Vanessa Williams Reflects on How She Worked Through Miss America Backlash: ‘I Think Was I Really Centered in Knowing...Who I Am’

Despite the unfair treatment, the Grammy-nominated singer has continued to garner success over the years.

 Vanessa Williams attends Sheen Center presents Vanessa Williams & Friends: thankful for Christmas on November 18, 2019 in New York City.
Vanessa Williams attends Sheen Center presents Vanessa Williams & Friends: thankful for Christmas on November 18, 2019 in New York City.
Photo: John Lamparski for Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (Getty Images)

Emmy-nominated actress Vanessa Williams is a delight onscreen.

Whether she’s calling the shots as a villainous magazine editor-in-chief or playing friend and foe to a handful of Desperate Housewives, Williams has continued to prove time and time again that no matter the obstacle—there’s absolutely no stopping a woman who’s both secure in her talents and secure within herself.

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But don’t just take my word for it. Williams recently echoed similar sentiments in a recent interview with Page Six, where she discussed how exactly she was able to power through the public backlash following the Miss America scandal that emerged after she became the first Black woman to win the crown in 1983.

“I think I was really centered in knowing I know who I am and I’ll get there, and once the dust settles, you’ll see,” she explained in reference to unauthorized nude photos that were published by Penthouse Magazine.“And also distancing [myself] from the two opposite symbols of Miss America and a scandalized beauty queen and me being a normal kid in the middle who was a junior in college.”

Pressure from the pageant powers that be forced Williams to resign her title. Thirty-two years later in 2016, the executive chairman of the Miss America pageant issued a public apology to Williams onstage.

Williams also touched on how raising her three daughters helped her put the pressures of that incident into proper context, noting that seeing them learn the world at age 20 helped her come to terms with just how much she had to deal with during that time, as well.

“Having kids and seeing my kids at the age of 20...and realizing not only was I famous but all the stuff I had to manage and accept and fight through,” she noted.

DISCUSSION

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djl3571

So I feel like basically, she is saying family is what got her through. Family... and faith.