On Being Natural and Black: An Open Letter to Wendy Williams

Dear Wendy Williams,

I’m days late with this and, in the Twitter world, nearly a year late but the Goddess Sekhmet is seething and I have to let you know what is on her (i.e. my) mind.

Warrior Goddess Sekhmet h/t Sodahead.com

I just caught wind of what you said about Viola Davis wearing her hair natural on the red carpet for the Oscars and such (thanks to Madame Noire and MzPaparazzi for the photo!). Apparently, you thought she looked “like room 222″ (i.e. like a man) and did not like her style. So, you felt the need to open your ignorant, self-hating mouth and express yourself. Did you REALLY say that natural hair is “not formal?” I’m aware you spend most of your time putting other people down, Wendy. And I’m aware that the reason why you even have a career is because you trade on negativity, you spent much of your time trying to forcibly out gay members of the hip hop community with your consummate “How you doin’?” references and, of course, your greatest (and worst) hit, the one that gave you the crossover attention and acceptance you were looking for—your interview with Whitney Houston.

I saw you crying, Wendy, and I found your tears and your discussion largely inauthentic. I mean, I believed your tears; but I felt that you were crying more for yourself than for Whitney or her family. You thought you two would be chopping it up later on in life, eh? If you felt so bad about what happened with her and you could relate so well because you are a recovering cocaine / crack addict yourself, why not just apologize to Whitney Houston and her family members after you inked that contract for your new TV show? If you had any integrity, whatsoever, that is what you would have done. But you don’t, which leads me to your next shameful act—shading Viola Davis.

Is This You THEN, Wendy? Do you have any idea how beautiful you USED to be?

Is This You NOW, Wendy?!!

Are Those Real, Wendy??!!

How About Those, Wendy? Real?! And the Hair?

From Afar You Look "Okay," Wendy

Take a look in the mirror, Wendy. I mean, really. From your fake teeth to your fake breasts to your apparently liposuctioned belly to your hideous, tumbleweed horsehairhat that sits atop your head, what made you think you had even the inkling of space to speak negatively about Viola Davis on the red carpet for the Academy Awards? Or ever in life?

You've got to be Seen in Green!

I mean, really, there she is with her body, chiseled, glowing, bright, brown and beautiful. A smile that makes the sun jealous. A dress borne of the fabulousness of The Wiz. And hair. Hair just as beautiful and curly and fine and nappy and wonderful. Viola Davis was THE Emerald City, bejeweled and just as fine as can be. You were supposed to look upon her and be renewed, as Mari Evans would say. You should have seen her and felt your soul jump. I mean, so many other people did, why not you, Wendy?

I’ll tell you why… because you are a bastion of self-hatred, that’s why, and it shows itself in every way on you, physically, spiritually, emotionally. I’m rarely tuned into you but I have seen your show a few times and, according to those who watch more regularly, you don’t ever compliment a Black woman’s natural beauty. You are always fawning over some White woman. How very telling, Wendy. They say you are ageist, you are constantly body-shaming people and frequently have something negative to say about women, in particular.

Viola, Gorgeous!

You set folks back, Wendy. You should really be ashamed of yourself. YOU are just like that one or two family members that tells a Black women who JUST went natural something negative about her hair, trying to draw in her horizon and send her back to the depths of perm hell and financial instability. We’re not here for your self-hatred, Wendy.

If you didn’t like Viola Davis’s hair, you should have just complimented her flawless style and said nothing about her hair. Your silence should have been the minimal amount you could have done simply for being a Black woman growing up in a society that is constantly telling us we are not beautiful “enough,” our bodies are not thin “enough” and our hair is not long or shiny or straight “enough.” You know better. I’m not gonna let you front. I’m not gonna let you cook on that one.

I did call you a “stupid ass” on my Twitter page but I apologize for that because you are not stupid. I mean, you say stupid things (like “natural is not formal”) and you most certainly act like an ass, quite often; but when it’s all said and done, you’re not stupid. However, PERHAPS you are unaware of the damage you’ve done, so let me share with you:

Gorgeous Girls. All Natural.

