Oprah Winfrey and Viola Davis are two of the most powerful women who continue to leave their incredible imprints on the world. The pair have been recognized in a most deserving way, landing on People magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful issue this year. Congratulations, Oprah and Viola. Your glamour both on and off the red carpet, stunning features, poise, intellect and confidence are both appreciated and admired by so many. Both African-American beauties certainly don’t need an introduction, and it’s encouraging that diversity, albeit small, held a place in People’s annual Most Beautiful issue.
In the 28-year history of the Most Beautiful list, Halle Berry (2003), Beyonce Knowles (2012) and Lupita Nyong’o (2014) are the only black women to have topped it. So much work still needs to be done, but change is always good. Viola Davis is not just an Oscar winner (Fences) but the only African-American performer to also win Tony and Emmy Awards. In her acceptance speech for the Emmy in 2015, Viola touched upon leveling the playing field for all women:
“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there. So here’s to all the writers, the awesome people that are Ben Sherwood, Paul Lee, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, people who have redefined what it means to be beautiful, to be sexy, to be a leading woman, to be black.” Oprah Winfrey is getting ready to dazzle us again with her acting talents as she looks forward to appearing on the silver screen in her new film, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. She continues to inspire all of us.
Other stunning African-American women who made People‘s list: Taraji P. Henson, Amandla Stenberg, Danielle Brooks, Susan Kelechi Watson, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, Ruth Negga and Tamron Hall.