Girl next door looks can be defined in a number of ways. For us, it can best be described as a natural beauty with a soft more elegant facial structure….someone who doesn’t have to cake on make-up to be beautiful (think wholesome unassuming femininity as opposed to the groupies, video vixens, club regulars and anyone who tries to emulate that crowd)….catch them during a stroll in the park or a candid snapshot while out getting coffee and they’ll still get a thumbs up. It’s basically the kind of girl that other women may rate with a degrading ‘she’s just ok’ or ‘she’s basic’ (whatever that means) – but fellas we can clearly see the difference. If you’re on your ‘A-game’ with success … it’s actually the kind of girl you may actually have a chance with because she seems nice and approachable.
As much as we can appreciate the video models, groupie crowd, and trying-too-hard types – these women exude poise and/or looks that can only be described as timeless.
Here’s our list for early 2012….
Sanaa Lathan’s gorgeous looks and great talent makes her our top pick for Hollywood Girl Next Door! The 40-year-old actress has starred in numerous movies, of which her most well-known roles were in ‘Love and Basketball’ and Tyler Perry’s ‘The Family That Preys’. Sanaa was exposed to the entertainment industry from an early age, with a talented mother who was a performer on Broadway and a father who worked behind the scenes for PBS. She was voted one of Ebony magazine’s 55 Most Beautiful People in 2000. You can catch Sanaa’s off-camera talent on Fox’s ‘The Cleveland Show’ as the voice-over for the character of Donna Tubbs. And a fun fact, her name in Swahili means “work of art” and “beauty”. What a perfect fit!
“Hollywood needs to recognize all shades of African-American beauty,” says Gabrielle Union. And that’s exactly why she’s next on our list! The 39-year-old actress’ was a law student at UCLA trying to pay off college loans before she landed in Hollywood. She ended up as a client at an L.A. modeling agency she was interning at, where she landed her very first acting role on the hit TV series, ‘Saved by the Bell’. Gabrielle’s most notable roles that brought her to Hollywood stardom were in ‘Bring It On’, ‘Bad Boys 2’ in which she starred opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, and in ‘Deliver Us from Eva’. You can catch her in the upcoming movie ‘Think Like A Man,’ based on Steve Harvey’s best seller book on April 20th.
Gugu, short for Gugulethu, has been acting from the age of eleven. She became a talented singer, dancer and saxophonist during her adolescent years and went on to continue her studies when she received a scholarship in 2001 to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Since graduating, she has appeared as an acclaimed Juliet in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre and on television in such varied series as ‘Bad Girls’, ‘Doctor Who’, and ‘Marple’. She played opposite Boris Kodje as his wife in the short lived TV series ‘Undercovers’ in 2010. You can catch Gugu on TV every Thursday on Fox as the female lead in ‘Touch’ opposite Kiefer Sutherland.
Zoe Saldana, who claims to be a sci-fi geek, doesn’t look anything like one! The 33-year old, of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, was ranked #3 in Maxim’s ‘Hot 100 Women of 2010’. From an early age she discovered a keen interest in performance dance and began her training to learn ballet and other dance forms. This later led her into theater performances which landed her onto her first on-screen role in the film ‘Center Stage’. Success continued from there for Saldana who became critically acclaimed for her roles in ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Avatar’, and most recently played the role of a deadly assassin in ‘Columbiana’. This pretty lady definitely has a girl-next-door outlook on relationships, as she was engaged for 11 years to actor Keith Briton! The newly single Saldana can be spotted on the big screen soon in the upcoming sequels to ‘Star Trek’ and in ‘Avatar 2’.
Multi-talented Christina Milian is an actress, singer and dancer. Her first self- titled debut album was released in 2001 and is currently signed to rapper Lil Wayne’s label Young Money Entertainment. The 30-year-old was previously married to singer and song-writer, The Dream, with whom she has a 2-year-old daughter. As an actress, Milian is best known for her role starring opposite of Nick Cannon in ‘Love Don’t Cost A Thing.’ “When I go home, I still have to clean my room, I still have to do the dishes. We have somebody come every now and then to do that stuff, but my mom still makes me clean before she comes,” says Milian. Definitely a girl next door!
Ashanti, known as ‘The Princess of Hip-Hop and R&B’, is best known for her singing talents, but also has acting, dancing, modeling, and record producing as her many talents. Her songs ‘Foolish’, ‘Always On Time’, and ‘What’s Luv’ made the top 10 within a week! The 31-year-old came from a family of artists, with a mom who was a dance instructor and a father who was a singer. Her most recent movie roles include ‘John Tucker Must Die’ and ‘Resident Evil: Extinction.’ Ashanti’s name serves well, whose mother named her after the Ashanti Empire in Ghana where women are of power and influence. She was ranked #13 on the Maxim magazine’s ‘Hot 100 Women of 2005’.
Meagan Good is the perfect person to invite over for a scary movie date! The actress credits movies like ‘Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers’ and ‘Halloween 5’ as the reason why she wanted to become an actress. The 30-year-old started appearing on television commercials at the age of four. From there she started guest starring on shows like ‘The Parent ‘Hood’, ‘Touched by an Angel’, ‘Moesha’, ‘The Steve Harvey Show’ and ‘The Division’. And if you’re wondering where she gets her exotic looks, Meagan’s family hails from a variety of descents – Jewish, African and Puerto Rican. Her most recent roles include the upcoming movie based on Steve Harvey’s best seller book ‘ Think Like A Man’ and the lead in the upcoming Television show pilot ‘Notorious’.
Actress, singer, dancer and model Katerina “Kat” Graham speaks English, Spanish, French, Hebrew, and some Portuguese. Talk about multi-lingual! Graham stepped into the entertainment industry at the age of six, appearing in various commercials for Barbie, K-Mart, Pop Tart, and Edison. At 17, Graham participated in a national marketing campaign to advertise Coca-Cola’s soft drink Fanta. Graham appeared in the marketing campaign as a member of the “Fantanas”, known as Capri, also known as Strawberry. The 22-year-old has appeared in numerous television shows and film productions, as well as music videos, like Akon’s “Lonely”, Justin Bieber and Usher’s “Somebody to Love (Remix)”, John Legend’s “Used to Love U”, and Nelly’s “Just A Dream”. She is best known for her role in The CW television network show, The Vampire Diaries. Her pretty looks come from her Liberian, Russian, and Polish heritage.
Hazel-eyed Rochelle Aytes is most popular for her role in the 2004 movie, ‘White Chicks’, as Denise Porter. Aytes comes from a career background mostly based in television, having played roles in TV series like ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Dark Blue’. She also starred in Tyler Perry’s ‘Madea’s Family Reunion’ as Lisa. The 35-year-old will be back on television when she stars in the upcoming ABC drama ‘Mistresses’, a story about the lives of four female friends and their involvement in an array of illicit and complex relationships.
Denise Vasi is an American fashion model and soap opera actress, best known for her role as Randi Hubbard on ABC’s ‘All My Children’. Before her role in ‘All My Children’, the 29-year-old began her career in modeling, on-camera advertising campaigns, international and domestic print advertisements for ELLE, Marie Claire, and GQ Italy. Vasi’s good looks come from her Dominican, Puerto Rican and Greek heritage.