"Yo Soy Una Mujer Negra" (I am a Black Woman!)
Zoe Saldana is one of the most influential women in Hollywood, starring in Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Trek. Saldana is Hollywood's Only Star Leading Multiple $2 Billion Hits. But according to the sci fi star, her acting career has been an uphill battle, taking the moment to speak out about the challenges and discrimination she has faced.
It makes me feel superhuman because, obviously, it’s been brought to my attention continuously since I was born that I’m not a conventional person because of the color of my skin or my gender or my cultural background. So I think science fiction has given me the ability as an artist to be colorblind, and gender-blind, and to imagine and reinvent myself and be the chameleon actors are supposed to be.”- Zoe Saldana
In Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Infinity War, Zoe plays Gamora the badass green Assassin seeking revenge on her ‘father’ Thanos. While in Avatar she plays Neytiri the blue-tiful Navi princess from Pandora. In both roles Saldana is fully covered in body paint from head to toe. Saldana does an excellent job at portraying each character bringing them to life, which has become a super successful formula for movie directors and producers. What does this mean for other black actresses like Saldana; to be successful in Hollywood you must seemingly transform your entire image, look and body? Will Saldana and others have to continue to commit to these types of roles playing aliens in order to gain work...
Saldana is the only Afro-Latina actress to appear in multiple Billion dollar box office hits but receives little recognition for her incredible work as some see it as mediocre. She is also not one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood even though most of her Marvel co-stars are like Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth. Like the real Superhero that she is, Zoe is perhaps chartering a new course for women of color in Hollywood by breaking down stereotypes/barriers and creating more opportunities for success.