When Wendy Williams was 13-years-old, she stood 5’11’’ and wore a size 11 shoe. She also loved hot pink.
“I remember being bigger, taller and blacker than everyone in school,” she wrote in her fist book Wendy’s Got Heat. “I was the outcast.” Today, Williams, 48, is in the midst of a fourth season of her nationally syndicated talk show, “The Wendy Williams Show,” which airs live in Miami on WSVN at 10 am Monday through Friday, and she is set to release her sixth book in May, Ask Wendy, a longer format of a segment on her show, which advises fans about anything from what to do with a cheating partner to how to get that b!t*h of a best friend to pay back the money she borrowed.
“It isn’t till you get older, if you’re fortunate, that you really come into your own and you don’t mind sharing tips with other people,” Williams says in an interview with Miami.com. The daytime talk show host is also doing what she can to showcase the other side of black. She regularly books unfamiliar guests to daytime, such as rapper 2 Chainz; on the first episode back from hiatus, she interviewed S. Epatha Merkerson. The 60-year-old played a slave in Lincoln, a film directed by Steven Spielberg.
“It’s important for me to show my black in a positive light,” she says.
Williams grew up in the solid middle class community of Ocean Township, New Jersey. She considers herself lucky to have parents who have been married for 54 years and who have double masters. Her brother and sister are also college-educated.
“When possible, she brings her parents on the show, too. “Our portrayal to other races is that we are raised by wolves and not by a mom and a dad,” she says. “America doesn’t see enough of that.”
I met with Williams in her office, which is tucked behind the audience. She just finished taping her live show and After the Show, a web segment where she speaks directly to her online fans about anything she pleases. She made her way from a desk that was piled high in a controlled chaos of cute tchotchkes, stacks of paperwork and gifts like the perfumes left behind earlier that morning by Ivanka Trump.
As she made her way to greet me, she used her barefoot to push aside some clutter on the ground. Far from the days of being made fun of for sounding like a white girl and for having big feet, today, Williams could say, “but look at me now.” Instead, she just smiles. You are, after all, in her ever-expanding empire of the Wendy Williams experience.
Following her May release of Ask Wendy, the New York Times best-selling author plans to take her book tour through South Florida where her family lives. In June, she releases her wig line. Then in July, she will release a line of home accessories. She is dabbling in acting, too. Last February, Williams played a news reporter in a Law and Order episode that was based on Rihanna’s and Chris Brown’s troubled relationship. Wendy disclosed that she is currently reviewing a script, which happens to be sitting in front of her, but she remains tight lipped about the details. Her new production company, which she runs with her husband, has partnered with the Oxygen network to create non-fiction programming.
She has a lot going on, and explains that being a talk show host is first and foremost.
“I am not a role model. I’ve got my warts and my demons,” she laughs. “But,”
It is this “but” that has consistently distinguished Williams in life and in the media. It is this “but” that keeps fans following her every word. After conquering radio, and now, on her way to becoming the it girl in TV, it is as if Williams is telling the world, but you haven’t seen anything yet.