1. Black GIRLS still feel very unpretty and uncomfortable about their hair because of the entire industry. I know you didn’t create this mess but you DO perpetuate it. As gorgeous as Beyonce and Tyra and so many other Sistas are, they are constantly sending bad messages about Black hair to Black girls and women because they are rarely seen with their natural, God-given hair. This needs to change. You know why? Because self-esteem matters. You know this, Wendy, as you are lacking so much of it. Tyra did give us a glimpse one day, remember?

After many years, here I am!

2. Black girls tend not to swim or participate in sports or physical education at school because of their hair. They’re missing out on all of the FUN they could be having, too!

Having Fun, Swimming!

Black women tend to do the same. This means they don’t get to release endorphins and get that euphoric feeling to deal with their daily stressors in life. It means the cortisol builds up in their bellies and they find themselves overweight. It leads to us having disproportionate amounts of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and more—and we die, Wendy. We die. Disproportionately. Were you unaware? Are you that ignorant, Wendy? You an accomplice, Wendy?

Whatchu Talmbout, Wendy?

Some of my favorite bloggers, like Erika Kendal from A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss have addressed this issue, as has Afrobella, Black Girls Run and many, many more.

Black Girls Run Who Choose Health Over Hair!

Scholars have addressed this issue, specifically about Black girls and “minority women.” Did you know that less than 30% of us exercise enough due to issues around our hair?

"You getting in?" "Oh yeah, girl!" I'm not allowed to listen to Miss Wendy's Show!

Even the U.S. Surgeon General (a Black woman, by the way) has weighed-in on it, telling us not to let hair keep us from getting to the gym.

The culture that perpetuates our need to have hair a certain way and not to “sweat it out” (i.e. let it get nappy) is the type of negative attitude you perpetuated. What are you going to do, Wendy? You have perm juice and Mr. Ed shavings on your hands.

"Your hair is like Cheetos!" --- @ChescaLeigh

3. Black girls who decide to go natural years later in life, have to combat decades worth of negative talk (such as yours) and imagery. It takes a lot to “go natural,” as they say. The last thing a Sista needs is someone like you (or an ignorant family member) to hear some negative comment about themselves or, in turn, about Viola Davis when she hits the red carpet—as SOON as they decide to take a leap of faith to showcase their natural hair and just be more comfortable in their own skin. This was a journey for Viola and it’s a journey for many women. Had they listened to you and those who think like you, they may have never taken the leap. Thankfully, Viola Davis has a wonderful husband (named Julius) who not only supported her decision but encouraged it. He’s a man. He thought she looked like one thousand rays of sunshine!

The Emerald City

Kudos to him. Shame on you, Wendy!

Now, if you were that ignorant, now you know. And I’m certainly not the only one to say these things to you or your team over there. Get it together. You owe Black girls and women and any girl who struggles with not being the (white) standard of beauty an apology. You owe reparations, Wendy, so here’s what I want you to do:

1. APOLOGIZE to Viola Davis and anyone within earshot. Viola Davis did not and does not look like a man. I know women who are TOTALLY BALD and who are so BAD and BEAUTIFUL, they would put you to shame, Wendy.

WENDYYYY!!! Don't make my cheek bones slice you!

What, Wendy? My hair's shorter than my man's, so what do you mean?

Whatchu Say, Mrs. Williams?!

I'm White, Bald & Still Beautiful, Wendy. SMH.

TO. SHAME. So, you should apologize for using your bully pulpit to express your ignorant, self-hating opinion when you could have kept quiet or just said, “Wow, Viola Davis is brave for showcasing her natural hair.” Even that would have been okay. But that’s not you, is it?

"Ladies, you are beautiful in ANY style!"

