Known for always spilling the tea about our favorite celebs on her hit talk show, Wendy Williams is switching gears and dishing about a more serious matter that a lot of folks are afraid to talk about. But leave it to the daytime TV queen to keep it real about all things — even crap. Like, literally crap. During April, Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month, Wendy partnered with Allergan and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals and hosted the IBS Awareness Summit in NYC to shed light on a topic often swept under the rug. Fresh off the heels of the summit, BET got the chance to chop it up with Wendy herself about all the dirty details.
BET: How did you get involved with this cause?
Wendy Williams: Well, you know, this is a ridiculous conversation that I can’t believe people aren’t having with their doctors or friends. And that would be, poop! P-O-O-P. And you know my initial thoughts are, if you’re going to your doctor and you can’t talk to your doctor about anything regarding your health, then you need a new doctor. Or maybe you need to decide it’s time to open up and have the conversation.
AboutYourGut.com and TheToiletTalk.com have excellent ways to get the conversation started. These are simple conversations. For instance, I have a friend who [laughs], I remember one particular day she was waiting for me to go out and I was in the bathroom. And she goes to me, "Number one or number two?" I said, "Number two" and then she goes, "Loose or firm?" I said, "Firm, no strain." She goes, "Ugh, I’m so jealous. How many times a day do you go?" I said, "Twice a day." She’s like, "Ugh, I’m so jealous!" I mean, having irritable bowel syndrome has got to be an absolute game changer in people's social lives. You know, your stomach feels full, you feel impacted and you’re not yourself. We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives or another, but there are people who experience it chronically.
BET: Is IBS the reason behind your vegan diet?
WW: First of all, no, I’m not an IBS sufferer. I’m just a woman with an opinion. So I partnered with Allergan, and I think it’s fantastic. I can’t believe people don’t talk to their doctors about something as serious as this. So no, I’ve never been a sufferer, but I could give you my recipe for having your first poop in the morning. I drink a couple of bottles of room temperature water and then by the time I get out of the shower and brush my teeth, boom! There’s an explosion! There’s something about room temperature water that just really gets me going. I can’t do the show properly until I’ve gone in the morning. It never fails, it usually happens about 9:35 a.m., like 25 minutes before we go live on TV. That’s my first one in the morning. Sometimes I can go when we’re in Jersey before we leave the house. But a lot of times it takes my system a moment to get agitated. I also enjoy a pear or an apple. A piece of fruit absolutely helps. But that room temperature water is a big deal.
BET: Why did you go vegan then?
WW: It’s a thing, it’s very much a movement. I suffered for years with lower leg plaque psoriasis really heavy on my lower legs. Now I’ve got the most beautiful legs in the world. I’m 5’11 and my legs are 40 inches long. So a girl like me is not supposed to have psoriasis on her legs. It was really big deal. Every morning ever since I’ve been on TV, the first thing I’d do is I put on my leg makeup. Since I’ve stopped eating meat, no more plaque psoriasis. It hasn’t migrated any place on my body. I just no longer have it. I’m not attributing that to meat, I’m just making a suggestion in the atmosphere.
BET: How do you personally handle body shaming and internet trolls?
WW: I’ve been body shamed all my life. Growing up, I was tall and heavier. You know when I look back at the pictures I can’t even say I was fat, but it was drummed into my head by my family ironically and then the rest of the world, "Oh you’re fat." When I look back at those pictures, I see a beautiful girl who could’ve spiraled out of control if she didn’t keep it in check. Now people look at me on TV and they’re like, "Oh, you need to gain some weight. You’re too skinny," so now I’m being body shammed for the reverse. They say things like, "You need to get those implants removed. You need to get a butt to balance out your body." My thing is that I know who I am and I know that I lost the weight in a healthy way. I know that there was no surgery involved. I’m a grown woman. I’ve been doing this for 30 something years. I’ll be 53 in July. You can’t fade me with your comments. I’m a made woman and if it would all end today, I would say I did it my way. By the way, my husband loves to toss this body so...
(Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Allergan)