going with plastic

Wendy Williams on Why Black Women ‘Will Never Go for Any Kind of Surgery’

Wendy Williams
Wendy Williams Photo: Andy Kropa/Getty Images

When it comes to celebrities talking about their plastic surgery, it’s always a damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don’t situation. Admitting they’ve “gotten work done” incites harsh judgement and even anger, but lying about it is dishonest and won’t keep people from speculating. But plastic surgery is only getting more and more widespread as techniques improve, so it’s a rich topic — particularly with highly visible celebrities who are willing to talk about it (a rare thing). TV host Wendy Williams has always been refreshingly frank about her surgeries (as well as her extensive wig collection), and for xoJane’s “makeunder” feature, she was as candid as ever. Perhaps most interesting were her comments about people who look down on her for getting surgery, particularly black women:

They are jealous. Because if I said to that person, “I got the doctor and I’m going to pay for it. Choose three things you want to do,” believe me, they would get it done. They are very jealous and scared. Scared of what their other friends would say, or to break out of the box and be different. And being black? Ugh, please. My people will not go for any kind of surgery. We are supposed to be natural. Ugh, whatever.

On her wigs: 

It’s like a 50/50 thing with women. Some woman prefer natural and then the other 50% prefer something fake going on. And for me, fake includes a color. Blonde is not natural in most of our background’s rainbow. 

Full blown wigs are looked at as the worst, in terms of hair type fakery. Getting pieces is the first line of acceptability. Then getting a full weave is a second line of acceptability. Then a wig is something that is acceptable for your old aunt, but not for a modern girl. If you do wear a wig, everybody wants you to take off the wig and show your hair. That’s what Tyra did on her show years ago. She did it because she was running out of ideas trying to shock her audience. They always ask me that, too.

The reason I wear the wigs is because my hair is naturally thin. And I have thyroid disease which I was diagnosed with 12 years ago. And thyroid disease thins your natural hair and your eyebrows … That’s why I wear wigs. Because the hair I would want is just not what is growing out of my head. If I was a librarian with a smaller personality, then I would keep the hair that I have.

It’s a good point that plenty more women would probably get plastic surgery if they weren’t afraid of being judged for it by their communities (not to mention if they had the time and money available, of course). We can probably all think of someone who’d love to get a nose job, say, but just can’t bear the thought of everyone whispering about it afterwards. 

Williams: Why Black Women Avoid Plastic Surgery