*Tamar Braxton loves to speak her mind. That’s for sure.
And when she and her sisters appeared on “Bethenny,” this was no exception.
She’s disapproving, but with good (visual) reason.
Reality television is ruining my daughter! My 13-year-old daughter is addicted to reality TV. Every time I turn around she is watching Teen Mom, the Housewives, Love and Hip Hop and The Braxtons. Even when I cut her off on the television, she sneaks and watches them on her phone on Netflix. She is infatuated with the reality stars and talks about them as if they are part of our family. Even worse, she is starting to quote them and immolate their mannerisms. The other day she told her 7-year-old brother “you better get your life!” It is just too much. My daughter is a straight-A student, but I am beginning to see a major change in her attitude. I am worried that she getting out of control. I have tried to ban her from reality TV, but I work late nights and am not always there to monitor her every move. Most of these shows come on during prime time and are not restricted. Do you have any suggestions?
Over Reality TV
Dear Over Reality TV:
I dealt with a similar issue with my 11-year old. Although I use the parental controls faithfully on our televisions, I learned that my controls were doing nothing to block reality TV. My daughter was watching The Braxtons, Mary Mary, and even Teen Mom. First, I am not a fan of reality TV. I think there are too many shows that portray negative situations and personal conflict all in the name of ratings and entertainment. I do not personally like chaos, arguing and fussing, so I do not indulge in too much reality TV, so you can imagine my shock when I went downstairs and discovered my daughter glued to the television screen watching Teen Moms!
Of course I banned her from watching Teen Moms! I do not think there is anything entertaining about teen parenting. I found out how to update my television’s parental controls, but I still had to deal with what my daughter had already been exposed to. I sat her down and we talked about why she should not watch the show and about “reality” and the fact that most of these shows are not reality. Reality shows should not be examples of how to live, act, and manage relationships!
In the age of social media, apps, and reality TV, it has become more difficult to monitor what our children are exposed to. And while our protective instincts say “ban them from everything,” the reality is we have to discuss content with our children so that they have the correct perspective and can learn to filter out mess.
On another note, many teens begin to rebel around this age and their attitudes begin to change. I encourage you to keep the lines of communication open between you and your daughter. Becoming a teenager can be difficult. I can’t imagine doing it again in this age! Your daughter may just be adjusting to teenhood and immolating the coolest reality TV stars may be her way of trying to fit.
Tamara Hartley is Your Advice Guru giving REAL advice from REAL experience. She uses her personal life experiences and lessons learned to give others a different perspective and help them make critical decisions in their life, relationships and careers. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Tamara on twitter @drtamarahartley and check out her column and archives at www.youradviceguru.com
Sisters, Tina and Erica Campbell, of Grammy Award-winning gospel duo Mary Mary, and their extended families have picked up where the Braxton sisters left off, giving viewers – including singer Jill Scott, who inadvertently sparked a twitter beef with members of the Braxton clan – a compelling reason to tune into the network on Thursday nights.
Season one of “Mary Mary,” a rare glimpse into the personal lives of gospel singers, went so well, the network just gave the green light for a second season set to air this fall.
The show’s stars, Tina and Erica, called in to EURweb.com to talk about their families and success with the show, their thoughts on the Jill Scott/Braxtons “beef,” and to discuss one of the more controversial segments that raised questions about just how sanctified the ladies are behind closed doors.
EUR: Mother’s Day is coming up and you both have beautiful and yet growing families. How do each of you plan to spend the day? [in unison] Working!
Now that the public has been allowed into your personal lives, has anything changed regarding how you interact with your fans?
Erica: No. As open and straightforward as we are, we just have a little more to talk about now that people are more aware and talk about the sacrifices that we make. They comment a lot about, ‘wow, I didn’t know those were the kinds of sacrifices being made.’ You have to leave your family and you have to miss important things involving your children and it seems like they can kind of relate to us a little bit more.
EUR: How did the gospel community receive the fact that you were going the reality route?