2. SHOWCASE some gorgeous, natural hairstyles and stylists on your show. Help to heal and encourage millions of teens and women who watch your show. Nobody’s hating on your right to wear what you want; but the fact that you felt the need to be negative about a Black woman wearing her God-given hair and skin is just ridiculous. I’m so mad at you while I’m still writing this but I’m gonna give you a chance to redeem yourself.

What, Wendy? Girl, Please.

3. STOP saying ANYTHING negative about a Black woman who showcases her natural beauty, unless it’s to further increase her natural beauty better. For example, that wig that Gabby was wearing during the Oscars? No, Ma’am. Feel free to address that and refer her to a natural hair stylist. Don’t tell a Sista to get plastic surgery (like you), don’t tell her to change her hair (like you) and don’t tell her to change anything that would require more than a change of clothes or healthy eating. As a Black woman on television, that’s the least you can do is NOT say anything negative, whether you like it or not.

"Sis, you know I would never shade you for going natural or say you look like a man, right?" "Aw, Bey, I know and thank you for saying so!"

There’s a HUGE #NaturalHair community on Twitter, on Facebook, in the Blogs and on YouTube. Find them, Wendy. They will list themselves here as well. Look up Noliwe Rooks. Watch Chris Rock’s documentary on “Good Hair.” It has its issues but you are so far gone, it will help you.

When you know better, you do better, and NOW, you know.

But if you ever, EVER come at a Sista wearing her natural hair as her natural self again, you will incur my and many other person’s wrath, so be careful, as I’m not a fan of your industry, anyway.

Now, apologize to Viola Davis and Whitney Houston’s family and have a nice day. Tweet me and let me know when you’re having “Natural Hair Day” on your show, mm-kay?

Alright then.

Signed,

Naturally Yours,

@DrGoddess

p.s. This Sista put. it. DOWN! Beautiful!

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21 Responses to On Being Natural and Black: An Open Letter to Wendy Williams

  1. PBG

    *THUNDEROUS APPLAUSE*

    Thank you for checking Wendy on her bull! I found her statements about the incredible Viola Davis’ natural hair on the red carpet deplorable. Wendy needed her wig snatched and you left her standing there dumb with her stocking cap exposed! Good!

    • Nettie

      I’m so glad that others agree; Wendy Williams puts down other black women. She is so negative and vicious, like a jezebel. Wendy seldom gives other black women compliments. This signifies she has some insecurities about herself. She also “dissed” Beyonce and Oprah on live TV. She should check herself, before she wrecks herself.

    • Vonda

      I watch Wendy everyday, but I wasn’t aware of all the things that I have read about her. I am 54, black, beautiful and have my natural black hair and wearing it proudly. My black is beautiful. I have one question that I want someone to answer if you know the truth, Wendy W, is really a woman? She looks that of a man once in life.

  2. Thank you for breaking it down for Wendy as she seems to misunderstand the power of her celebrity. In my opinion, her show is beneath contempt exactly because of this proclivity to malign & denigrate, thinly disguised as gaiety. It is nothing more than self-serving and I NEVER watch her show.

    That she should speak of talented and beautiful Viola as she did speaks volumes about her.

    You even taught me a few things that I definitely needed to know on my road to fit & fabulous :).

    I love intelligent, progressive Sisters who seek to uplift, educate & empower. Take a bow (or curtsey of you prefer lol).

  3. OMa

    Oh my, I thought she, Wendy was really a man.
    Thanks for your great post.

  4. Elwin Green

    I don’t watch Ms. Williams, and didn’t know about her comments, so thank you for this piece. It inspired me to write my own response as a Black man: http://bekitembasgut.blogspot.com/2012/03/on-magazine-ads-afros-olivia-and-wendy.html

  5. Saleem Journey

    *throws chuuuurrrccchhhh towel* WELL…….

  6. iCandy

    I love you Dr. Goddess… I wish you hadnt even bothered. I’m mad this even made you angry enough to type this up.

    I’d suggest we begin by throwing away our TV and stop watching these debasing TV shows. Its not just Wendy. Its all the trashy black TV black-america seems to be addicted to.

