Wendy Williams is a big personality, but in a candid interview, she recalls struggling with self-confidence as an overweight child and coping with rumors she is transgender.
The syndicated TV host told ABC’s Dan Kloeffler her formative years were difficult because she was teased because of her weight.
“I had a very tortured childhood,” she said in the interview earlier this week. “I was tortured, they fat shamed me.”
“I didn’t grow up the popular girl, or the popular cheerleader. I’ve never been to a prom, I didn’t have a lot of boyfriends, so I’m used to being on this side of life.”
Still, with her 50th birthday coming up on July 18, the flamboyant television personality was brimming with confidence.
Looking svelte in a mini skirt, Williams was doing the rounds promoting her one-off, stand-up comedy show “Lipshtick.”
The show, which took place in Las Vegas on Friday, is part of a bucket list Williams has before she hits the big 5-0, which includes doing karaoke for the first time and driving a monster truck.
“So, I want to talk about growing up. I want to answer the big question about the boobs. People know they are breast implants, but a lot of people, I read and see, ‘You’ve lost so much weight now, you need a breast reduction.’ I will answer you straight and direct, if you are in Vegas.”
During the interview, Wendy was asked about transgender actress Laverne Cox and the conversation turned to never-ending speculation that Williams was born a man.
“People do think I was born a man,” said Williams, who is an inch shy of 6ft. “That is absolutely not [true].”
“I get it. I’ve got a strong face, a strong body. I’m 5’11. I wear wigs.”
But, she says, hurtful gossip questioning her gender has made her even tougher.
“There’s no worse way to insult a woman than by saying she looks like a man, but once a woman gets over that, there is no stronger woman.”
Williams is not alone. Others celebs have been subject of these types of rumors because of their masculine or androgynous appearance.
When Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta’s Joseline Hernandez first burst on the scene, rumors were rife she was allegedly a man who underwent gender surgery.
The reality star tackled the transgender gossip by posting a nude photograph of herself on social networks.
“I’m 100% women,” Hernandez wrote alongside her photo. “I will no longer entertain the foolishness. It’s been real and fun.”