Erica: I don’t think there was any out and out negativity, but we got a lot of ‘are you sure, are you sure,’ because the only references we have for reality are not really positive, but that was even more of the reason to do it. With us being christian and gospel artists, why wouldn’t we let our lights shine? I read a tweet from a gospel artist today, which said ‘your life is your testimony outside of the 45 minutes that you spend on stage.’ It’s a bigger witness for people to see you in your everyday life…we’ve gotten a lot of love and support [including Donnie, Yolanda and Kirk] and I appreciate it.
EUR: And speaking of reception, what kind feedback did you get from the potentially polarizing pole dancing scene?
Erica: We got interesting feedback about that. We’re diverse in this world that we live in. Some people will agree with Tina 100% and some people agree with me 100%. I don’t think either way anybody was greatly offended. Some feel like it should only be private, I felt like it was fine. I think it was more healthy for conversation, in my opinion, because when it relates to sexuality and christianity, people don’t talk about it, and then you’re supposed to be married and have all this information and all this knowledge and never talk about things and be comfortable with our bodies that God created, the sexuality that God created, so it’s good to explore the conversation. It was a deep way to discuss it, which I’m fine with.
Tina: I don’t think that show was really even that risky. I think just the conversation, I didn’t know if someone was going to come in there with some half something on and just our association with what their appearance looked like, ‘oh my God, what are these girls getting into,’ so my thoughts were basically professionally, because it is a show that we were recording, so, it’s just not us in sister land, and perhaps this might open up conversation that I don’t want to deal with. Ultimately, there was nothing wrong with either perspective…it was just personal preference and professional preference, and if it opens up conversation and people realize there’s nothing wrong with your sexuality, just because you’re christian doesn’t mean you have to stay away from everything.
EUR: There was recently a twitter beef between Jill Scott and members of the Braxton family regarding your show and comparing the two. Did you hear about that?
Tina: We heard things about that, but ultimately, if you take a compliment for someone else as an insult to yourself, that’s a personal issue. It has no bearing on us or the person who gave the compliment. If someone came up to Erica and told her she’s gorgeous, that doesn’t mean I’m ugly. If someone saw something good in someone else’s show, that doesn’t necessarily mean a negative reflection of the other show, that just means they look at our show and relate to it and they have every right to.
EUR: What has been your most embarrassing show moment?
Tina: When I went to the doctor’s office. It was strictly about how I looked, because when I am Tina, I am not as cute as Mary is. I don’t care about being cute all the time when I am Tina, but when I saw myself on that show, I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ why didn’t somebody tell me?
Erica: Mine was falling on a boat in front of the whole world.
EUR: Anything for fans to look out for on upcoming episodes in the way of teasers?
Erica: I think the next episode is going to be really heartfelt. I think people will definitely look at me and Tina differently, understanding us a little better from this next show.
Tina: The last show as well as this next show is probably the most vulnerable I have ever been publicly and I can’t believe that I did it, because it’s my real honest to God truth. It’s amazing, during the taping, one of the executive producers was telling me that what I was talking about was actually helping him with a situation with his child and he actually called his kid while I was in the process of what you’ll see on the show. If it helps somebody else … but I’m gonna be so vulnerable on this next show till I’ll probably cringe while watching it.
“Mary Mary” airs Thursday nights at 9pm ET/PT on WE tv and their new album “Go Get It” is in stores now. Visit the show online at http://www.wetv.com/shows/mary-mary
The show follows around the family of award-winning singer Toni Braxton.
The Braxtons used to be an R&B group, but the only successful one out of them was Toni. The group reunited for a show called “Braxton Family Values” which takes a look at the family’s relationships with each other. On top of that, their career’s are starting to take off. Especially Tamar’s
Check out this gallery below of the sisters (and mom Evelyn):
The family will be returning to Maryland to participate in the competition. It will be hosted by Towanda Braxton and judged by her husband Andre Carter, her sisters Trina and Traci, and her mother, Ms. Evelyn.
The role of the stars of “Braxton Family Values” in this pageant brings up the issues of beauty and self-esteem in the black community.
Partner site Loop2 21 spoke with the Braxton family in an exclusive interview.
Check out an excerpt below.
Loop 21: What made you want to get involved with the Miss Black Collegiate Pageant?
Trina: I felt it was a way to show my support for upcoming females to pursue all their goals, which is very important to me, because I feel everyone should have a chance to aim for their dreams.
