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My newest Shero: Tia Williams!!!

April 8, 2006

So I met Tia Williams the week before last at our Cover to Cover conference and probably felt like every girl in the room: "Hey!!! She has my life" Besides the fact that she became a magazine editor when she was freakin 23 years old, has been beauty editor at Elle, YM, Teen People and worked at a list of others, penned and published the sexy and well-developed novel "The Accidental Diva," hosts the Cosmogirl radio show, stars in the new Olay commercial that plays all the time now, has a mass of beauty shakers check out her blog and looks like she could be a student here.
She wants to see me succeed!
And not just me. But every little black girl who dreamed of making it big in magazines. She has reached the top, and she wants us to do the same.

When Tia walked in during the lunch at our magazine conference, at first I thought she just was a student getting to the conference late. In her jeans, peasant shirt, snake skin prada bag, and big hoop earrings she chatted it up with girls before her session started, meeting many of her blog's biggest fans, giving beauty tips and even wipping out her lip gloss and spreading some on her hand to show a sample of her lip color. I was so busy running around at our magazine conference that I didn't get to hear everything she said. I did, however, get my book signed and now read her and Angela's personal notes to me whenever Im feeling a little low.

So when I found out HUABJ was bringing her back for their panel. At first I was a little put off by the fact that we invited the same speaker to speak to the same pool of students. Her 2nd trip ended up being an even bigger blessing for me, and most of the students at the panel on Friday - with the majority not in attendance at our conference a few weeks earlier.
It was GREAT! I wasn't running around but got to sit down and listen to Tia's advice on getting my own novel published, hear what she really thought about 'Diary of a Video Vixen,' and just straight up kick it with her in the intimate set up of the panel. When I came in late she even gave me a big smile and nod of acknowledgement, remembering me from the conference (I would like to think:) and making my day!
Also there was Scott Poulson-Bryant, author of the thought-provoking book 'Hung' and founding editor of Vibe magazine, who gave the magazine its name.
Being there with Scott and Tia was so natural for us, and there honesty and openness was refreshing.
Afterwards, I stand in the little line to greet Tia. I take a not so cute picture with Michael and feel self-conscious about my hair. Finally, it's my turn. I tell Tia hey and its good to see her again. I then tell her how I have decided to do my final profile of 1000 words on her for my adv reporting and writing class on my beat of choice for the semester, the magazine industry.
Things work out so weird! I ended up talking to her mother a lot when she was here the first time, so I already had quotes from her, and I find out her dad is at this session.
I ask her if its cool for me to talk to her dad for the profile and she says go right ahead. Ending the small chat, she looks in my eyes and says, "good luck"
She may have said that to every girl who greeted her that day and may not had thought twice about it, but I didnt take her blessing for granted! I did find her dad and talked to him for a good 10 minutes, enjoying his stories of Tia and his own life. I saw my own dad in his relaying how he gave Tia the inspiration to write as she saw him jotting down his thoughts as a child.
When he asked where I was from, I said, "Atlanta" with a smile.
He then tells me somehow he already knew that. I am a bit put off wondering what he means. Usually my best friend Celeste and I always get "we don't look like we are from Atlanta," as a lot of people envision red hair, 'snatch back' hair do's, gold teeth and slouch socks when they think Atlanta (and that's just the girls.) So I tell Mr.Williams that and ask if he thinks I look atlanta because I look a little ghetto or hood to him:) He laughs and says no and explains when he thinks Atlanta he doesn't think ghetto, and I wish to myself more people viewed my hometown as he does.
So Tia comes out after I have jotted down many notes for my profile and know that her dad has brothers in the area, spent time in Germany as a military dentist, got pinned by Howard's School of Dentistry Dean in Korea and other information he shared in our short conversation. He quickly begins to give his critique of the panel and I laugh as he says to her that she didn't tell us how he inspired her to write to even get to the point of writing a book.
Tia Williams is my shero not because she is smart and savvy. But because she has achieved so much, yet remains so in touch that she was willing to come to Howard University out of her own pocket twice in the same month, all while continuing to strive for new goals!

Tia Williams-to-be

4 comments:

  1. fellow tia stalker said...:

    from one tia wanna be to the next....what gloss did she show ya,lol.

  1. Whitney said...:

    I completely agree!! She's so fabulous and has my future life wrapped up in a bow!

  1. Anonymous said...:

    I'm in love!!!

  1. Ronke Adeyemi said...:

    Well I inerviewed her last summer for a magazine and found her to be lovely and genuine. Definately a soul sister.

    This is the feature I wrote on her.

    http://www.thenewbl ackmagazine. com/view. aspx?index= 540


    R