All Articles Tagged "Vanessa Williams"
Toni Braxton’s Unbreak My Heart Lifetime biopic drew 3.6 million viewers, becoming the network’s most-watched film in a year. Did you enjoy it? Because we sure did. Narrated and executive produced by Toni Braxton (who sang her own music in the movie), Unbreak My Heart followed the success of Lifetime’s much talked about Aaliyah and Whitney Houston biopics. Whose life story would you love to see on screen next? From Missy Elliott’s comeback to Brandy’s interesting career and love live and Jennifer Hudson’s incredible story, here are some candidates we think Lifetime should consider.
Vanessa Williams made headlines as the first Black winner of Miss America, a title that she would later relinquish after a Penthouse scandal threatened her burgeoning career. But Williams bounced back and conquered virtually every sector of entertainment: the musical charts, Broadway, film, and television. If that doesn’t scream biopic, I don’t know what does.
I don’t know if the people behind the Miss America pageant owed Vanessa Williams an apology, but she definitely was owed something from them.
However, others don’t see it that way. In particular, Demetria Lucas D’Oyley, who penned a piece for The Root entitled, The Miss America Pageant Doesn’t Owe Vanessa Williams an Apology.
According to Lucas D’Oyley:
During last night’s pageant broadcast, Miss America CEO Sam Haskell III invited Williams to the stage and apologized to her and her mother, saying, “You have lived your life with grace and dignity. … I want to apologize for anything that was said or done that made you feel any less than the Miss America you are and the Miss America you will always be.”
Knowing that I will likely be reamed for saying this, because Williams is a talented actress, singer and a beloved celebrity—especially in the black community—I’m saying it anyway: She deserved to be forced to resign, and the Miss America organization didn’t owe her an apology.
The organization’s reaction to Williams’ pictures wasn’t overblown in the ’80s, and those images should garner about a similar reaction today. The organization’s reaction also was not racist. (The fact that Williams’ replacement, Suzette Charles, was also black kinda kills that argument.)
Lucas D’Oyley said she came to this conclusion after seeing the racy pictures, which ran in Penthouse over 20 years ago, but are now available on the web. While she said she takes no issue with “sex between consenting adults,” she does believe that those images were not “in line with the mission of the organization” or “fit the position she held.”
Likewise, she writes:
Yes, Williams was barely legal when those pictures were taken. I read in a 1984 article in People magazine that she naively believed that the images would be in silhouette and her face would not be shown. Williams was a young girl who made a series of bad decisions. (She did two nude photo shoots, not one.) And the cost was being asked to step down as Miss America. It was a hard way to learn a necessary lesson about actions and consequences. There was no need for the Miss America organization to apologize for teaching it to her.
If you haven’t seen the pictures, you won’t see them here. But you are free to Google them. To be honest, they are pretty racy images, including one picture of a nude woman simulating oral sex on the “Save The Best For Last” singer. And I can certainly see how those images could raise an eyebrow or two.
But, I also don’t how I feel about framing Williams’s racy images as contrary to the mission of the Miss American organization. After all, the Miss America organization claims that it “represents the highest ideals” that a typical “American Girl might well emulate.” But many women, particularly feminists, have long taken issue with the beauty contest for a number of reasons, including the exploitation of women and their sexuality and reinforcing trite, Eurocentric beauty standards.
Matter of fact, it was in 1968 when hundreds of feminists stormed the boardwalk in Atlantic City to protest the Miss America pageant. According to this report by PBS:
One of the protest’s leading organizers was 27-year-old writer and editor Robin Morgan. In the group’s manifesto written to explain the protest of the Miss America Pageant, “No More Miss America!,” Morgan took direct aim at what she called “the degrading mindless-boob-girlie symbol” so prevalent in the media. Morgan attacked the “ludicrous ‘beauty’ standards we ourselves are conditioned to take seriously.” She also attacked the pageant’s beauty standards as racist. As of 1968, no African American woman had taken a place among the contest’s finalists.
Morgan went on to condemn “the unbeatable madonna-whore combination” and the mixed messages women were socialized to accept. “To win approval, we must be both sexy and wholesome, delicate but able to cope, demure yet titillatingly bitchy or should we say [ill-tempered] … Miss America and Playboy’s centerfolds are sisters under the skin.” In addition, in sending pageant contestants and winners to entertain troops in Vietnam, the women served as “death mascots” in an immoral war. Morgan asked, “Where else could one find such a perfect combination of American values — racism, militarism, capitalism — all packaged in one ‘ideal’ symbol, a woman.”
And more than 40 years later, not much has changed.