    This is what erodes our pride and blurs our identity. Thats the real issue. This is why our black female celebrities never look natural, always super-fake and drag-queen-like-glamazons.

    Rihanna being the rare exception, she actually scales it down once in a while. Its all fear and insecurity and lack of identity. They all look like each other for a sense of black-beauty and belonging… nobody said it was pretty, not even on Tyra IMO it gets even more caricatured on Wendy and Lil Kim.. the madness has got to stop. The best thing is to show them how its done… lets begin to identify more with Viola than even caring about what a no-brain like Wendy has to say.. wouldnt have even known she said this had it not been for this open letter and like I said, I wish you hadn’t bothered.

  7. Well..you broke it down so that it is forever BROKE. Wendy is a clown, yo!

  8. Absolutely!! Viola Davis did not and does not look like a man. I, for one, currently rock my natural hair much like women, Grace Jones to Solange. IMO, when individuals like Wendy Williams choose to permanently masquerade themselves to look like someone other, one has already cut themselves off from that which is natural and authentic re: looks. Unfortunately, Ms. Williams did not heed an old adage… when you have nothing good to say, keep your mouth shut.

    Thank you Dr. Goddess for addressing the issue.

  9. Arris

    Yes Thank u so much for saying what needs to be said to that Everyday wig wearing man!PLEASE CONTINUE TO CHECK WENDY ON HER HATE FOR BLACK WOMEN! I believe she hates on natural hair because she doesn’t have any of her own. She claims to have it but never reveals it. What ever the case maybe, she needs to stop the negative comments on our sista’s before someone boycots her butt off the air. Thank you once again!

  10. jessica

    Thank you so much for putting Mr. Wendy williams in his place. Viola Davis was very beautiful and she is putting it down for us Natural sistas. Anybody that is not secure with themselves are gonna try to put down others to make them feel good about themselves which is not classy and it draws bad attention for themselves. SO WENDY KEEP HATING BECAUSE WE ARE JUST GETTING STARTED!!

  11. suzy

    Wendy Williams is a horrible hateful person people should boycott her show

  12. Frank Willbright

    Nicely said, Goddess…

    I see you still have your same style from back in the AFROAM-L days! Great to hear it. The Internet is huge…but small too. Funny.

    Don’t be too hard on Wendy. She is suffering under the towering weight of her own ignorance…that and all that horsehair. And at the end of the day, two things will happen…1) she will know. (Understand) 2) She will grow. (as a person)

    Until then, she will just have to remain who she is. But hopefully, ever now and again, somebody will come along and break it all …the…way…down for her like you just did.

    Peace

  13. Carrie

    I am an older white woman. This Wendy man is so disgusting. Who believes he is a she and married to a he with a boy child? His huge body and bald head – ha – what right does he have to criticize women? Has he had his dick removed yet? Off the air witch, you are not worthy creepy old man to even try to mock Viola Davis the gorgeous talented WOMAN she is. Sorry you were not born a woman you vicious dirty snake. You f’ed over Whitney now you are going for the rest. Goodbye soon you will be exposed. What a fun day that will be.

  14. Kazzie

    How can a black woman be so fake. Why wear a straight wig on Afro hair. Be how God made you. I hate that fake hair. She is ashamed of who she is. She has had a nose job, her boobs are far too big and she is so masculine and gossips too much. With all the nice products that are on the market today to moisturise Afro hair, there is no excuse not to have nice Afro hair on show. What is she ashamed of?

  15. Louis

    Ms. Williams is despicable. Viola Davis is and always will be a beauty no matter how she wears her hair. There are too few black women that get a voice in this country to not be supporting each other. I am a white gay man and when another gay man does us an injustice we boycott! Women must be loud and vocal. Refuse to go backwards. If Wendy wants to look her way that is fine but she could at least try supporting other women more. Sad. She could try, in the very least, just keeping her big mouth shut. Peace.

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