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WATCH: Vanessa Williams Uncover Her Family Ancestry And Genealogy On NBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

*VANESSA WILLIAMS'S EYE COLOR ACCORDING TO GOOGLE SEARCH

156

The number of people worldwide who Google the phrase, “Vanessa Williams blue eyes” each month.

700

The number of people worldwide who Google the phrases “Vanessa Williams eyes”, and “Vanessa Williams eye color” each month.

*All figures for “Vanessa Williams Eye Color According to Google Search”, supplied by Google. Stats include global totals for laptop and desktop computers and mobile devices.

What Is Vanessa Williams' Eye Color? Are They Really A Natural Blue? 15,000 Ask Google

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BLACK AND BLUE: Many of actress and music star Vanessa Williams's online fans are unsure whether or not her real eye color is blue, or if she wears color contacts. Google records approximately 1,000 monthly queries about the Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty star's eye color.

DESPITE WHAT SOME PEOPLE think, Vanessa Williams' eyes are naturally blue, and not the result of color contacts. They tell the story of her parents mixed race ancestry and genealogy. By Ben Arogundade.

Google+

MANY BELIEVE THAT the gene for blue eyes, or indeed those for green or hazel eyes, only occurs naturally in Europeans, and that people of African heritage with such colors are wearing color contacts. Indeed, according to Google’s online search statistics, 1,200 people around the world type the question, “Can black people have blue eyes?” into their browsers each month, in search of clarification.

HOW BLUE EYES HAPPEN
In fact, blue and green eye colors do occur naturally in people of both African and Asian ancestry. Gene mutation is one cause, although this is quite rare. The more prevalent reason is when a person of color has Caucasian relatives on both sides of their family who are carriers of the gene for that particular eye color. For example, a black couple with brown eyes could conceive a blue or green-eyed child, providing this gene exists somewhere within the ancestral line of both parents.

VANESSA'S COLORS: BLACK, WHITE AND BLUE
This is certainly the case with African American actress Vanessa Williams, star of the TV shows Ugly Betty and Desperate Housewives, whose blue eyes are the result of Caucasian ancestry in both her multi-racial parents. In fact, her grandfather — Milton Williams Sr. — also had blue eyes. Fans curiosity about Williams's blue eyes is played out online, where — according to Google's search stats — there are approximately 1,000 global Internet queries a month about Williams' eye color — many of them from people who mistakenly think she is wearing color contacts.

The online search numbers are just as high for green-eyed black celebrities Rihanna, Tyra Banks, Leona Lewis, Gary Dourdan and Bollywood's Aishwarya Rai.

BLACK BEAUTY by Ben Arogundade is out now.

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FAMILY STAND: Actress and recording artist Vanessa Williams’ parents, Helen and Milton, are of African American, Native American and Welsh heritage. Young Vanessa, above left, has blue eyes as a result of European ancestry within the genealogy of both her parents.

NEXT: MORE ABOUT VANESSA WILLIAMS

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WHAT 18,000 FANS ASK ABOUT BEYONCE'S EYES

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FIRST BEAUTY
In 1983 Vanessa Williams Became The First Black Miss America....But Not For Long.

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BEAUTY HISTORY & CULTURE

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AMERICAN BIOLOGY
Light-Skinned, Straight-Haired, Blue-Eyed — And Black. Vanessa Williams' Complex Ethnicity.