Vanessa Williams Talks Botox & Motherhood

How does mother of 4 and Emmy-nominated actress Vanessa Williams balance the demands of her career &  job as a Mom?  This month Vanessa Williams graces the cover of  Working Mother magazine and shares a refreshingly candid chat on how she’s managed to work for 27 years in a business known for craving the flavor of the month, her support network of friends and family, why she doesn’t care if people know she uses Botox, and her most important lesson as a working mom.

On her beauty regimen:  “The latest thing I’m into is Botox, which I’ve been doing every six months. I do it lightly because I want to have an expressive face that has movement. [. . .] My goal is to look like me. I have four kids. I’m proud of my age. I just don’t want to look tired or angry. [. . .] I’m one of those women who love to give help and hints to other women. I bring in my favorite products and love turning people on to new things. Women should share!”

On her role as mom to Melanie, 22, Jillian, 20, Devin, 17, and Sasha Gabriella, 10:
“I became a mom when I was young, so I’ve always had my career along with my children. [. . .] Just eight weeks after I’d had my second child, I had to go to England to promote my album for ten days. So I dragged my breast pump through airport security. I was so weepy to be leaving my newborn. [. . .] Maybe ten years later, I’d have said no to the trip. As you get older, you get stronger and more confident, and you get more accustomed to saying no and to knowing your boundaries. Things change as you mature. But you still try to do everything you can to be with your kids. I remember flying from Tokyo to New York for a confirmation party for my daughter, and then back to Tokyo to perform. But you can only do so much, and you have to forgive yourself.”

On playing conniving magazine editor Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty and hearing that Ugly Betty wasn’t picked up for another season:  “She’s been a joy to bring to life. I’ve loved getting dressed à la Wilhelmina and pushing the limits in terms of extremes for a severe, no-nonsense businesswoman. [. . .] Wilhelmina has been a hard role to put away because I love her strength and, of course, loved every witty line the writers gave me. We were all surprised by the news.  We were shooting on location in the East Village when our executive producer told us that the network canceled us.

On staying in the entertainment business for over twenty-five years: “I’m willing to take chances and be adventurous. If a project sounds interesting and I think it will be challenging, I’m willing to take the venture on. It’s not only about being open to new opportunities and saying yes, but also about being prepared. I’m lucky enough to have parents who prepared me for the entertainment industry. They’re both music teachers, and I grew up learning how to sing, play piano and dance. That’s helped me land a lot of different types of roles.”

On how her parents and friends have helped care for her kids:
“My parents have taught my kids music. They’ve been there for special events and performances. They’ve helped raise my kids. I also have Kathy, a high school friend. Our dads were volunteer fire commissioners together. When my kids were young, I had trouble finding a nanny who could travel as much as I needed her to for my career. Once when I was staying with my parents, my mom suggested that Kathy, who lived five houses down, babysit when I had to go to Philly. She’s been with us for 19 years, for all four kids. It really does take a village.”

On motherhood’s most important lesson:
“My biggest lesson is to surrender, to stop trying to control. You never know what life has to offer. Yes, have a plan, but also be open to the possibility that you don’t know what’s next. The best things that have happened in my life have been complete surprises.  [. . .] My advice: Let go of the wheel. Let life happen. And when you get an opportunity, go for it.”

5 thoughts on “Vanessa Williams Talks Botox & Motherhood”

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