Nicole Byer knows ‘Exactly’ who she is
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MTV queen Nicole Byer is already challenging everything you know about what it means to be Ladylike.
And on Sept. 5 (9:30 p.m. on MTV), the actress, writer and comedian will let loose even more on “Loosely Exactly Nicole,” a semi-autobiographical scripted series based on her life as an aspiring star with Hollywood dreams and a Valley budget.
She’s a long way from the girl who merely dreamed of being on the small screen, but Byer is still quick to pay homage to the black women who made her feel like those dreams were possible: the Whoopi Goldbergs, the Tina Turners, the Mo’Niques.
“I think I saw Ghost at, like, 6 or 7,” Byer told us in an interview earlier this month. “Like, a little too early to see Ghost but I would watch Whoopi over any kids’ thing. Everything she did was so funny and all of her scenes are almost like sketches. I would just quote her nonstop. And then Tina Turner, just to see this black woman — I don’t even know if I realized that she was black — but I just loved that she had the same skin color as me, her hair was crazy, she was just screaming and people let her do it. And then I got a little older and I discovered (actress-comedian) Mo’Nique and I was like, ‘She’s saying such nasty (expletive)! I love this! This woman is literally speaking to me!'”
And as Byer continues her reign on MTV, she hopes black girls and women see that she’s speaking to them, too. Her message?
“I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again because you can’t say it enough: Your skin is beautiful — dark, light, in the middle, whatever,” she said. “Brown is beautiful. Your hair is beautiful. If you wear a weave, it’s beautiful. If you choose to be natural, that’s beautiful. Also, you are enough. You don’t need someone to complete you.”
Jaleesa M. Jones/USA TODAY