Evelyn: I thought that it would be a very interesting thing to do, I have never been involved with anything of that caliber so I am really looking forward to be able to be part of something as positive and uplifting to help encourage young black women.
Read more at Loop 21
*The secret is out—“Braxton Family Values” is the highest ranking reality TV series on WE television. The show is ranked as the number one telecast among African American viewers during primetime.
As the show rolls into its second season, the WE television network held a special meet-and-greet with Traci, Towanda, Trina, Tamar, mom Evelyn in Beverly Hills that turned out to be a lively and entertaining exchange. Clips of the upcoming episodes were previewed, immediately followed by a Q and A with the Braxton sisters chatting about the upcoming shows.
Toni, however, was unable to attend after experiencing a flare up of lupus, but sent her regards. “Thank you so much, you’re the ones that make the show for successful for us,” Toni related.
President Kim Martin praised the Braxton sisters and the show.
“We want shows on WE that reflect our lives,” said Martin. “Women want to see other women on TV that remind them of themselves, and ‘Braxton Family Values’ has been doing really well for us. The women have big personalities, but the bottom line is that the show is really about sisters. And let’s face it—they’re funny,” Martin said.
The sisters assure that upcoming shows will be packed with plenty of love, laughter and plenty of drama.
The sisters said that despite rumors, the show is not scripted.
“There’s a lot of stress when you’re doing a reality show,” Trina revealed. “The stress is lessened when you get to talk about things. We don’t leave any stone unturned.”
As for Trina’s last episode confession that infidelity has derailed her marriage to her husband, Gabe, Trina confessed:
“I still don’t know where my man is. I’m still praying and deliberating about (our relationship). We’re trying to leave all the outside influences on the outside.”
Despite her marital troubles, Trina, who no longer drinks, revealed that she is diligently pursuing her education. “It was hard to go to school when you’re taking care of a family, but I’m going back to get my master’s,” she said proudly. “Academics are important. It’s something that no one can take away from you. I express the importance of education not only for myself, but for my children, as well.”
Traci is forging a new path in her life by heading back to beauty school and opening a salon. As for Towanda, she’s headed for an acting career and hopes to make it big on the silver screen.
Other big news is that mom Evelyn is planning to get married, which will be captured in upcoming episodes. “We’re happy,” Evelyn revealed about her relationship. “I don’t want to grow old by myself,” Evelyn confessed. “I’m a good person, so why not? I’ve been burnt before, but this time around, I think I’ve met a really nice person.”
And clips show that Evelyn has expressed interest in singing on the planned Braxton family CD. But in the clip, a few of the sisters look aghast at the possibility of mama joining in.
“Do you see Lady Gaga’s or Beyonce’s mom performing with them?” argues Tamar on the clip. “I don’t think so.”
But Evelyn declared, “I taught my girls how to sing. So I got it like that. I hope to sing (with them) in the future,” said Evelyn.
Tamar said she is working on an upcoming album. “I’m excited about my solo record,” she revealed. “All these years, I’ve been trying to find out who I am as an artist. I think I’ve finally found the sound that fits.”
Asked what was the craziest rumor she’s experienced so far, Trina responded, “One of the craziest things people say to me is that I’m a man, a drag queen or a transvestite. Those are the things men say to me,” she revealed.
“They say I married my husband for money,” said Tamar, whose husband Vince is a producer. “I’m not even going to talk about that because it hurts my feelings.”
Towanda added, “Someone will come up to me and say, ‘I didn’t know Tony had another sister.’”
As for the rocky relationship with their father, Tamar said, “It’s a work in progress. We were hurt and devastated and he finally sees it’s something he needs to fix.”
The clan said they are working on a Braxton clothing line, and Tamar announced that she and Vince have just signed on for their own reality show, which will be entitled “Tamar and Vince.” “There’s a lot more to our lives than what you see on ‘The Braxton Family Values’,” Tamar hinted.
Trina added, “Toni is coming out with a weave line, a skin care line, as well as flat and curling irons in the near future.”
There promises to be lots of twists, turns, laughter and drama in the second season of “Braxton Family Values,” which airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on the WE network.
Here’s a video of the event, courtesy of 135th Agency’s Saptosa Foster: