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21 Beauty Icons Who Aren't Marilyn Monroe

"Marilyn Monroe she's quite nice, but why all the pretty icons always all white?" -Jay-Z

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1. Anna May Wong

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Anna May Wong was the first Chinese-American movie star, and the first to lead her own show, The Gallery of Mme Liu-Tsong. The glam goddess is most remembered for her starring role in Shanghai Express (1932).

Wong was met with much racial prejudice in Hollywood, being limited to stereotypical roles and getting paid less as a lead than white supporting actors. Last year, Shanghai production company Fundamental Films announced a biopic detailing the pioneering icon's life and career.

2. Frida Kahlo

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Frida Kahlo was a painter, celebrated for her self-portraits. Born in Mexico in 1907, Kahlo is still revered as an artist and a feminist icon.

Kahlo survived a trolley car accident, and suffered health complications for most of her life — which resulted in the loss of her leg. One of the art-and-beauty inspiration's most famous quotes is "Feet, what do I need for you when I have wings to fly?"

3. Celia Cruz

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Celia Cruz was an Afro-Cuban singer and performer who began her career in the late 1940s. The Queen of Salsa, her legacy spans over 50 years.

Long before the Lil Kims, Gagas, and Minajs of the world, Grammy-winning Cruz had reinvented her image, wearing colorful sky-high hair, long nails, and flamboyant costumes.

4. Eartha Kitt

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Eartha Kitt was an international superstar who rose to fame after landing the role as Helen of Troy in Dr. Faust (1950). Kitt established herself in theater, film, cabaret, music, and TV.

She was blacklisted in the U.S. after speaking against the Vietnam War, so she took her talents to Europe and Asia. The Emmy-winning Kitt eventually returned to America and rendered an epic concert in 1974 at Carnegie Hall.

5. Rita Moreno

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Rita Moreno broke ground as the first Hispanic woman to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in 1961's West Side Story.

Moreno is still a working actress and is a recipient of both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of the Arts. When Makers asked her for a piece of advice to women, she said, "To value themselves… you have to learn to appreciate yourself and your talent before you can go anywhere in your life."

6. Nancy Kwan

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Nancy Kwan was largely responsible for the acceptance of Asian actors in Hollywood and became a sex symbol in the '60s, according to MTVartists. She gained much attention for her role in The World of Suzie Wong, and her famous bob in the production, styled by Vidal Sassoon, became widely known as "the Kwan cut."

In 1996, Kwan's son died of AIDS. She published a memoir and produced a movie in his memory, and donated proceeds from both projects to AIDS research and awareness.

7. Bianca Jagger

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Bianca Jagger was an actress in the '70s and '80s. Noted for her beauty and fashion sense, she covered magazines like Vogue and Interview. Jagger now heads the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, fighting such causes as violence against women, climate change, and the rights of indigenous peoples.

8. Tamara Dobson

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Tamara Dobson started as a model, snagging pages in Essence and Vogue, and ads for Chanel and Revlon. In the '70s, she rose as an actress during the Blaxploitation era.

Standing over 6 feet tall, Dobson proudly embraced her height, all thanks to her mom. "Whenever she saw me stooping over, she'd pinch my Achilles heel," she told the Washington Post. "

9. Shohreh Aghdashloo

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Shohreh Aghdashloo garnered nationwide fame throughout Iran as an actress in the 1970s. In 2003, she made history as the first Middle Eastern actress to be nominated for an Academy Award for her role in House of Sand and Fog.

Aghdashloo also won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for House of Saddam.

10. Iman

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Iman Bowie was one of the most sought after supermodels of the '70s and '80s. Yves Saint Laurent called her "perfection" and used her as his prominent muse.

She is now founder and CEO of Iman Cosmetics and an ambassador for The Children’s Defense Fund, Action Against Hunger, and Raise Hope for Congo.

11. Nandita Das

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Nandita Das is an actress who's had more than 30 roles in 10 different languages. Das is also an activist for several causes, one of which includes challenging unjust skin-color bias in India and worldwide.

