Cherokee Indian, Puerto Rican and Jewish. Her father’s father came from Barbados.

She started acting at age four in television ads. In her very first ad she had to skate but did not know how! She was in ads for Barbie, AT&T, Pringles, Burger King, etc. But it was not till much later, when she saw Danielle Harris in “Halloween 4” (1988) and “Halloween 5” (1989), that she knew she wanted to be an actress.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s she guest starred in over a dozen television shows, like “Moesha”, “The Steve Harvey Show” and “Touched by an Angel”.

She started getting into films too. When she was hired for “Eve’s Bayou” she was just 16 and pretty much unknown. But after that she started getting steadier television work: she was Nina on “Cousin Skeeter” (1998-2000) on Nickelodeon and Katie on “Raising Dad” (2001-2002) on the WB. She was Vanessa, Junior’s girlfriend,  for five episodes of “My Wife and Kids” in 2003 but then was suddenly replaced by Brooklyn Sudano for reasons unclear. After that she gave most of her attention to film acting.

She has been in some well-known films, but almost always as a supporting character. None of the films she has starred in has been a big hit, though some have done well, like “Stomp the Yard” (2007). She has yet to take off as an actress.

Her dream come true would be to play Aaliyah:

I really, really want to do Aaliyah’s life story; I was a huge fan of hers. I think she’s such a positive role model. She really kind of handled the industry with such class and such respect for herself. Even though there are things that you may have heard, here or there, the way that she handled it and the way that she was, was just so classy and so beautiful.

She has also been in music videos, like 5o Cent’s “21 Questions” (2003) and has made the cover of King magazine, entering the whole video vixen world through her acting, which is the opposite way of how most do it.

She is much better known for her looks than her acting. It is not too hard to find websites that have over a thousand pictures of her!

She has black hair, high cheekbones, thick lips, beautiful eyes and a thin but nice figure. She is 5 foot 4 (1.63 m) tall. Her measurements are 36-24-34 (91-61-86 cm) and has a waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) of 0.71.

According to at least Internet rumour she has dated Jamie Foxx (he denies it), Joseph Gordon, Nick Cannon, Ty Hodges, Thomas Jones and Soulja Boy.


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Note: Some of this post might not be strictly true: most of what is written about her is in French and my French is not very good! So corrections are welcomed.

Aïssa Maïga (1975- ) is a French actress who was born in Senegal. She is not just charming, beautiful and talented, she is also the highest-paid black actress in France and a regular at Cannes.

Some of her films:

  • “Les Poupées Russes” (2004) made her name in France. She plays the lover of Romain Duris.
  • “Paris, je t’aime” (2005) – she starred in this. See below for a bit of it I found on YouTube. Watch all the way to the end.
  • “Il faut quitter Bamako” (2006) showed that she can write and direct as well as act.
  • “Bamako” (2006), almost the same name as her own film, is probably her best performance to date. She played a bar singer, who always seems to be pictured as crying. Danny Glover was an executive producer, by the way.

As beautiful as she is, she is almost completely unknown in the English-speaking world. She does not even have an article in the English Wikipedia as of June 2009. I had seen her face before on the Internet, but I had no idea who she was until a commenter on this blog, Asha, brought up her name. Thanks, Asha!

Maiga was born in Dakar in Senegal. Her father, a journalist, came from Mali. Her mother is half Senegalese, half Gambian. The family moved to France when she was four. Her father died when she was eight.

After high school she did not know whether to study sociology or theatre. But then one night she saw “L’important c’est d’aimer” with Romy Schneider and knew she wanted to be a comedienne. So she chose theatre. A few months later, though, she dropped out of school and became a waitress. She thought the courses were heavy on theory, light on practice.

Her aunt, it turns out, was a comedienne and was able to train her. At 17 Maiga was acting in a musical comedy, “La nuit la plus longue”, something she did for three summers.

In 1996 she got her first part in a full-length film, “Saraka Bo”. It is a police drama that takes place in a black part of Paris. That led to parts in police dramas on television, something she did for years, but it also got her noticed by directors, like Claude Berri.

In 2005 she appeared in “French Beauty”, a television show that asked some of the great beauties of French film, like Bardot and Deneuve, what it is like to be a beautiful French woman.

Blacks in French film: Just like in Hollywood, most of the few parts there are for blacks play to stereotypes. But on top of that blacks are often seen as foreigners in France even when they grew up there, just like Asians in America.

She lives in both France and Senegal. She has two sons by her one-time boyfriend, Stephane Pocrain.


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Iniobong Edo Ekim (1982- ), better known simply as Ini Edo, is one of the top actresses  in Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry. Her first film was “Thick Madam” (2003). She has been in over a hundred films, just 30 in 2007 alone. Some are on YouTube as of this writing (May 2009). Nollywood films are cheap, straight-to-video affairs, not grand Hollywood productions.

