I’ve been into all types of mythology, but the oldest and closest to my heart has been Greek mythology. Despite them being of Greek origin, it’s always been easy for me to relate to certain deities or characters in a story. The only thing that could make those gods and goddesses more relatable was if they looked like me as well. So I went through the exciting and agonizing process of choosing celebrities of color that I thought best fit each of the Olympians.
- Chrissy Teigen as Hera.
She’s got a mouth, and she’s not afraid to use it. That’s right; it’s Chrissy Teigen. Chrissy is known for many things. She’s a model, a chef, and a clapback queen. Rarely does someone come for Teigen and not be sent into a spiral of social media embarrassment. Just like Hera, both are married with children, which is fitting since Hera is the goddess of marriage and fertility. And neither are ever afraid to unleash their savage side. I’d have to say Hera leans a bit more to the dramatic end; I don’t think Chrissy has ever sent serpents to kill a baby. However, she is never hesitant to call someone out and collect a hater where they stand. These queens, respectable and regal, are quick to let others know just how fierce they truly are. It’s always best to stay in their good graces.
2. Rihanna as Aphrodite.
I struggled with this one. There are just so many beautiful people to choose from. In the end though, I had to go with Rihanna. This a woman who somehow manages to be passionate and desirable wherever she’s seen, whether it’s a photo, music video, gif, you name it. Every shade of feminine exudes out of her from gentle and submissive to dominant and sexy. And no matter what form she takes, it is always done with confidence. I would not be surprised if she was born out of oceanic foam.
3. Michelle Obama as Athena.
If someone told me, “Michelle Obama has all the answers,” I would not even blink an eye. She is a woman of stature and wisdom. I bet a person could spend all day listening to her and picking her brain. I’m partial to Athena. I love how she is slow to irrationality, in comparison to the other gods. She’s mainly the goddess of wisdom, crafts, and war strategies. Does Michelle Obama not sound amazing at all those things? I mean, she helped run one of the world’s superpowers for eight years. She’s taken more unfair criticism and backlash than any First Lady deserves, yet she remains cool and collected; a true embodiment of strength and poise. If I was going into battle, real or metaphorical, I’d love a little Michelle Obama owl (one of Athena’s symbol) on my shoulder.
4. Dev Patel as Apollo.
Golden. Beautiful. Bright. Dev Patel. He was the first person I thought of for Apollo, mainly because he’s so pretty. I can really see him driving the sun across the sigh in a toga, a golden crown, and a big silly smile. Thinking of the sun makes me happy, and so does thinking about Dev Patel. I feel like his presence is just so wholesome and uplifting up the mood. And he likes kids! Apollo is a protector of boys and young men. It’s perfect. Besides the sun, he’s also the god of music and art. I’m not so sure how well-versed Dev is in music, but he in an actor, and acting is in art. Still a perfect match!
5. Malala Yousafzai as Artemis.
Artemis is a fierce protector of girls and young women. We all know (or should know) what a fierce defender of women and women’s rights Malala Yousafzai is. She remains an activist for the education of young girls. She almost died for her cause, but a bullet to the head could not kill her. She continued to fight, be brave, and was even the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize! If that’s not goddess strength, I don’t know what it is. Plus, Artemis is also the goddess of the moon. Malala’s zodiac sign is a Cancer, which is ruled by the moon. So, it works there too.
6. Tahj Mowry as Hermes.
Quick and mischievous, it’s Tahj Mowry. I think because he’s a smaller guy, my mind is thinking he’s also faster than most, making me see him as the perfect Hermes. Because Hermes is a speedy guy, you have to be to be the messenger of the gods. And Hermes is also a very playful god, famous for playing jokes and tricks on gods and mortals alike. Tahj being the third of four children, there’s no doubt he played (and continues to play) his share of pranks on his loved ones. Overall, they’re both just very fun-loving people, with a hidden twinkle their eye.
7. Jidenna as Dionysus.
Dionysus is similar to Hermes in terms of loving fun and mischief. Where they differ I think, is in the vibe they give off. Dionysus has a much more sexy, intoxicating atmosphere about him, bringing joy and ecstasy wherever he goes. He’s known for having very devout followers, mostly women, and for being a bit of devil. That’s how I see him — as a handsome devil. Naturally, Jidenna. He’s just got his suave way about him; everything he does is smooth and sensuous. And of course, he’s got that voice. It’s not difficult to see him with a trick or two up his sleeves and a horde of women at his heels.
8. Trevante Rhodes as Poseidon.
Maybe it was the blue aesthetic of Moonlight. Maybe it’s because I want to swim in his abs. Either way, Trevante Rhodes is my Poseidon. Can’t you just see him on an underwater throne ruling with a trident? With those shiny teeth that literally look like pearls? Picture him with waves in his eyes, rising above the seas, raging and containing them at his will. And he’d always be shirtless. Whew. I can’t think of a better fit.
9. Kanye West as Hades.
Hades has a bad attitude. He’s kind of mean, kind of grumpy. How could one not be? He’s stuck under the earth with nothing but souls and the three-headed hound Cerberus. Imagine a sulky guy all in black, lazily slumped in a skull throne, bummed he got the short stick but still full of himself. Did you picture Kanye? Same. Although part of me feels like Kanye would get more of a kick out of being Hades than actual Hades would. Kanye’s got a sweet side, but we almost always see his arrogant, attitudinal one. Which isn’t a bad thing; it’s very him. And very Hades.
10. Beyoncé as Zeus.
Because screw gender, right? Beyoncé is the queen, and she did say that girls run the world. Loving Beyoncé is no longer an opinion. It’s a way of life; you either ride with Beyoncé or you’re wrong. She’s everything a person could want in a ruler. She’s got all the command and adoration of Zeus without the slimy reputation. I could definitely see her atop Mt. Olympus at the center of the other gods, raining down thunderbolts and/or dealing out orders.
Author: Kennedy Horton
Editor: Trianna Nguyen
Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a neuroscience nerd turned Creative Consultant and Executive Director of Off Colour!
You’ve probably seen her on TikTok or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels. From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.