At the close of the decade, dark-skinned black women received two main-stage representations with very different optics. On one hand we saw the release of “Queen and Slim” where Queen, portrayed by Jodie Turner-Smith represents, with some debate on the black woman vlogisphere, the tale-as-old-as-time image of the struggle black woman.
On the other hand we see the crowning of South African beauty, Zozibini Tunzi as Miss Universe, representing what I like to affectionately call “the new black woman”. Interestingly, both of these women look very similar. They are beautiful, slim, modelesque, with short natural hair and typical Bantu features. Even though they are similar in a physical way, they are two very different, almost opposite reciprocals of each other. And I think for better (Zozibini), or for worse (Queen) this is the trajectory of dark-skinned beauty promotion.
Prior to the crowning of Miss Universe, I was very upset by the representation of Queen as I felt that what her character represented is something that black women are past. Although many in the black women vlog spaces did not think what she represented was struggle love, I disagree. I am not saying that anytime a dark-skinned woman is in a movie she has the be a princess, or have everything go perfectly, but I don’t understand why every time we get romantic movies there is almost always some huge struggle.