Competition gets Tamar Braxton going. It’s no wonder the baby sis of the Braxton clan, known for her “dot.com” phrases and over-the-top sass, has pulled away as the breakout star of her family’s reality show, Braxton Family Values, now in its second season.
“That is Tamar 150 percent,” says sister Towanda, laughing. “She is more vocal with us than anyone else. We’ve allowed her to get away with stuff as the youngest. This season, we’re setting boundaries.”
Tamar admits to having heard family members caution her repeatedly, not about what she says but how she says it. After watching the first season of the top-rated show, the blunt baby of the bunch now understands.
“All these years, I never had anything to go by. I got a chance to see a mirror of myself,” explains Tamar. “I have changed in that I realized I had to tone it down. My sisters are grown women. It’s not cool to pop off and give unsolicited advice all the time. I kind of grew up.”
Exposing her personal life was “a huge and terrifying risk” for Toni, their Grammy Award-winning big sister. The fans, tuning in each week and helping the show soar in ratings, made the gamble worthwhile.
“At the end of the day, despite what you hear in the media,” says Toni, “the Braxtons are a strong, loyal and happy family. We love each other, and nothing will ever change that.”
Trina assures that “98 percent” of what’s shown is reality. “You see the true intensity,” she says. “Some things you just can’t fake, especially when you’re a family.” Since the show’s wild success, how is Toni adjusting to sharing the spotlight with her younger siblings?
“Those are my sisters and my family. I always wish the best for them, whether collectively or individually,” she says. “Sharing the spotlight, I don’t think about it really, because that’s my family. Making sure each of my sisters realizes [she is] equally beautiful and talented is always a good focus.”
Tamar has a much different take on the matter. “I’m gonna say, ‘No comment,’” she quips.
After all, it was Toni who initially didn’t want to do a reality show. Then, losing a game of Monopoly to—who else?—Tamar, changed everything.
“Looking back, it’s funny because that game could have been a scene out of the show,” says Toni. “It was very Braxton. I lost, I had to live up to [my end of the deal], and now we have the No. 1 show on WE tv.”
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Senior Editor, EBONY Magazine