Fantasia on “Wendy Williams”: The Clothes Were a Hint That She’s a Mess

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I did have a piece of the interview from Bossip, but I was forced to go to the source, the show website, after the link failed.

Yeah, I saw it on Friday. I wasn’t impressed. Instead, I was again reassured that this girl should shut up and sit down and take a rest. But she can’t. From MTV:

“At the time, I wasn’t really thinking about anybody,” Fantasia told host Wendy Williams when asked whether she had considered daughter Zion (when she made her suicide attempt last month).

“Nobody knows how heavy it gets. You see the glitz and the glamour and you think, ‘They got it, they got it all,’ but a lot of times when you come into this industry you have people that say that they are there for you, but a lot of times they are just there to get what they can get or because money is involved,” she said, starting to cry.

The single mom revealed that many of her supposed confidants were nowhere to be found during her time of need.

“I am 26 years old, and so many times, I’ve looked around and noticed that everybody that started with me is now gone and nobody was there to help me clean it up. So I had to do it all by myself.”

Fantasia’s overdose occurred shortly after a lawsuit was filed by the wife of Antwaun Cook against the songstress charging that she had been in an adulterous relationship with Cook. Cook’s lawyer, Nicole Sodoma said the singer was not responsible for breaking up the marriage. “He knew Fantasia Barrino but the failure of his marriage can in no way be blamed on anyone except the two people that were a part of the union — Paula and Antwaun,” Sodoma said in a statement.

When I saw her wearing that fur whatchamacallit vest when she stepped out to sit on the couch with Wendy, I just thought to myself, lord. It’s not the kind of thing I would have worn, especially with the breastesses Barrino has. It made me flashback to some of the animal skins that Sonny & Cher used to wear in the Sixties on dance shows like Hollywood-a-Go-Go. I didn’t like it then when I was a tween, and I sure didn’t like it on Fantasia. And Cher had smaller breasts, and I still didn’t like it.

Yes, we have different fashion tastes, and some of the criticisms of Barrino’s fashion choices have their basis in class, and reflect her poor Southern and street origins. She, like Aretha Franklin, refuses to put herself in the hands of someone who knows how to dress celebrities and make appropriate suggestions. However, compared to Aretha, who is a queen, Fantasia is a mere lady-in-waiting.

There are times when Aretha makes the right fashion choices and makes fashion history (the Inauguration hat). But her excesses (her weight gain and her unfettered set of gals) also draw headlines and comment. Aretha rates such responses because she is The Queen of Soul (and because many are genuinely concerned about the state of her health and image). Fantasia doesn’t command that kind of leeway.

People criticized Barrino’s hairstyle choice: that it was a flashback to the Eighties and Salt ‘n Pepa. Hell, we know it’s a wig and frankly, I don’t have a problem with that. Her head was neat, tasteful, and down with the program, while her body was all which-a-ways.

When she performed her song, I was distracted by her clothes. She could have taken off the vest and sang in the clothes she wore for the interview. Instead, she changed into a tweedy business jacket with no blouse or cami on underneath, and I hate to admit it, no bra either. The business jacket wasn’t made for performance, it was made for being in an office. And her cleavage was in play. It was highly distracting and dismaying. It looked like a desperate bid for attention. With that voice, she doesn’t need to be desperate.

No, it can’t be because I am getting older. There are women’s suits that are made for that kind of display; I have no problem with women showing what they’ve got, and more power to them. I’ve worn them myself. There are ways in which to do it, and still maintain the sexy. Otherwise, women are either spilling out of too small jackets or showing a lot of cleavage because the jacket provides no support that a bra would have.

This is exactly what happened for me when Barrino performed her song. As a result, there was nothing positive about the performance at all, which for me took all the emphasis away from the song, and focused it onto her and thereby, her woes. As a result, I was vastly disappointed, and I would bet, so were some of her fans.

I know that her interviewers and fans want to know more about her suicide attempt, but in talking more and more about what happened, it appears as if she is blaming the music industry too for what has happened. Has she ever listened to Billie Holiday or Blood, Sweat and Tears, and their versions of “God Bless the Child”? That song tells a cautionary tale for would-be performers. And I think that exposing her pain is dangerous; she should keep more of that kind of criticism to herself and leave it for a therapist. But in her vulnerable state, she is apt to talk too much–to the world. The world, however, is not an anchor, and never has been.