The actress and activist is a certified BOSS! She's the first Indian to have been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Women’s Forum. The French government also presented her with its prestigious civilian award, Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, for her contributions to arts and literature.

12. Selena

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Selena is remembered as the queen of Tejano music, becoming the first artist to win a Grammy for the genre. Her career as a singer and performer spanned the '80s and '90s, and her signature beauty look still serves as an inspiration today.

Her trill AF fans actually petitioned for cosmetic giant MAC to pay homage to the queen. And it worked — because they recently announced the launch of its upcoming Selena collection.

13. Lauryn Hill

Twitter: @misslaurynhill

Lauryn Hill wrote music history as the first woman to win five Grammy awards in one night for her first solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The singer and rapper, whose full lips and locs made her a symbol of beauty, was a rare voice in hip-hop.

Lyrics like "Showing off your ass 'cause your thinking it's a trend, girlfriend... Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem" is why she'll forever be one of our favorite WCWs.

14. Sushmita Sen

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Sushmita Sen snagged the Miss Universe crown in 1994, making her the first Indian to do so. After her victory, she gained much success as a Bollywood actress.

Sen pulled the ultimate queen move when she chucked a deuce to all the haters after controversy surrounding her adoption of two daughters as an unwed mother.

15. Stacey McKenzie

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Stacey McKenzie is a supermodel who's walked for Jean Paul Gautlier, Kenzo, and other fashion titans. In a very personal letter, she writes that Gautlier was the first person to call her beautiful.

Now the stunner heads "Stacey McKenzie’s Walk This Way Workshops" to help youth hone their artistic talents and build self-confidence.

16. Brandy

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Brandy is a music icon, dubbed the Vocal Bible for her vocal control, riffs, and technique. Since the start of her career in the '90s, she's broken beauty boundaries as a CoverGirl, Mattel Barbie, and the first black Cinderella.

She also just wrapped Chicago on Broadway as lead Roxie Hart. After each performance, she met her fans outside, signed autographs, and took pics for the 'Gram, one by one.

17. Mindy Kaling

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Mindy Kaling is the first woman of color to create and star in her own network sitcom. The hilarious producer and actress can also get way real.

She told Teen Vogue, "I feel like I have been able to have a fun career and be an on-camera talent and be someone who has boyfriends and love interests and wears nice clothes and those kinds of things without having to be an emaciated stick. And it is possible to do it. In life, you don't have to be that way and you can have a great life, a fun life, and a fulfilling love life."

18. Marquita Pring

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Marquita Pring is a fashion model whose curvaceous figure landed her a spot on Jean Paul Gaultier’s runway, a campaign as the face of Levi Strauss & Co, and an editorial for Vogue Italia.

She also said this to Fashionista: "It doesn't matter what size you are, just be healthy. You can be a size 2 and be far less healthy than a person that is a size 14. There is no right or wrong size if you're healthy and fit."

19. Lizzie Velasquez

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Lizzie Velasquez was 17 when she discovered herself on a YouTube video where people were calling her "the world's ugliest woman." The bullying only inspired Velasquez, who is now 26, to become a motivational speaker and film a documentary, A Brave Heart.

She educates millions of people on her rare diseases, Marfan syndrome and lipodystrophy, which hinder her from gaining weight. Velasquez is an antibullying activist — and basically the most badass superbeauty ever!

20. Nadia Aboulhosn

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Nadia Aboulhosn is a blogger, model, and self-proclaimed jumpsuit addict. Her sick style game and coveted curves have made her a new age diva with nearly 300,000 Instagram followers. You've probably seen her working it for Boohoo, Addition Elle, American Apparel and Stylist magazine.

Moment of silence for these legs tho!

21. Zendaya Coleman

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Zendaya Coleman is one of our favorite rising beauties. After Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic made an offensive remark about Coleman's hair, the teen actress and singer took the moment to educate Rancic:

"There is already harsh criticism of African-American hair in society without the help of ignorant people..." Coleman wrote on social media. "My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough."

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