By: XBlaze Magazine | March 31st, 2021
If you are familiar with the hottest radio stations in the DMV, the name Leah Henry is not a foreign one to you! Howard Alum, but an Austin, TX native, Leah Henry is another woman blazing trails for women and girls of all ages around the world! If you aren't a DMV native, you have definitely hear about Ms. Henry spilling some lemonade during her conversational and unpredictable interviews for Leah's Lemonade! What better way to celebrate the impacts of an admirable woman than to honor her voice during Women's History Month?
Journalist, Media Personality and undercover comedian, Leah Henry took some time out of her day to chat with us about her experience as Plus-sized Black Woman in the media industry, and how she has combatted adversity to achieve all the success she had acquired over the years! Ms. Henry also elaborated on women she admired and looked up to in media.
Text in Bold represents XBlaze Magazine. Plain Text represent Leah Henry
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Did you ever feel limited as a young woman, regarding equality?
Being a black woman comes with it’s set of challenges. Being a plus size black woman surely gets several doors closed in your face. “Being cute” wasn’t getting me through any doors because society didn’t really embrace being “body positivity” when I was a young girl.
At what point did you decide/ realize these stereotypes were false?
I had to learn to love Leah for who and how she was. There are plenty of stereotypes that I had to overcome. I just realized people would believe what they wanted to and I had to succeed regardless. Even as a young girl I realized that God planted something special inside of me.
Who were/ are some women that influenced you as an individual?
Oprah Winfrey. She PAVED the way for me. There would be no Lemonade Stand without standing on Oprah’s shoulders. She’s my mom (in my head) but her influence made a blueprint for me to tackle this media world. I will also say Queen Latifah was a big influence on my esteem. Oftentimes little fat girls are taught that they’re undesirable. I remember watching Queen Latifah’s movies and seeing a plus size woman not only being desired but a man’s top choice. That example taught me I didn’t have to settle for a man, things I wanted, or anything in life. Tyra Banks’ Talk show made me want to be a daytime TV Host.
Have you ever struggled with self-love?
I struggled so much as a child with loving myself. I’m not sure with my religious upbringing and southern roots if anybody would have identified it as depression but I was depressed. I lacked parental love and self love. The truth is, I began to love myself after watching several episodes of the Tyra Banks show where she discussed self love. That was it...I knew I needed to be a talk show host. I had to change someone’s outlook like Tyra changed mine.
What is something you love most about being a woman?
I love being a woman but more specifically a black woman. I can’t really describe why being a Black woman is so lit but it is. It comes with it’s challenges but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What are your personal views on women empowerment? a. What does women empowerment mean to you?
This is a tricky question because to everyone that looks different. For me women empowerment is uplifting women as a group. How to do that? Equality, and supporting each other. I believe it’s that simple.
What are some things you do to try and elevate women?
I try to be the example that I didn't see. I do my best to give my followers and supporters a real authentic look at who I am. I support my friends and people who are coming after me. I try to lend a hand in my field wherever I can.
Why is it important for females to have an equally heard voice in business and entertainment?
In entertainment women often are the brains of the operation but typically are paid less than our male counterparts. In radio most women on a show is always considered “the sidekick.” It’s never sat well with me that women have the ideas and are always second in the media industry. Equality in pay and space in rooms is important.
How does it feel to be witnessing a renowned part of American history with the Vice President of the United States being a female?
Kamala Harris is a fellow Howard University Bison, so you can’t tell me NOTHING okay?! As she said “She’s the first but won’t be the last.” To watch her step into that role was HERstory that I’m honored to witness. My grandma couldn’t see but my kids will never know a time that a woman wasn’t in the White House in an official role.
As a grown woman, what would be your most essential advice for young ladies transitioning into womanhood?
Believe in yourself, in your ability to assess the things around you. You’re not too young, you’re not too naive. Women always can tap into our instincts and your gut never lies. There are so many things I thought I should have done and second guessed myself. The reality is every day we wake up, God isn’t finished with us. We all have purpose.
Who are some female Radio Personalities you admire?
Oprah because she started out in Radio and moved to television. I’m also inspired by Wendy Williams, say what you want but she’s always blunt. Kendra G in Chicago has been a great mentor to me. Angela Yee’s tenure in the breakfast club is real life GOALS! Mary K has been a big cheerleader to me in my journey. Danni Star looked out for me at the beginning of my career, she always saw my potential. I could write a novel about inspiring women in radio but here’s more: Nori Nori, Autumn Joi, Traci Latrelle, Tayla Johnson and so many more!
What can we be expecting from you in 2021?
Hopefully my own show of some sorts, more viral interviews, and really exciting projects I can’t share yet! Always more Lemonade, hopefully the cup is so full it overflows!
WATCH OUR EXCLUSIVE CHAT WITH LEAH HENRY
... impact has just been kind of a word that I feel like God has placed on my spirit, especially this year... moving forward I just want to have impact, and I want to be impactful and bless others like I've been blessed.