Pretty For A Dark-Skinned Girl?? 15 Brown Beauties Who Put An End To This Silly Compliment

January 21, 2013  |  
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Ignorance is still very much alive — contrary to the evolving times. Even when we thought dark skin was in, the memo must have only been about the brothas because sistas have still been getting the most cringe-worthy compliment ever to be spoken: “Wow! Yo’ure pretty for a Black girl!” Whaaat?!

As a brown-skinned sista, let me speak for every other dark girl out there when I say, I thought pretty was determined upon your features and the way you carried yourself, not by the shade of your skin. A woman is never “pretty for a black girl,” she’s beautiful because that’s simply what she is inside and out, and these Hollywood starlets prove just that. Here are our favorite beautiful black sistas whose strikingly gorgeous looks leaves this not so complimenting compliment in the dust:



Meagan Good

From the moment we got a glimpse of her in Eve’s Bayou, her acting skills and raw good looks took our breath away. From there she would woo audiences in her roles from ‘You Got Served’ to ‘Stomp the Yard’  growing into not only gorgeous woman, but also one of virtue as we’ve seen from her relationship with new hubby Devon Franklin.


Gabrielle Union

A pretty cheerleader with attitude in ‘Bring It On’ to a beautiful woman to learn a thing or two from in “Think Like a Man,” Gabrielle Uinion is  a crush of most men — young and old. She continues to steal the hearts of audiences everywhere with her chocolate skin and gorgeous smile. Any wonder Dwyane Wade’s looking do happy these days?


Keisha Knight Pulliam

Who didn’t love sassy and oh so cute Rudy Huxtable from the Cosby Show? Since her role as the youngest of the Huxtable siblings, Keisha has taken on more adult roles from ‘Beauty Shop’ to lingerie ads; but don’t let this pretty face fool you, in 2001 she graduated from Spellman college with a degree in Sociology. Beauty and brains to match.


Janelle Monae

Unique, beautiful, confident, and a purely dope sense of style are just a few ways to describe this lyrical goddess. Signed to Bad Boy and Atlantic Records, Janelle Monae is not only attractive but talented and fearless when it comes to walking the tightrope and bringing something different and new to the stage.



All fans of ‘Moesha’ please stand up. How good did it feel to see a brown-skinned young sista make hit records and star in a show that adolescent and teenage girls enjoyed everywhere? Great! And that’s exactly how Brandy’s been looking lately, age has only enhanced her beauty.


Naomi Campbell

Scouted at the age of 15, this flawless British dark-skinned model, coined the term ‘Supermodel’ and opened the door for African American models everywhere. Without her, who knows if we would have ever seen a woman of color on the front of high fashion magazines.


Jennifer Williams

Ex-wife of Eric Williams, this intelligent brown-skinned beauty made her television debut as part of the cast of “Basketball Wives,” yet she’s always been familiar with the spotlight. Now her gorgeous brown skin has earned her even more of that as the paparazzi can’t get enough pics of her when she’s out on the town.


Kelly Rowland

Ex-band member of Destiny’s Child, the talented Kelly Rowland was able to share the spotlight with her band member Beyonce, being that her beauty and talent was just as much of a force to be reckoned with. A hair and fashion inspiration for many, Kelly’ regal beauty has made her a style icon for many.


Kenya Moore

The former Miss USA won’t hesitate to remind you she opened the door for black beauty queens all over the world. Intelligent, sassy, beautiful, and full of life, this former model shows her flare and determination, regardless of her not so easy upbringing in Detroit, and now we can watch her shine as the new cast member of RHOA.


Kerry Washington

This Bronx born beauty has enjoyed using her talents as a performer since her teenage years. Taking on great roles such as Ray Charles’ wife, Della Bea Robinson, and as Idi Amin’s wife Kay in ‘The Last King of Scotland,’ led to this brown skinned big screen queen becoming one of the newer faces for L’Oreal commercials.


Jennifer Hudson

This diva was definitely blessed with a set of lungs on her, so after she was shockingly voted off of “American Idol,” we weren’t surprised to see her talent land her a starring role in “Dreamgirls.” Ever since then, the sky has been the limit. Always beautiful with her big smile, personality, and flawless skin, the singer/actress has become a health guru as the accomplished spokesperson for Weight Watchers.


Serena Williams

The Women’s Tennis Association has ranked her number one, and no one can deny her crazy tennis skills. Off the courts, Serena transforms from an athlete to a bombshell who can wear a tight little dress like nobody’s business with her smooth brown skin and show-stopping curves.


Venus Williams

Like her sister, Venus has a laundry list of athletic accomplishments, including becoming the first African American woman to earn the World No.1 title in February 2002 during the Open Era.  Although not as curvacious as Serena, her lean and toned stature and classic beauty is one of few that keeps tennis fans in awe.


