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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.

ARTICLES AND BOOKS BY WRITER BEN AROGUNDADE

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Can A Person Of African Ancestry Have Naturally Blue
Eyes? 1,000 Vanessa Williams Fans Are Not Sure

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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.

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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.

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THE REAL RIHANNA
9 Articles Explore Her Beauty, Ancestry, Identity.

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TOTAL BEYONCE
6 Articles On The Hair, The Skin-Tone, The Eye Color, The Ancestry.

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FLESH & PLASTICS
Is Nicki Minaj Real?
3 Articles Explore The Aesthetic Construct Of The Queen Of Rap.

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NEW EBOOKS
BLACK = UGLY - The Shocking History Of Black History.

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THE NEW FACE OF AMERICA
The Obama's Ethnicity And What It Means For The Future Of Race.

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INSIDE INDIA'S BEAUTY FACTORY
Bollywood Creates Its Own Killer Beauties.

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ENTER THE EAST
Fashion Finally Opens Up To East Asian Supermodels.

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FROM RACISM TO RICHES
13 Stories About The Rise Of Black Supermodels.

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HOLLYWOOD AND RACE
Why Do Today's Black Female Leads Look Like This? Get The History.

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WHEN FASHION MET CIVIL RIGHTS
Hair And Beauty According To Martin Luther King Jr. And Malcolm X.

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HOT HISTORY
5 Stories About Pioneering Black Celebrities Of Yesteryear.

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BEAUTY REVOLT
Black Beauty: Ben Arogundade's Top 10 Rules For The 21st Century.

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SHAKESPEARE'S AFRICAN
Othello Reassessed In 8 Articles.

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NEW EBOOKS
Sex, Drugs And Civil Rights: 60s Model Donyale Luna - Vogue's First Black Cover Girl.

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NEW EBOOKS
From Triumph To Tragedy: Stories Of Purpose And Pain From The Olympic Archive.

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NEW EBOOKS
New Shakespeare Play: Othello And Romeo And Juliet Re-Cast In Gay Comedy Mashup.

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INSIDE THE ENIGMA
Shakespeare Facts Reassessed.

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WORLD OF TYRA
5 Articles Dissect The Beauty Icon, TV Star And Business Mogul.

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NOLLYWOOD NOW!
Nigeria Makes More Movies Than Hollywood - And They're Getting Good.

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NEW EBOOKS
Promiscuity & Intrigue In 'The Sexual Language Of Strangers', by Ben Arogundade.

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MOST VIEWED SECTIONS

THIS MONTH'S PICK

NEXT: DISCOVER MORE ABOUT VANESSA WILLIAMS

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WHAT 18,000 FANS ASK ABOUT BEYONCE'S EYES

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AFRICA BLUE
Learn About The Genetics Behind Vanessa Williams' Naturally Blue 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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ENTER THE EAST:
The World's Top 10
East Asian Models According To Google Search:
NEW NO.1

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The Sexual Language of Strangers
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ABOUT BEN AROGUNDADE

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