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