Tiny & Toya: Judging the Book

Yea, I judged them. I swear, the first time I attempted to watch this show on BET, the kuntree (not country…not southern) but KUNTREE drawl was getting to me, so…that I couldn’t watch more than 10 minutes. *slapping my own hand* SHAME on me! No for real. As a woman whose family comes from the south and whose best friend has THE best southern accent around (hey Dionne! lol) I should’ve been a little less “snobbish” when watching this show. I don’t usually judge…I normally DO indeed give people a chance to be themselves and pride myself on being a people person…but, perhaps I failed this time.

Sitting here with moms on a HOT Saturday afternoon, she turned to Tiny & Toya…and of course…I said, “Oh boy…THIS show?” My mother proceeded to watch as I kept my head stuck in the laptop…but eventually, my interest was piqued. This show is actually POSITIVE! *gasp* No seriously…these ladies are using their situations to learn life’s lessons and in doing this reality show…they’re most likely going to shed some light on issues that a lot of young black women don’t confront…or just don’t know how to.

Toya, being the ex-wife of Lil Wayne is NOT her only feat. This young lady is learning so much about the concept of family, love and forgiveness. Her mom is a drug addict, who often times gets lost in her life in New Orleans. Toya wants so badly for her mom to get off the drugs, but she’s learning she can’t forcefeed her mother the concept of change. She’s also dealing with the backlash of being the ex-wife of a renowned rapper, whose name is as commonplace as the word rap. Going out and trying to procure something for herself and her daughter, is her goal and she’s doing it fearlessly in spite of her own fears. I’ve seen this young lady fight her fear of heights in a Outward Bound experience with Tiny. I’ve seen her learn to swim even though she’s got a phobia of water. She’s taking on the business world as she looks for a book deal. She’s trying to clean up her image to become more professional and mainstream as opposed to sticking out like an opposable digit. She’s also learning about family and it’s importance, especially because she sees up front and personal through Tiny, what it is she’s been missing. Her father abandoned her and her siblings, especially after their mother took to drugs…to marry another, leaving his “other” family behind. Yet, she’s doing everything in her power to reunite her family…including her dad. She’s sweetly innocent in some ways…which is endearing. I think she won me when she said that Wayne was her first boyfriend, the first one she married, her first lover and the father of her child. That is almost a rarity nowadays…and even thought it’s an unfortunate statistic…it was beautiful to hear her express such anomalies in today’s world.

Then there’s our girl, Tiny. Former member of Xscape and mother of three children. She’s had to say good bye to T.I. for his year and a day stint in prison…which is the longest they’ve ever spent apart. She’s trying to hold it together for her family, and does so with the help of friends like Toya and Keicha (who replaced Kandi in Xscape). She’s got these cool parents. Her mom and dad…the 2nd interracial couple in Georgia to marry legally…are her backbone and stronghold. Her dad, a singer in a group from the 60’s…has Alzheimer’s and goes in and out of knowing…yet, when he performs…he remembers every word of his songs. Tiny is also in the middle of fighting her own fears and moments of procrastination. She’s putting together a young girl group which includes her daughter, Zonnique and Toya’s daughter as well as a few others. What I’ve seen is that she’s so sweet. Her disposition is genuinely docile, yet strong and unwavering. She’s clearly made of strong stuff. I’ve heard so many people call her ugly…and admittedly I, too thought…dang…she’s not all that cute. However, the more I hear her story and see her demeanor as a sweet, genuine and family-oriented woman…she becomes more and more beautiful. Is that not what TRUE beauty is ANYWAY?

You’ll find that together, the ladies do shared monologues between scenes giving their shared and newly learned philosophies…which is touching to me. There’s nothing like, learning life’s lessons…coming in to your own….being self-realizing and introspective…with your best friend. Together these ladies are holding down their families…maintaining love for the men in their lives and breaking down walls of obstacles along the way. Like Toya’s mentor/friend told her, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover…but at the same time, if you don’t like the cover…you wont open the book.” I’m glad I opened the book…I really DO like Tiny & Toya’s stories.

Good luck on your journeys, ladies!