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Thursday, May 03, 2012


Disclosure: I have been compensated for my participation in this BlogHer Book Club discussion, but the opinions expressed are 100% my own.

The name Vanessa Williams has always been familiar to me, but I didn't realize that she's actually just one person. I mean, I kind of thought there was a Vanessa William Beauty Queen, and another Vanessa Williams Actress slash Singer. Even though I knew there was a Vanessa Williams Singer, I had absolutely no idea what she was known for (Pocahontas, anyone?).

Not knowing exactly who she was, I did enjoy reading her book, "You Have No Idea" which she co-authored with her mom, Helen. Vanessa is a born entertainer and it's obvious even in print. She's what my husband refers to as a Drama Girl. Not in the sense that she creates a lot of problems for herself, but in the sense that she grew up in theater. Having been one myself through High School, I get it. Drama Girls are strange. They live a different kind of life. A life that is all about finding the spotlight and getting your big break. You're always hoping to be discovered so you're always trying to prove yourself. Vanessa fits that description perfectly. She is always trying trying trying.

And good for her. She got past being a Beauty Queen. Then she got past being a Beauty Queen Scandal. She didn't let any one label define her or hold her back. While Vanessa's parents didn't always support her decisions, they still supported her. It's interesting to read snippets of Helen's perspective throughout the book; we learn that Vanessa is still surprising her parents and making them proud.

If you ever wanted to learn more about Vanessa Williams Beauty Queen slash Actress slash Singer, then you'll learn it all in this book. It's a quick read, it's funny, it's sad (her father's passing is discussed), and it's frustrating. She isn't afraid to talk about her mistakes or her (many many many) accomplishments with equal attention.

However, if you didn't like Drama Girls in high school (or you weren't one yourself), then you might not enjoy "You Have No Idea." Just a warning.

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