What’s interesting is that Williams was ultimately punished for exploiting her own body as opposed to letting the organization do it for her. Not to mention the pictures were published in Penthouse without her consent. She was a victim. And she was victimized again when the organization disassociated itself from her instead of having her back against the slut-shaming as well as racist comments.
Three decades after Vanessa Williams gave up her Miss America crown, the organization has issued a public apology for the way that they handled things way back when.
“I have been a close friend to this beautiful and talented lady for 32 years,” said Miss America CEO Sam Haskell during Sunday’s pageant. “You have lived your life in grace and dignity, and never was it more evident than during the events of 1984 when you resigned.”
Williams resigned from her position as Miss America 1983 and returned her crown after Penthouse magazine obtained nude photos her, which were photographed before she won the pageant, and published them without her consent. Though Williams made the decision to resign, many believed that the organization pressured her to do so.
“Though none of us currently in the organization were involved then, on behalf of today’s organization, I want to apologize to you and to your mother, Miss Helen Williams,” Haskell continued, “I want to apologize for anything that was said or done that made you feel any less than the Miss America you are and the Miss America you always will be.”
Williams graciously accepted Haskell’s apology.
“Thank you so much, Sam,” she said. “So unexpected, but so beautiful. I did as best I could during my reign as Miss America in 1983 to 84.”
Black girls across the nation rejoiced in 1983, when Vanessa Williams was the first African American woman to win the Miss America pageant.
Later, their joy was dashed when Williams became the first woman to resign her crown after nude photos were printed in Penthouse magazine without her consent.
In an interview with People the next year, Williams described the experience and how she felt “betrayed and violated like I had been raped,” when the pictures finally surfaced.
She received very little support. But 32 years later, she’ll return to the stage as the head judge for the Miss America pageant.
But it’s not without a bit of controversy.
According to TMZ, executives for Miss America are preparing for the show in a bit of a panic.
Apparently, they invited Williams to judge the pageant under the impression that she would apologize to them for the nude photo scandal and she agreed to come back believing that they would apologize to her for their handling of it.
Sources told TMZ that Williams only agreed to appear because she was going to be the recipient of an apology and would be presented with a new crown.
But the discrepancy came to the light on Wednesday when the Miss America execs met with Williams. They said that they thought she would apologize first and then they would give her the crown.
As of yesterday, the two sides had yet to come to an agreement.
But since the organization has already released promotional videos featuring Williams’ image, it’s Miss America who’s feeling the most heat.
Vanessa Williams should absolutely not, under no circumstances apologize for this incident. If you read her interview with People from 1984, she explicitly states that she was reassured time and time again that those pictures would never see the light of day. And since there are no documents proving that she provided her consent, she is the real victim in this situation. As such, she should never apologize for her own violation.
If anything, the fact that Miss America, an organization that claims to care about the rights of women, cannot support Williams in this incident, is pretty telling. They need to apologize for not supporting her as they should have when she was violated all those years ago.
Vanessa Williams will certainly remember this Independence Day for years to come.
According to People, Williams, 52, and her fiancé, Jim Skrip, quietly exchanged vows Saturday in front of family and friends.
The actress first confirmed her engagement back in September during an appearance on “The Queen Latifah Show.”
“I got engaged,” the beauty gushed to Latifah. “I have had a lot of good things happen … I just got engaged a couple of weeks ago. It has been a lot of blessings.”
In April, we were able to catch up with Williams, who gave us the scoop on her new beau and their unlikely first encounter on an Egypt-bound boat.
“I was on vacation with my daughter going to Egypt, cruising on the Nile. I wasn’t looking for anything,” said Williams, who had been divorced for ten years when her path crossed Skrip’s. “I found a hometown guy from my mom’s town in Buffalo, New York and started a conversation.”
The “Royal Pains” actress was also sure to encourage women in their 50s who still hope to find love.
“There’s always hope. You never know what you’ll find and where you’ll find it,” she said. “Don’t ever lose hope. I’m 52, and now I’ve got a new beginning. It happens when you’re not looking for it! Just trust and believe.”
This is Williams’ third marriage. She has four children from her previous marriages to actor Rick Foxx and Ramon Hervey II.
Vanessa Williams is over 50 and fabulous! The beautiful 51-year-old actress–who was recently nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for her role in The Trip to Bountiful–continues to be an inspiration for many with her longstanding career in Hollywood. Between motherhood and managing her fruitful career the mother of four still continues to age gracefully. Williams shared some beauty tips with Essence.com:
“My first product is the star of my line, my anti-aging wrinkle fighter and my (until now) best kept secret. I’ve been using it for years and it’s made a huge difference in keeping my skin ageless. It’s called the Re-Start Skin Serum. It’s currently available on QVC.com. It includes Dermaxyl, which is a patented oligopeptide complex, Hyaluronic Filling Spheres and antioxidants Vitamin A, C, E and Retinol. These work in combination to oxygenate and moisturize the skin. They also help improve the visible signs of premature aging by smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”
Beauty aside, Williams’ style is just as admirable. When you click continue, you’ll be able to few some of her most stylish looks in recent times.
