XIOX MAGAZINE XiOX Magazine June Issue 12 Volume 1 - Page 11

V anessa Williams W as born in Millwood, New York, to Helen and Milton Williams, both of whom were music teachers and had a great appreciation for the arts. Vanessa spent her youth dancing and singing on stage. This is where she discovered her love for musical theatre and showcased these talents in school productions at a very young age. By the time she graduated high school, she knew it was not if, but when, she would be on stage. She signed her yearbook, “See you on Broadway.” During the year of 1984, Vanessa began entering beauty contests and she eventually won, Miss New York. Eventually this led her to the stage of Miss America. By winning Miss America, her career was given a boost, as she became the first African-American Miss America. That was an important event for so many. Her reign opened doors and it later became a hurdle for her to overcome, which she did with strength and grace. Many believed that this hurdle would end her career in show business, however they clearly didn’t understand Vanessa’s drive, focus and ultimately that her whole life had prepared her for show business. While this hurdle could have been a stop sign for many, Vanessa Williams is clearly not like everybody! Vanessa is a woman who has been empowered by life’s journey and her strength and her focus are infectious. Interviewing Vanessa was a moment of empowerment, and I am sure she didn’t even realize that her worlds were making such an impact. Photography By Fidel Gonzalez Makeup: Scott Barnes Hair Artist: Frank Galasso Fashion Stylist: Mitch Phillips Styling Assistant: Kami Tafoya Nail Artist: Shirlee Ann Kerr Interview by Erika Lee Set Manager: Joshua McIntyre Retouching: Elena Phzhicova Animal print pant suit - St. John’s, Alexander Wang - camisole Ring with black stone - Rozaliya Jewelry