Hot Girls Everywhere Should Bow Down and Pay Homage To Jody Watley
Jody Watley laid the foundation for every hot girl in the hood. All praises due.
By Keka Araújo
(BLACKSTEW) — Black History Month is under way, and whether or not you’ve heard of her, Jody Vanessa Watley is a god-damned legend. Ms. Watley is the mother of fly ass Black women—period. She is known for her 7-year stint as a fan favorite dancer on the celebrated Black American dance show Soul Train; being the female-lead in the hit group Shalamar during the 1970s and ‘80s; winning a Grammy award for Best New Artist in 1987; becoming a fashion icon and laying the blueprint for every hot girl on the block today.
Born in Chicago in 1959, Watley not only kept it urban, she self-styled all of her music videos, including the 1989 hit single “Still A Thrill.” She had the chutzpah to mix couture clothing by fashion legend Jean-Paul Gaultier with her own gear while shooting the video in Paris. Watley changed the Black music game when other artists were relegated to basic ass music studios for their videos.
Basically, she Beyoncéd us long before getting Beyoncéd was a thing.
Watley expressed her feelings about the work she put into that project. “I sashayed all over the streets of Paris (thank you to my former label for supporting my vision) – I worked the historic setting with no choreography or rehearsals.”
The singer wrote on her website.
“There’s also a scene in one of the night shots on the streets of Paris where graffiti notes ‘Gay Color, Say Cool Say What?’ that makes its own statement and my support of the LGBTQ community without batting a cat-eyed eyelash that I’ve never been asked about,” she continued.
Mother Watley gave us good old-fashioned hand geometry on the dance floor. And at the same time, Soul Train's booking agent Dick Griffey created the R&B wondergroup, Shalamar. The soulful trio gave us Black anthems like “A Night to Remember,” “This is for the Lover in You” and “Second Time Around .”
The “I'm looking for a New Love” singer eventually left Shalamar and moved on to have a successful solo career. Watley’s exotic beauty, alluring alto, trendsetting style mixed with killer dance moves made her the “it” girl of the late 1980s and ‘90s. Her string of dance hits which included “Still A Thrill,” “Don’t You Want Me? ” and the gorgeous ballad “Everything” had heads losing their minds. We couldn’t get enough of Ms. Watley.
Watley’s beauty and cutting edge fashion sense landed her in American Vogue in 1987 and in the 1989 issue of Harper’s Bazaar’s America’s 10 Most Beautiful Women.
Mama had game for days.
Watley's looks can be seen today on Black millennial and Gen-Z women who may have no idea that she was the progenitor of fly. Y’all gone learn today. Whether you rock a curly weave, big ass hoop earrings, crop tops and jeans, high-end designer duds or claw nails, thank Mother Watley for the inspiration. We stan.
Watley married two Black iconic entertainers- Leon Sylvers and André Cymone, and it’s no wonder the diva was bossing ahead of her time. She is the goddaughter of singer-extraordinaire Jackie Wilson.
Watley's style and grace precedes around the way girls like Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Ashanti and them. Experiencing all that ginormous talent in her heyday is unforgettable. Jody Watley is indeed an MVP in BLACKSTEW's rundown of Black history.