According to this blog she is the eighth most beautiful Nigerian actress. She has beautiful eyes, but lacks the figure of an Omotola or the all-round good looks of Genevieve Nnaji.

Although she loves acting, has acted since she was a child in church and at school, and even though she studied theatre arts at the University of Uyo, she did not see herself becoming an actress! She was thinking of going into law or television. Nollywood at that point had not yet taken off. But one thing led to another and she found herself acting in a film. Both she and others were pleased with how well she did.

Well, her father was not so pleased, not at first. He wanted her to get her degree first. And besides, she was just 19 at the time, a young woman. To become a film actress meant going to a city far away where she knew no one. He was afraid people would take advantage of her. But it all turned out well in the end: a film director saw her talent and took her under his wing and looked out for her like a father. And she did get her degree too, from the University of Calabar, though it was not easy to balance acting with her studies.

Some actresses feel like they have to sleep with the producer to get ahead. She thinks that does not work in the long run, not as well as hard work and talent. Men came on to her all the time when she was single, but she did not let them turn her head: she knew what they all were after.

ini03In November 2008 she got married to Philip Ehiagwina, a businessman.  Nollywood actress Rita Dominic came to the wedding. Edo had a second wedding in February 2009 in America, in Houston, Texas, where her husband is based.

Their relationship had been in the newspapers: not just because Edo is one of those people that newspapers like to write things about, true and untrue, but also because Ehiagwina had already been married, to Ruth Okoro, a Nigerian-American model and actress. Okoro made his leaving her for Edo ugly and public, both of them saying terrible things about each other. If Okoro is to be believed, Ehiagwina is a heartless, untrustworthy character.

Ini Edo is an Ibibio from Akwa Ibom state in the south-east, not far from Calabar. Her mother was a teacher and her father, a church elder. She had a strict upbringing, the second of four children, three girls, one boy.

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Megan Fox

meaganfoxMegan Fox (1986- ) is an American actress. She is best known for playing the female lead in “Transformers” (2007), a part she will play again in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, which comes out on June 24th 2009. She also played Sydney Shanowski on the television show “Hope & Faith” from 2004 to 2006.

Her hotness: If Google Images is anything to go by, she is one of the hottest girls on the planet right now in 2009 along with Vida Guerra, Tera Patrick and Beyonce. In 2008 she topped FHM Online’s list of the world’s sexiest women, pushing aside Jessica Alba. (Fox herself was pushed aside in 2009 by British singer Cheryl Cole.) Maxim had her at #16 in 2008.

megan_foxHer  beauty: She has black hair against white skin, blue eyes and high cheekbones. Her eyes are a light blue and sometimes they look washed out and strange, almost not human, but at other times it is like they go right through you like an electric current. She also does not seem like an airhead, like maybe she is capable of deep thought and feeling. I vastly prefer her to the yellow-haired brainless beauties that Hollywood keeps pushing at us.

She is 5 foot 6 (1.67 m) and 114 pounds (52 kg). Her measurements are 34C-26- 34 (86-66-86 cm), giving her a waist-to-hip ratio of  0.77.  Very thin.

I would not go to see a film just because she is in it, but it would be in its favour: “Oh good, Megan Fox”. Meaning: if it turns out to be a bad film I can ride it out by just looking at her. She is a passable actress who makes up for it on looks. Like Jessica Alba.

What is not natural:

  • The bridge of her nose was straightened out in 2007;
  • Her breasts are much larger than they used to be;
  • Her lips are fuller than they used to be.


  • right arm: Marilyn Monroe’s face
  • upper thigh: pink flamingo
  • back: “We will all laugh at gilded butterflies” (from Shakespeare, “King Lear”, v.iii)
  • left side: “There once was a little girl who never knew love until a boy broke her HEART”

She has at least five others.

Born in Tennessee, near Oak Ridge, she is a mix of American Indian (Cherokee), French and dark Irish. She said that growing up she was something of a tomboy and a dork: she loved comic books, video games and “Lord of the Rings”.

greenfoxAt age five she started taking acting and dancing lessons. When she was ten her family moved to St Petersburg, Florida. At 16 she got into modelling and won awards. From there she got into acting. The first film she appeared in was one by the Olsen twins, “Holiday in the Sun” (2001).

She has been going with Brian Austin Green since 2004. Green played David Silver on “Beverly Hills, 90210” in the 1990s. He is 13 years older than her. They hope to marry in 2010.

Fox is her family name, not  just a stage name. Her grandfather wrote it as “Foxx”. No relation of Redd or Jamie (for whom Foxx is just a stage name).

