5 Reasons to Obsess over Joy Bryant

No, nothing crazy has happened to Joy. She’s still starring on NBC’s Parenthood and working on her fashion line with her husband of 7 years, David Pope.

But, sometimes amongst all of the celebrity noise, we forget about some of our brown beauties who keeps it low-key. Joy is one of them.

When she and Regina Hall made messy pottery and still looked smashing

1. Joy and Regina

Back in 2012 and ’13 Joy hosted an interactive online show called Across the Board in which she interviewed and hung out with various celebrities. The guests were usually invited to engage in athletic activities including rock climbing and kick boxing. In this episode Regina Hall (another favorite actress of mine) was invited to spin and sculpt clay. First of all, I never looked that good frolicking in wet dirt; I always wore hobo clothes to the studio even if we were just listening to lectures. But of course these two queens totally shut it down. Joy wore a lively yellow printed button down shirt with dark blue jeans. Her hair was parted in the middle and pulled back into a low yet stylish ponytail. The actresses’ minimal make up accentuated her best accessory, that infectious smile. Regina deserves an honorable mention as well; she rocked her long loose brown curls with a beautiful soft pink lip. Between the duo’s casually chic ensembles and their comedic awkwardness, slinging clay never looked more fetching.

When she wore that Zac Posen number to the Art of Elysium gala

Actress Joy Bryant arrives to The Art of Elysium 10th Anniversary Gala at Vibiana on January 12, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The Art of Elysium 10th Anniversary Gala - Arrivals Vibiana Los Angeles, CA United States January 12, 2008 Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage.com To license this image (15295548), contact WireImage: U.S. +1-212-686-8900 / U.K. +44-207-868-8940 / Australia +61-2-8262-9222 / Germany +49-40-320-05521 / Japan: +81-3-5464-7020 +1 212-686-8901 (fax) info@wireimage.com (e-mail) www.wireimage.com (web site)

The Art of Elysium, an organization dedicated to using art to inspire social change, hosts a huge black tie charity event every year in LA. Being the natural humanitarian that she is, Joy is no stranger to the annual gala. In 2009 the actress slayed when she wore a gorgeous red Zac Posen gown. Zac Posen is to Joy Bryant what Gaultier is to Lady Gaga; a fashion match made in Hollywood! To my knowledge, Joy has never looked wrong in a Posen gown…ever. The gown was very feminine and frilly. Its silhouette vaguely reminded me of something Greta Garbo wore in the late 30’s. The dress’ large silky ruffles cascaded down her form creating a splash of contemporary drama. This was not only a classic Joy moment; this was a classic fashion moment, period.

When she looked Royal at the 2010 Met Gala

3. Joy in Marchesa

This look particularly blew me away because of its dissimilarity to her previously understated fashion choices. The Met Gala is known for being highly eccentric yet formal; it’s the perfect stage for self-expression. The combination of the sleek updo and the long dazzling earrings was a declarative style statement. It’s as if she wanted to let the world know she could rock any look, minimalistic or high glamour. The structure of the cream colored chiffon Marchesa gown appeared weightless and wispy as Joy appeared to float across the red carpet looking royally regal.

Whenever her hair is effortlessly on point and we’re like…really?

4. Joy on The Real

Joy has some seriously gorgeous hair, and no, it’s not because it’s long and flowing. I love Joy’s hair because it compliments her overall style: natural and refreshingly straightforward. Whether she’s wearing it half up/half down or in a simple ponytail, Joy looks confident in her own skin; her guest appearance on The Real earlier this year solidified that. Somehow, when Joy wore them I saw the braids from a completely different perspective. She didn’t have them styled in any specific way, just hanging down past her shoulders, but she owned that look. Honestly, the secret to her effortless beauty isn’t locked away in some magazine or look book, it’s located within and it is called confidence.

That time she overcame her childhood obstacles

5. Joy in all of her glory

 Growing up, Joy Bryant’s struggle was real. Government assistance was how she and her grandmother survived. But like many other resilient black children, her grandmother instilled in her a sense of independence and self-sufficiency. Through dedication and hard work, Joy was able to obtain a scholarship to the exclusive Westminster boarding school in Connecticut. After graduating from high school she was accepted into Yale. The spirited young woman had every intention of majoring in economics in order to pursue a career in business, but that all changed when she was discovered by Next Models Management. Her new fashion career had her booked for everyone from Ralph Lauren to Tommy Hilfiger. Her Segway into acting began when she first got a role in Carmen: A Hip Hopera. She is now starring in NBC’s Parenthood and co designing a sportswear brand (Basic Terrain) with her husband of 7 years, David Pope. Joy Bryant is an encouraging example of black beauty grace and strength. She has followed the beat of her own drummer, and it has paid off tremendously. Her journey has merely begun, and I am excited to eagerly wait in anticipation for more Joy-filled moments.