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Strength and grace: Vanessa Williams

by Miki Saxon

I have to confess that I’m as far from a pop culture vulture as you can get and movies aren’t my thing, so normally I don’t watch the Academy Awards. But tonight I was working and left the TV on for background noise. There wasn’t much choice so I had on the Academy Awards and they segued into an hour of Barbara Walters’ interviews when I wasn’t looking.

The interview with Vanessa Williams caught my interest.

Hard to believe that 20 years have past since she was forced to give up her Miss America crown because of nude pictures taken several years before she won.

Williams was devastated, but chose to focus forward instead of backward.

“Today, Vanessa has not only has 14 Grammy Nominations, won over 30 awards from things such as Soul Train awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and the Billboard Music Awards (to name a few), but she has also conquered “The Big Screen” with movies such as Soul Food, Eraser and Dance With Me. She has overcome the TV screen with made-for-tv-movies such as Bye Bye Birdie and The Courage to Love. Lastly, she has made her life long dream come true and performed on none other than Broadway in Kiss of the Spider Woman.”

Williams currently plays one of the most delicious bitches ever to grace the small screen in the hit comedy Ugly Betty.

She’s a philanthropist, “embracing and supporting such issues as education, homelessness, abuse, women’s issues and health concerns, AIDS and anything having to do with children.”

Her intelligence and wit show clearly in numerous interviews—as when asked what she thought about being a sex-symbol she replied, “Oh well, I’m happy how my parents’ genes have worked out.”

Tonight, Walters asked if she would have done things differently in 1989 and Williams responded that she wouldn’t have entered the pageant. Nothing about not taking the pictures, just that she would have avoided the conflict.

Williams has displayed strength and grace under fire in all her efforts and is proof that even a traumatic setback doesn’t have to stop you unless you allow it to.

Do you have a strength and grace story to share?

Your comments—priceless

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2 Responses to “Strength and grace: Vanessa Williams”
  1. Vaness MorrisNo Gravatar Says:

    Hey Vanessa, (another Vanessa here). I’m doing some research on our name and was wondering if you know any history behind it. Mine was from my great-grandmother, but she’s passed on now so I can’t ask her where it came from. Thanks!

  2. Miki SaxonNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Vaness, I’m sorry, I was writing about Vanessa Williams and can’t help you with your query.

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