Sanaa Lathan

Even as a tomboy in “Love and Basketball,” we noticed how effortlessly beautiful Sanaa was. With no make-up, hair pulled back, she could still make countless hearts skip a beat. Her beauty and vivaciousness is what attracts many to her, not to mention the woman is a brainiac, graduating from the University of California, Berkely with a degree in English, and from Yale university with a degree in Drama.


Nia Long

It’s no wonder this Afro-Trinidadian actress/dancer has always been a female heartthrob on the small and big screen. With a beautiful smile, gorgeous eyes, vibrant skin —  not to mention the sista can act — Ms. Long has long been a favorite on television shows like ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Third Watch.” Her pint size stature means nothing because her in your face attitude shines through in all her roles.

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  • eidjyold duebrf

    What about Emayatzy Corinealdi?

  • Megan Good and Sanaa Lathan are not dark skinned.

  • tmoneyb

    I’m sorry to inform you but Sanaa or Meagan Good do no not fit in this category, they lean toward the lighterside…some ppl may get mad but just keeping it real

  • Justme

    Only About 6 of these 15 actress are dark skinned. I don’t understand

  • Non

    I love me some Kerry Washington, like forreal she’s amazing but she’s not DARK SKINNED in any sense of the term! The hell? How could you possibly think she was? They should’ve changed the name of this list: Brown Beauties, because a lot of them aren’t what I would consider dark skin girls

    • Non

      Oh, and where the hell was Tika Sumpter? She DEFINITELY should’ve been on the list!

  • Hulio1989

    I like how this article tried to suggest the phrase is rude but still used it anyway. The article could’ve just said the Black Beauties.

  • ArizonaFan

    Naomi’s huge, but other black models made it to fashion covers before she did.

  • Guest

    Please add Lupita Nyongo.

  • IminyJo

    What the heck is this! None of these women are dark-skinned! (I’m willing to maybe debate Jennifer Williams, Naomi Campbell, Kenya Moore and Kelly Rowland, but the rest? Please). Are they darker than a paper bag? Sure, but these are not dark women. This is the type of article that helps give truly dark-skinned women and girls complexes. If you aren’t going to do it properly, don’t bother. Where’s Alek Wek? Adepero Oduye? Viola Davis? Danai Gurira? (This article is old so I can forgive the absence of Lupita Almighty. LOL!) But c’mon Madam Noire, this was extremely shoddy work.

  • Bianca

    I’m sorry, but Brandy and Venus Williams are not really pretty in my opinion. Also, why are most of these women light? You want beautiful women who are actually dark skinned? How about Lupita Nyong’o, Tika Sumpter, and Anika Noni Rose. While Tika and Anika may not be that dark, I guess you could consider them “dark skinned.”

  • KEE

    My complexion is very close to Gabrielle Union’s and still get told “You’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl.” And since the title says, “15 BROWN beauties..”, I think it’s safe to say the author hit the nail on the head. Often people don’t see, or care how chocolaty we are; they just know that if we are darker than Halle Berry or Beyoncé, we’re dark. Fine with me.. I may as well embrace my melanin, and be happy when I’m 60 and my skin looks like a 40-year-old’s. There are so many shades of brown skin to love!. Think about it, plenty of white women pay good money to be brown. I’m SO happy Kelly Rowland made it on
    this list.

  • Danielle

    Sanaa Lathan is not dark-skinned, people.

  • Lol, none of these girls are really dark skinned

  • AngelBlessings

    This article is actually offensive to dark skinned black women, because non of them are really dark skinned just mid toned black. When you get them looking like Alek Wek and Wesley Snipes then you can say dark. otherwise stop lying to the public about what dark is.

  • Ebony

    That “pretty to be dark” line is so tired. Black people come in many beautiful shades and we can’t even appreciate it.

  • Ebony

    2013 and we’re still talking about this foolishness. SMDH. Thank God I had strong parents in my corner to help me appreciate me.

  • toya

    Ridiculous! This does nothing to dispel colourism all it does is compound this issue.
    Do you think Megan or Sanaa have ever had the words “you’re pretty for a dark-skinned girl” directed at them? I’m sure Tomiko Fraser and Tika Sumpter have.

    With this being such a sensitive community issue I’m quite surprised you people don’t have the common sense to do a little research! This website is beginning to look a lot like trash. NEXT!

  • Lady C.

    This looks suspicious….did a so-called white person put together this article.(smhL)

  • linda m.

    well, as an african woman who just came to america a couple of months ago, i would ike to say if you want “dark skin”, come to africa and you will see the authentic natural dark skin. all the black stars in hollyweird have bleached their skins and are now brown or whatever you call it. i guess they are ashamed of the darker complexion. reason why some of them are now giving excuses for their current complexions (beyonce- anyone?). others who are naturally light skinned feel the urge to acknowledge their other origines (keyshia cole). however, they are all beautiful african-american women, no matter their different shades. love yourself, that’s the essential.

  • CF Poet

    No Laurence Basse?

