On Saturday, R&B singer Tamar Braxton posted an old photo of herself from 1996 that she discovered at her parents’ home. Along with the image, she wrote a lengthy caption revealing she has long struggled with body dysmorphia, a mental illness involving an obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in appearance, since the age of 11.
“Can you believe I thought I was FAT??!? (I’d sure like to be that size now lord),” she wrote under the picture. “It’s so funny how you see yourself then, and how it parallels to now. (confession) I STILL struggle with body dysmorphia to THIS DAY all because a record executive told me I was too fat at 11 to be more of a “commercial “ artist.. only to end up having BIG R&B hits TODAY!!! ”
The Grammy-nominated singer correlated the experience with her public familial issues, and how network executives treated their reality show, Braxton Family Values. “We STARTED having major OVER THE TOP family issues because some network wanted to compete with old [Love & Hip Hop] numbers, And felt that our family was [too] ‘perfect’ and unrelatable,” she said. Despite that belief, the Braxton family proved the naysayers wrong. The series is “the longest running Black family reality show” in history.
Through that comparison, the singer told her followers to be cautious of advice or what others say because “people will try to turn you into whatever they want you to be for their benefit.” She ended the message speaking on the importance of self-esteem and being your true self.
Read the message below.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.