The âRealâ Tamar Braxton [EXCLUSIVE]
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we aren’t told, on-camera, what those lies were. But Tamar insists that being abused by Vince is one of them. “My husband definitely doesn’t abuse me,” she says, explaining that Gabe was only trying to take the heat off of himself by spewing lies about the family. “But, that’s been addressed (with Gabe). We don’t really have a close relationship anymore …but I’m respectful. I say ‘hi’ and ‘bye,’ and that’s where we leave it.”

But hints of her past abusive relationships subconsciously emerge in her playful banter with Vince. In the theme song to their spinoff show about the ups and downs of marriage, Tamar sings to Vince, “Sometimes I want to hit ya.” And on the show, she often calls Vince, “Ike,” and he calls her “Anna Mae,” a reference to the notoriously abusive relationship between Ike and Tina Turner. But, she says, she never thought about these things within the context of being a survivor of abuse. To the two of them, it’s all in fun and is more a reference to the couple working together in the music industry and Vince being her manager and sometimes being too demanding than it is to Ike’s actual violent history with Tina.

But one way that she is certain being abused has impacted her is where her self-esteem is concerned.  She admits that the Tamar we see today, confident and opinionated, is only a few years in the making.  The one who will cut you down before you can cut her down, she says, “Definitely, definitely, definitely” came from being abused and feeling powerless in her relationships:

“I haven’t always been vocal about my feelings, especially in a relationship. Now, I make sure that I’m very vocal about my feelings, everybody knows how I feel.  Sometimes it’s over the top and most of the time it’s ‘Team Too-Much,’” she laughs, “But I have to do a lot. (I was) a shy person who had self-esteem issues trying to figure it out -- now,  I’ve gotten over my hangovers. You say, I’m comfortable and confident, it took a long time to get there. Maybe like a year or so before Braxton Family Values, I wasn’t that person. I was faking it til I make it, pretty much.

"I didn’t feel like I was beautiful. I didn’t feel like I deserved things. I didn’t feel like I could stand in a room and speak or even sing and have people who wanted to listen."

A part of that came from her lifelong struggle with the skin disorder Vitiligo, which causes skin to lose its pigment.  She says,

Anybody with skin issues knows that that’s a very sensitive subject. And that’s why I’ve never shared that I have Vitiligo, because I do. I’ve always had it, since I was a young girl. It’s not as bad as others because everybody has it differently, but I’ve certainly had mine diagnosed.  That’s why I tan. People say, “You bleach your skin!” But I tan just so I can have a better tone on my skin, boo!

It’s gotten worse since I’ve gotten pregnant. If you shake my hand now, to me it’s more noticeable. But when you get diagnosed with a skin disorder, it’s hard. It does weigh on your self-esteem. It really does. But I’m done defending that. I’m not bleaching my skin and if I was bleaching my skin and I felt like saying so, I would, but for the record, I am not.

And skin bleaching is not the only accusation she’s fought off over the years. The most persistent are rumors of plastic surgery, which she adamantly denies.

"I don’t have plastic surgery. I never had plastic surgery. I had a nose procedure done because I had to. I had no cartilage in my nose, I have a piece of cartilage from my ear put into my nose. I had a medical procedure done. I have no plastic in my nose. And when I shared that with the world, now I have Botox, and different kind of fillers. Now I touch my face, which I never touch my face…Everything is real on me."

But, she hasn’t written plastic surgery off, just yet:

"After I have my baby, I might can’t say that everything is real on me. I might get my breasts done. Who knows if my breasts gonna go down to my ankles--I can’t do that!”

She laughs but then gets serious when discussing the one person who has been able to help her rebuild her self-worth.

"The thing that I love the most about (Vincent) is that he’s helped me with accepting what happened to me and helped me realize that that’s not my make-up, (being abused) is not who I am, it hasn’t hindered who I am, it hasn’t stopped my integrity. I really appreciate him more and more everyday