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Here are the black women that English-speaking black people think are the most beautiful (See below for how I came up with this list):

Halle Berry (9 lists) – an American film actress, the first black woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress. That was for “Monster’s Ball” (2001). Her mother is white. More.

Vanessa Williams (7 lists) – an American beauty queen, singer and actress. She was the first black Miss America (1983).

Angela Bassett (7 lists) – an American film actress, a much better mone than Halle Berry.

Tyra Banks (6 lists) – an American supermodel. She is the first black woman to make the cover of GQ magazine and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (1997). More.

Gabrielle Union (6 lists) – an American film actress.  More.

Beyonce Knowles (6 lists) – an American singer. She was in Destiny’s Child and then on her own. More.

Toni Braxton (5 lists) – an American singer from the 1990s. Best known for “Un-Break My Heart” (1996).

Nia Long (4 lists) – an American actress who plays the lead character in black films and a supporting character in white ones. More.

Naomi Campbell (4 lists) – a British supermodel from the 1990s. A great face and great legs. More.

Sade (3 lists) – a Nigerian-born singer from the 1980s. Her mother is white. More.

Phylicia Rashad (3 lists) – an American actress best known for playing Claire Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Janet Jackson (3 lists) – an American singer, sister of Michael Jackson.

Honourable mentions (those who made 2 lists): Whitney Houston, Tatyana Ali, Serena Williams, Sanaa Lathan, Queen Latifah, Nancy Wilson, Meagan Good, Lena Horne, Laila Ali, Kim Eternity, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Diahann Carroll, Chilli Thomas, Anita Baker, Amerie, Aaliyah.

I have a list of black women just like this only it is according to white people. Here is who made which lists:

  • Both white and black lists: Halle Berry, Beyonce, Tyra Banks, Vanessa Williams, Angela Bassett.
  • White only: Iman, Mariah Carey, Thandie Newton, Alicia Keys.
  • Black only: Gabrielle Union, Toni Braxton, Nia Long, Naomi Campbell, Sade, Phylicia Rashad, Janet Jackson and all of the honourable mentions.

In the white list nearly half of the women had a white parent. In the black list only one in six do. Halle Berry topped both lists.

I made the list like how I made the white one: I put “the most beautiful black women” into Google and went through the first 100 websites. If a website had an open-ended list of beautiful black women, then I recorded the top ten women it had. I threw out any lists that were duplicates and any that were clearly made by white people. That left me with 21 lists. Then I found out which women made the most lists.

Nearly all the lists were done by black people, where the race was knowable, so I think the same is true in general. After all, it is hard for me to imagine a white person picking Nia Long, Meagan Good, Tatyana Ali or Anita Baker. They simply would not come to mind. Most white people do not even know who Nia Long is!

– Abagond, 2009.

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gennyGenevieve Nnaji (1979- ) is a Nigerian actress, widely seen as the top actress in Nollywood, a superstar even. She is well-known not just in Nigeria but across English-speaking Africa, if not beyond.

She is also, according to this blog, the most beautiful actress in Nigeria. I am hardly alone in that opinion. I have read that she has bad skin and duck feet, but she is a beauty to me!

In 2004 she was the face of Lux soap in Nigeria. Her face appeared on billboards across the country.

She has appeared in dozens of films, at least 80. Nollywood films take about a month to make and most go straight to video. They seem to run about 90 minutes.

As of this writing (January 2009) you can see some of her films on YouTube – cut up into ten-minute pieces (the longest video YouTube allows). I do not remember seeing her films there a year ago and I doubt they will still be there a year from now. So go see her while you have the chance! She acts in English.

I have not seen any of her films all the way through yet, so I do not know how much of her stardom is due to her charm and beauty and how much to her acting talent.

When she went to Sierra Leone after the war the people there were overjoyed to see her, like she was a visiting princess or something. People love her in Ghana too.

Well, not everyone loves her. Most people tend to either love her or hate her. It is hard to be in the middle about her.

Her parents had a hard time accepting her decision to become an actress. Acting is not a universally respected profession in Nigeria, not like law or engineering. All the stories in the press about the private lives of Nollywood stars does not help either – it makes acting seem like an immoral way of life. So much so that people urge Nnaji to turn to God!

She does believe in God – she is Catholic. In fact, she says this is what God wants her to do now in her life. Part of how she knows it was God’s will is that her father, who has always been so strict, surprisingly let her go into acting!

At the beginning it was hard: she was a nobody who had to prove her talent. But now her troubles are those of being famous: the press that tries to tear her down and tell the world all about her private life, even spreading false stories about her.

She had a child at 17 and one year she was not allowed to make any films at all – neither of which were able to sink her star.

In addition to acting, she came out with some songs, like “No More”, and a line of clothing called Sainte Genevieve.

She is an Igbo. She was born in her mother’s hometown in Imo state but grew up in Lagos.

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