– by Perri Lembo
If James Bond is the epitome of cool sophistication, the bond girl is the embodiment of glamour, power and razor-sharp wit. No one knows what she will have up her sleeve and whether she will prove to be friend or foe to 007.
Here we showcase black bond girls, the beautiful pioneers who introduced a new kind of toughness and charm to the world of our favorite secret agent. As early as 1971, when roles for black women were still sparse, black bond girls shined on the silver screen as beacons of pride and black beauty, helping to usher in an era in which important black roles become more commonplace.
In 1971 Trina Parks became the first black woman to have a role in a Bond movie, playing bodyguard, Thumper, in Diamonds Are Forever. It is debated as to whether Thumper was the first black Bond girl, since she never had a sexual relationship with Bond. Her role, however, is unforgettable. A strong body in a string bikini, Thumper is a formidable match to Sean Connery’s Bond, entering a martial-arts brawl and coming in close just to serve a swift kick to the groin! Rockin’ a TWA (Teeny Weeny Afr0), Parks looks sleek and athletic. Her perfectly rounded ‘fro was long enough to make a statement and short enough to avoid impeding her killer moves.
Gloria Hendry filled the first major black female role in a James Bond movie, playing double agent Rosie Carver in 1973’s Live and Let Die. Before Halle Berry, Hendry tempted Roger Moore’s Bond in a sexy bikini accented by her fierce ‘fro. A 70’s natural, this look was bold and beautiful.
In 1985, the iconic model/actress/singer Grace Jones turned heads as May Day in A View To A Kill. Starring beside Roger Moore, Jones plays an assassin, working with the film’s villain to destroy Silicon Valley. May Day is a ruthless villain with superhuman strength and killer style. In this unique film that could only have been made in the 80’s, Grace Jones sports a wavy variation of her signature high top fade.
Halle Berry, as NSA agent Jinx, took the Bond world by storm the moment she emerged from the ocean in that iconic orange bikini in 2002’s Die Another Day. But aside from her look, Jinx was a revolutionary character as she was the first black bond girl to work with Bond as a protagonist. It took long enough! Bond girls are typically at least somewhat villainous; it’s nice to see a female on Team Bond for a change! Halle had the perfect hairstyle to accent her tough character and toned body, a wavy cropped pixie cut. It wouldn’t be long until this minimalist ‘do became a hot trend
Naomie Harris plays M16 agent Eve in the latest installment of the Bond series- 2012’s Skyfall. Eve is a modern woman, taking the lead in fighting the baddies with Bond, even protecting him when he is injured. Harris reflects the seriousness of this role in her preparation for it: she completed extensive training in shooting, stunt driving, and fighting- perhaps enough to qualify her as a real agent! In the film, Harris wears her hair in short, loose curls. Cute, natural, and ready for action!
Fun Fact: In an interview, Naomie Harris suggested the dashing Idris Elba be the first black James Bond.
Empowering, sexy, and oh-so-chic, these ladies gave Bond a run for his money!
Which bond girl is your favorite? Tell us in the comments below.