Beyonce's reign as the "Most Beautiful Woman in the World" may only be two days old, but as the second-ever black woman to take the crown (following Halle Berry, who graced People magazine's cover in 2003) it's safe to say the title is some nine years in the making.
Halle Berry ... and Beyoncé are the only two black women to hold the honor in 22 years. A look back at the celebrities People has called "most beautiful" reveals that past honorees are ladies like Meg Ryan, Nicole Kidman and Cindy Crawford. Michelle Pfeiffer has been called Most Beautiful twice; Julia Roberts has been the cover gal four times. Jennifer Lopez, the 2011 Most Beautiful, is the lone Latina on the list. And there have been zero Asian women.
While Jezebel went on to question why Beyonce and Berry were chosen -- for their light skin tones and Anglo-Saxon features, perhaps -- The Huffington Post spoke with Crystal McCrary, author of Inspiration: Profiles Of Black Women Changing The World, for a look at other women who could easily make the cut.
Like Jezebel, McCrary doesn't discount Beyonce's beauty -- citing personal encounters with the singer that revealed "an amazing beauty, disarming kindness and no sense of entitlement whatsoever" -- but adds these seven women to the top of her list for reasons that are more than skin deep.
Who would you put on your list?
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