Vanessa Williams is in the fifth decade of her life. Yet, she still knows how to rock a bikini like someone 30 years her junior. Ironically, the former Miss America pageant winner bemoaned wearing two-piece swimwear on the first day of her new television chat show.
Vanessa Williams has the lead role in a new VH1 production that’s set to debut next week. The 54-year-old former model-turned-actress stars alongside Chloe Bridges, Camille Guaty, Tichina Arnold and Fiona Gubelmann in Daytime Divas.
The upcoming show is an adaptation of Star Jones’ bestselling book, “Satan’s Sisters,” which is inspired by the real-life TV daytime talk show, The View. Jones, 55, is one of the original co-hosts of the show (997 to 2006).
Vanessa plays lead co-host, Maxine Robinson, in “Divas” and was recently seen on set filming the first episode. She and the panel of women appear in “The Lunch Hour” and chat about “bravely taking back the beach” with a gutsy move: flaunting their beach bodies in sexy bikinis, as told by TooFab.
During the action sequence, Vanessa Williams’ character is confident in her curves and boldly showcases her curvy figure in a floral two-piece bikini. However, during a chat in between takes, Vanessa let on that she was rather uncomfortable putting her body on display.
“It’s awful. The only person who probably didn’t have a problem was Chloe, who’s like 22 and crazy body and was eating waffles in-between takes from craft services.”
Although Vanessa was modest about the bikini shoot, fans on social media had other thoughts. A large number of readers begged to differ and applauded Williams’ tantalizing body.
Angelo H wrote, “She’s still gorgeous, and natural!!!! Nothing, but respect towards her.”
Youalreadyknow123 wrote, “Not only is she beautiful, but I love how she had no problem complimenting the 22 yr. old who does look amazing also but she did her thing and has a very healthy attitude about aging. I love that. Kim Z.. Whatever her last name is, that’s how you accept aging gracefully.”
While Vanessa downplayed her timeless enviable bikini frame, she admitted that it goes with the territory. In the end, the job of acting involves the “good” with the “bad” at times, and one must be willing to weather discomfort when duty calls.
“That was the first scene that we shot, so we had network and Sony there and the writers and producers and stuff,” Williams added. “It was definitely not a comfortable day to start off the show, but it shows what it’s like to do daytime. Everybody’s gotta do it and shows the attitudes of getting the show done, who’s complaining, who’s whining, who goes for it.”
Vanessa took it all in stride and even offered a teaser of Daytime Divas. Williams says that the show is chock-full of topics that tow lines at times. Apparently, some people will applaud it for it’s timeless approach to parody and real issues. Others may find the discussions controversial and sensitive.
Vanessa Williams has come a long way since her reign as Miss America ended suddenly in 1983. As the first African American woman to celebrate the milestone, her victory was steeped in controversy when nude photos of Vanessa surfaced.
As a consequence, Williams was compelled to step aside. However, three decades later, the Miss America pageant tried to make amends: it issued Vanessa an apology for the forced resignation.
“According to the Independent, over 30 years later, she returned to the Miss America contest as a judge and helped select the current Miss America, a 21-year-old from Georgia named Betty Cantrell. At the pageant, the executive chairman of Miss America, Sam Haskell, invited Williams onto the stage and offered an apology on behalf of the current Miss America organization.”
It remains to be seen how viewers will judge Vanessa Williams’ new “View”-inspired show. One reader said it well and left many to ponder: Can Vanessa — bikini or not — channel her inner-Barbara, Walters?
“Divas” debuts on June 5 at 10 p.m. EDT. Check your local television listings for more information.
[Featured Image by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for Viacom]