In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Grateful and Guilty.”
I am an enlightened, socially responsible woman who regularly watches Mrs. Wendy Williams-Hunter on “The Wendy Williams Show” in all of her gossip-infested wonder.
I rarely agree with or believe everything that comes from Mrs. Hunter’s mouth, but I am intrigued by her. While I am too young to have experienced her during her infamous radio days, I know her as the woman she is now. Wendy Williams is a successful talk show host who, unlike many others, has survived the post-Oprah talk show musical chairs. With her cotton-candy colored studio audience, Mrs. Hunter has captivated the attention of a multi-generational viewership. Even those who criticize her tune into her whenever scandal strikes Hollywood. While I am intrigued by who Mrs. Hunter is, the reason I am thanking her is for who she is not.
When it comes to media, extra pressure is placed on minority women to uphold a certain image. They are expected to uplift and encourage younger women, to nurture them, and mother them. “Why isn’t Wendy uplifting Black women?” “She talks too much trash.” “She is a disgrace ”, or the ever-popular dig calling her “Wendell Williams.” The criticism faced by Mrs. Hunter is endless and most regarding her gossip is valid. However, she refuses to fit into the mold. The mold that says that any woman of color who makes it in media must be Iyanla or Oprah. We must be “magical negroes” who sprout proverbs of hope to the downtrodden, and spend our time endlessly helping the next generation of young women of color. There is nothing wrong if that is your personal aspirations, but that is not all there is to us. Wendy Williams allows us to be human.
Mrs. Hunter encourages her viewers to “Say it like you mean it” meaning that they do not have to shy away from speaking their minds and can stop being the perfect diplomats that women are expected to be. She has not shied away from speaking about graduating low in her high-school class, being a reformed party girl, or her past drug use. Sometimes she gets the names wrong, talks too much, makes a fashion or wig mistake, but she is who she is. Instead of asking Mrs. Hunter to mother the next generation, I accept her for who she is-an entertaining woman.
While I do not always agree with her actions or her gossipy ways, I thank Wendy Williams for breaking the mold. Watching “The Wendy Williams Show” is my guilty pleasure. To those who disagree, I have three words to say to you:
How you doin’ ?