Celebrity Glam Mom: Vanessa Williams
We can’t lie some of the handsome men on this list we wish we could have seen take it off as for these other stars who stripped and dropped it well…
Naked: 15 Stars Who Took It ALL Off
New Jack City came on VH1 recently, and I was engrossed in it as though I was watching the film for the very first time. I think a lot of people feel that way about the film, because it was just that entertaining. Watching it for the umpteenth time made me wonder: Where has the cast gone? Where are they now?
I did some digging, and here’s what they’re looking like and up to now:
Snipes played the hell out of drug kingpin Nino Brown, and we all know that the ’90s were good, if not great, to his career. But everything came to a halt when he spent three years in prison for tax evasion charges (starting in 2010). But since he was released earlier this year, he’s been back to work like he never left. He was just in the Expendables 3 and is about to be in the film, Chronicles of the Mayan Tunnel.
Love has no color, no age, and is it limitless?
As the saying goes, love has no limits, and love certainly has no color. Women over the age of 50 are getting engaged and marrying their lovers daily. We are also seeing more interracial relationships and marriages over the age of 50.
There is something about African-American women and women of color that just look good, period! White men have always found women of color attractive. Yes! I said it! I tested the swirl out many times and to this day white men still peek-a-boo me. I’m over 50, single and who knows? I practice what I preach; I am staying open for the possibilities. Yes, baby dah-ling.
Actress Vanessa Williams just turned 50, got engaged to Jim Scrip and is performing in a Broadway show. She announced her engagement on the ‘Queen Latifah Show’–and as usual, “looking fabulous dah-ling.” Vanessa is a twice-divorced mother of four, and a triple threat: actor, recording artist and dancer.
Sources say she met him (Jim Scrip) in Egypt while vacationing with her daughter. He is from Buffalo, New York and well, he looks white
I refuse to wear the “over-the-hill” badge. Fifty is the half way mark up a steep mountain with pure oxygen. The age experience when embraced with wisdom is powerful. Rethinking and reinventing ourselves on the top of the mountain is refreshing. With age our confidence is the driving force of our past experience and we keep it moving and remain opened to love.
Finding a soul mate is wonderful and love has no color, only preference. Sex is the intimate expression of the love language, and discovering it again over 50 is simply blissful! Wouldn’t you agree?
In his online article “10 Tips for Better Sex After 50” , Dr. Northrup states: “Sex in the second half of life is fascinating. Many women in their 60’s and 70’s are having the best sex of their lives, whereas some women over the age of 50 feel that they’ve lost their libido. Everyone thinks the reason is because they’re going through menopause, but that’s not it. The truth is the old way of having sex leads many women to lose their libido. They just need to rethink their own brainwashing!”
Wow, I get that! Getting sexually creative can be exhilarating. There is nothing wrong for asking what you want and finding the spots of pleasure for you and your partner. There are plenty of resourceful ways to reaching new sensual heights over 50, embracing love and getting married.
I want to wish Vanessa Williams and Jim Scrip all the love and sex in the world, congratulations!
There is a long list of cliché’s that describe the beauty, hues, and skin of African-American women. One of those cliché’s is,” black don’t crack”. In a 2013 article, music icon Tina Turner who was 73 at the time married her longtime beau Erwin Bach. Tina’s described her interracial relationship as, “a wonderful place to be.”
Like Vanessa Williams, these women are ageless, beautiful and joining the ranks of interracial love. The beauty of finding and falling in love over 50 is for everyone. You don’t have to be a wealthy actor or a billionaire; love will find your openness. We were built to have a choice in choosing a partner or not. Having a mate, companion, lover or however you choose to label it, is a wonderful place to be as Tina put it.
The saying, age 50 and over, does not mean, it is over. Age gets better with time. If you find yourself still swooning, drooling, and can still fantasize about a hot night in between the sheets, then you are half way there baby! Whooo…there is nothing like a sizzling night, or day, or morning making love with someone that turns you up. Love-making releases the chemicals that lower stress and boost mood.
Discovering love over 50 can be the elixir to greater health and vitality. Vanessa Williams is simply fabulous dah-ling and is not shy at telling it her own classy style. So let’s keep love moving and remember…we get better with age, and love has no color and no age, it’s limitless.