One might think that her handlers would coach and encourage her and not allow her to sabotage herself during this time. But I don’t see anything good coming from these kinds of interviews, whether it is on Wendy or George Lopez. She should just simply sing and attempt to be as positive as possible, and refrain from opening her heart. Because people are not buying the tears. They are wanting to hear the music and to know that it is worth listening to.

~ by blksista on September 12, 2010.

7 Responses to “Fantasia on “Wendy Williams”: The Clothes Were a Hint That She’s a Mess”

  1. Ouch! That hurts, Black Sista! You got me all figured out sis!
    Carry on!

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    • Uhuh. And trying to influence any other readers to come over to your blog after trying to provoke a pointless blog fight here is pretty underhanded behavior as well. Any one who has read the previous post I made about Fantasia Barrino would know that I don’t have it in for her as you claim.

      Idiot.

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  2. OK, I have reread your piece. Now I see that you are practicing armchair tough love on Fantasia. I get it.

    “When she performed her song, I was distracted by her clothes. She could have taken off the vest and sang in the clothes she wore for the interview.”

    “This is exactly what happened for me when Barrino performed her song. As a result, there was nothing positive about the performance at all, which for me took all the emphasis away from the song, and focused it onto her and thereby, her woes. As a result, I was vastly disappointed, and I would bet, so were some of her fans.”

    A true fan of Fantasia would be able to see past her lack of conformity to the dominant standard of what is considered style, and just hear the power and beauty of her voice, and what she conveys when she sings from her heart.

    “No, it can’t be because I am getting older”
    It’s unfair for us older sisters to condemn the younger ones for not having our own level of wisdom.

    ” Because people are not buying the tears. They are wanting to hear the music and to know that it is worth listening to.”

    And we see that some people are fans and some just want to drain her–of more than just her money. It’s Fantasia’s struggles and issues–her life–that allows her to sing the way she does. A true fan would understand that and have a bit more empathy. Personally, I love Fantasia just as she is. She’s real, and as we know a lot of folks can’t take real, especially from a black woman. I want her to move forward and learn the lessons of her life.

    You think I’m posturing. Well I think you are. Being hard because you believe that that’s what’s expected from a black woman. Well, we all are not HARD like that! And we all don’t need to be. But I get that you are. And that’s OK too!

    But this is your blog and you’re certainly entitled to write as you see fit. I’ll probably return to read more about what you have to say about Louisiana culture.

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  3. Ok, Black Sista, I’ll reread your posts. I hope that I was posturing and that I totally missed what you were trying to get across.

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  4. Hi there Black Sista! Were you able to relate to a young black girl who wanted to be loved, sought fame and found out how people can really put their foot on your neck? How people can see right past your humanity and focus on the type of fur you’re wearing? How people will put you down no matter WHAT you say or do?
    Are you able to empathize with a young black girl who has a talent and a dream, that people believe she doesn’t deserve to have?
    Can you relate to a young black girl from the country, who is used to living that straighforward, real life with real people who act real, then coming to Hollywood and learning about fake people who could care less if you died today? Who have no problems stealing every dime of your money and telling you it’s your own fault?

    Do you have sympathy for a black woman-child trying to understand her life, her issues, her new surroundings! Can you root for a black girl? Despite her mistakes, pain, honesty, realness???

    Would you want that kind of understanding in your own life, my black sista?

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    • You didn’t read this piece, or the previous one I wrote, enough to realize that I empathize with the girl. It does not, however, mean that I’m enthused with everything she’s trying to do at this very bad time in her life. She’s still making bad choices. She’s a mess. And she has to soldier on because if she finks out, she’s in a much bigger financial hole. I’m afraid we’re going to hear about her cracking up.

      She needs a timeout. She needs a real mother–I’m afraid her actual mom can’t help her here because she is part of the problem. She needs a therapist that can give her some meds, help and advice; she needs to get away from that family of hers that she “has to” support. She needs to learn common sense.

      Reread. Otherwise, despite all this posturing, you don’t get it.

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