WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS MAKE LEMONADE
On July 23, 1984, 21-year-old Vanessa Williams was forced to give up her crown — making her both the first Miss America to give up the title — after Penthouse announced that it would publish raunchy photos she had posed for two years earlier while working as a photographer’s assistant. The photographer had assured her at the time, she told People, that the photos were merely silhouettes, in which she’d be unidentifiable, and that they would never leave the studio. TIME reported that the photographer was paid more than Penthouse had ever paid for a photo spread before.
The Miss America title had never been Vanessa’s dream. As a musical theater major at Syracuse University, she’d entered the pageant circuit for practical reasons. She wanted the scholarship money ($25,000) and she wanted the exposure.
While the exposure she got was not the type she wanted, she became a star on her own terms, as a Grammy-nominated singer and successful actress with prominent roles. Although she initially filed a lawsuit against Penthouse and the photographer who’d burned her, she quickly dropped it and forged ahead with her career ambitions to make a name for herself without dragging the scandal along in her wake. She presumed karma would pick up where legal action left off.
Are you catching what I’m throwing? Success is the BEST revenge. And trust me when I tell you the future looks bright. I can’t wait to share the plans. I revealed some of my future plans inside the Lions Not Sheep Coalition. It is a new club (formerly “State of Justice Club”) where I share big picture plans every quarter and celebrate Lifus Day (pronounced “life us”) every month on the 8th day!
HERE’S A FUN VIDEO RESPONSE TO THE UNFAIR DECISION BY THE TEACHABLE PLATFORM