  • Mali

    This article is such BS, and it celebrates only the middle of the way dark women, how about the really dark shades like ALek Wek. Thank you for perpetuating the same racist stereotypes. So dissappointed 🙁

  • enoni pond

    this is so sad ,so very sad,most of these beautiful ladies are brown ,its pathetic that half of the brown ladies in hollyweird have bleached their skin so much they look white, and any one with a natural beautiful color looks dark skinned to the media………

  • Nicole

    The majority of women I see are brown skinned, not dark skinned. When I think of dark skinned, I think of people like Alek Wek, Whoopi Goldberg, Wesley Snipes, Dijmon Hansu, Tyrese. These women are not light skinned for sure, but they are not dark either. They’re BROWN, like in the middle.

    • MissRealuminatti

      Since they’re pretty, people think they are not dark but they are dark…cute dark girls

  • Hunnybooboo

    Hmmm Tika Sumpter anyone??

  • MRK

    Your title was misleading. The only “dark skin” person on the list was Naomi Campbell and maybe Gabrielle Union. Since I’m dark skin, I should know. Once again, those that look like me are ignored.

    • Nicole

      Naomi Campbell is not dark either.

    • Nicole

      Gabrielle Union is brown, not dark. Dark is Wesley Snipes and Tyrese.

  • britt

    Hello people!! Does someone need to smack you on your little head in order for you to get it! I’m seeing females that are considered dark skinned here. Appreciate the article for what it is ladies… and if the coffee colored sistas that are reading this aren’t impressed and need more inspiration. Two words: Google It!

  • Phoenix91

    But umm where is Tika Sumpter? ……Smh if they are dark skinned then lawd knows I must be purple!

  • scandalous7

    them weaves tho……..

  • Dreama41

    I don’t get what all the hoopla is about. I see nothing but dark skinned women featured here. I mean just how dark do you have to be to be considered dark skinned?

  • lesleybd21

    This article is pointless and shameful.

  • chitowngirl26

    As a dark skinned woman–no–just as a woman I am disappointed yet again. On a day where we celebrate the birth of MLK and the 2nd inauguration of Barack Obama, this is the kind of article that MN puts out??!! Shameful!

  • cp

    Um all but 2 are dark skinned…who wrote this?

    • cp

      Meant to say only 2 are dark, Naomi and Kenya…Everyone else is brown. again who wrote this

  • mac

    While the intent is good, articles like this do nothing to help colorism. Matter of fact it somewhat perpetuates it.

  • Whats the difference between Dark and Brown skin?….I thought dark skin was anything that wasn’t light skin

  • DennyD

    This is stupid! What is the writer saying ….. that dark skinned women are not pretty. Newsflash, women are pretty no matter what color.

    • MissRealuminatti

      You missed the point. The writer was proving that dark women are just as pretty as other women


    some of these ppl do not belong on this list. Id hv 5 ppl on this list

  • Nisa

    Ummmmm, most of them are not dark-skinned! Brown skinned, yes, but not dark. WTF?

    • msgeegee

      you took the words right out of my mouth!!!! unbelievable!!!!

    • Camille186

      My thoughts exactly! I am dark skinned and this is by no means helping the situation since their are no dark skinned ladies – this would make it seems like people such as myself are closer to midnight in comparison!

    • MissRealuminatti

      If you are not light then you are considered dark; especially in hollyweird where most of the women are Beyoncé’s hue

      • mgsmith

        beyonce use to be dark. skin bleach

        • uhh

          No she wasn’t. She was light as a child. I remember her on Star Search. She’s always been light. She just tans in the summer.

    • guest

      As soon as I saw Meghan Good, I thought WTF? Page two was Gabrielle Union and I knew I had seen enough. SMH. This is like saying “pretty for a short girl” and you show a list where everyone is 5’7″ and up. If I did not know better, I would say the writer was a troll who believed dark skinned women were ugly. Why else would you put out a dark skin beauty list with MOST of them not being dark skinned person?! Was it so hard for you to find when there are just as many dark skinned beauty (if not more!) as there are light skinned? WOW!

      And no, I am not dark skinned. I am light skinned- Hale Berry complexion but I can still call BS. Such a shame! We are all beautiful but we still find it challenging to fully embrace the spectrum of our unique beauty.

      • Taryn Bryant

        I’m Mariah Carey’s complexion and I don’t consider the majority of those women dark. What are they talking about?

    • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

      i kept clicking next hoping to see a beautiful dark skinned woman but…nope not one…yes every one of those brown skin women are beautiful…but i really wanted to see dark ebony chocolate skin and there are plenty of models that represent that…not too many actresses & singers unfortunately

  • love99

    where is Kimberly Elise?

  • love99

    where is Kimberly Elise?

    • Trudy ‘Mtram’ Rozani

      I’ve always viewed Sanaa as relatively lightskinned, but I guess I’ve been missing something.

  • baddvixentype

    how did Jennifer Williams fit into thi list exaclty…besides being of a darker shade…no accomplishments were mentions so why place her on this list at all???

    • MissRealuminatti

      Because this list is about pretty dark skinned women not accomplished women necessarily

      • linda m.

        i agree with you missRealuminatti