The Beauty Of The WNBA

Gabby Williams

Forward, Chicago Sky, from Sparks, Nevada

“I got drafted my senior year at UConn, and I went to Chicago two weeks later. The league gets you an apartment, and it was nice having some income coming out of college. But once I went overseas I realized how little I got paid in the WNBA. If you want to make any money, you play in Europe. I think one of the issues with the WNBA is lack of exposure. This summer was really proof that when you put us on TV, people watch; when you put out our merch, people buy it. We’re fighting misogyny and sexism, but we’ve proven that with the right exposure we can be profitable. This league is filled with some of the most incredible, smart, confident women. We already exist in a space where we don’t belong, and seeing women thrive and be themselves really inspired me to do the same. I’m athletic, and muscular, and I have curly hair—I find beauty in those things, but I didn’t always growing up.

When I started watching RuPaul, and getting obsessed with the ballroom scene and drag queens, I started to love beauty as an art form. Most recently, I’ve been trying to get into cosplay. I’ve loved anime since I was a kid, and I’m super inspired by the way manga makeup is drawn. I always let the cosplayer in me come out for Halloween—I did Harley Quinn one year, and it was so fun to think about what that character would look like if she was mixed, and had curly hair. I did a female version of the joker too. There aren’t any rules, and you can really make it your own.

I like a dewy look, so I either start with Priming Moisturizer or Anastasia Sheer Glow primer. Then I go to my eyebrows, which can take 20 minutes—I draw some fake hairs with a pencil, and then go in with Boy Brow to make them look fluffy. I love the Juvia’s Place Nubian Palettes because I feel like they’re the most pigmented, and they’re Black owned, which is awesome. I struggle a lot with dark spots—I have fungal acne, and they start off as bumps and kind of just turn into scars. I really like the Nars concealer because it’s precise, and I like Fenty foundation. Then I put highlighter on my cheeks, cupid’s bow, the inner corners of my eyes, and down my nose to try to thin it out, which is probably something I learned from RuPaul.

I could never figure out what to do with my curly hair, so one day I just cut my own bangs. I kind of love it. I keep telling myself I’m going to grow them out, and then a picture day comes around and I cut them again. In terms of product, I use this brand called Eden that’s Black owned, and I like the Pattern argan oil a lot. I also like their leave-in conditioner, but I actually find the best hair masks when I’m overseas. I’ll put it in, braid my hair, and wash it out after practice. The fact that I’m able to finish a practice every day is really impressive to me. A morning practice is probably 9:30 to 11:30, and we’ll lift, then shoot 200 rounds, then do individual workouts with the coaches. I get to afternoon practice at around 4:30 and get home at 7:30 or 8PM. Sometimes I feel like there’s no way I can do it, but it’s all about persevering.”

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