Saturday, August 08, 2009

Tiny & Toya



I need for people to know the difference between being raised in the hood (i.e. what MOST people read off as you being "ghetto") and acting like a damn fool.

I will admit that when I heard the show Tiny & Toya was coming out, I was one of the first people to give it the side eye because:

1 - it's on BET ( I ABHOR this damn television station because it's almost like it is trying it's hardest to live up to EVERY NEGATIVE stereotype about African American/Black people that was ever created; I have a problem supporting a station that is supposed to be for Black people but only targets f*cking idiots)

2 - every show that has been on BET has been an embarrassment to me as an educated Black person (this includes Keyshia Cole's show; granted she wasn't the one acting a plum idiot every episode but it showcased her crazy azz family and NOW...everyone and their momma think EVERYBODY Black and/or in Oakland and/or from Oakland acts like these coons...I was born/raised in Oakland. It rubs me the wrong way at times...)

Because of those 2 main factors, I steered clear of watching anything associated with the show. A few of my friends had status messages on Facebook about the show and I laughed or joked them about watching it BECAUSE it's BET...did I mention I HATE that station? But what could I REALLY say about the show? I had never seen it so my bias would be VERY apparent and one sided. So I just laughed about surface info I knew about Tiny & Toya...which really aint much, considering 5 million other people know the same thing I know about them...Tiny is T.I.'s girl and Toya is Lil Waynes ex-wife.

So...I watched the show this morning after perusing Smashedthehomie's blog.

I watched it and I will admit...I like these 2 chicks. Seriously, all BS aside....I have friends who have similar personalities to both of these women. They weren't acting belligerent, ignorant, and embarrassing the entire population of Black/African Americans that actually operate in life like they have some damn sense. Considering how Toya grew up and how young she was when she had Reginae and married Wayne, she could have been the stereotypical "ghetto" banshee that so many people allow to represent Black women as a whole. But she isn't....and she wasn't one time in the show. She wasn't loud and just....dumb as hell. She act like she has some sense...and I appreciate that more than words can express.

Tiny...parts of her life look TOTALLY unnecessary (all them kids and not married) but really, who am I to judge her? Whether you have 4 kids and not married or 1 and not married (read: me), we both in the same boat. So let's not focus on the obvious...but let's look at how she carries herself. Just because she talks "country" as hell that doesn't AUTOMATICALLY make her "ghetto". Her accent is a direct result of her geographic placement...not a signifying factor of her intelligence level. Never once do you catch her being a constant embarrassment to Black women either.

Now, I know this was just episode 1 I was watching but it made me reconsider whether or not I would watch anymore episodes. I think I will. I'm sure something might happen that causes them to show one of their many sides of being a woman but personally, I don't think it will be anything that you can directly connect to Black people just acting a fool on TV.

For anyone who hasn't watched the first episode and has refused to support BET, feel free to watch the video I attached below. It isn't a disappoint to the Black race and doesn't set us back a few hundred years. Watch and THEN form a better opinion... (the video has been removed from my blog because it automatically plays when someone goes directly to my entire blog; kind of irritating so run a search if you want to see it. I found it at Daily Motion. Adios!)


12 points of view:

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

I was totally surprised too. I see them as the young women trying to make a good life for themselves and, most importantly, their families.

Black Yoda said...

I stopped watching B.E.T. in the late 90's. Last time I checked out B.E.T., Tavis Smiley had a show and there was a nightly news program. They canceled the news and I forgot if Tavis was dropped or decided to leave. In any event, I always found it funny to hear Tavis sounding like the lost member of Bone-Thugs-n-Harmony trying to get in his questions in his 30 minute time slot. Meanwhile they play the same videos over and over again for the remaining 21 hours (add in approximately 2.5 hours for infomercials and sermons featuring pastors with symbols of wealth for last names. Ex. Gold, Cash, Dollar)

I watched the first part of the video. I guess they weren't a complete embarrassment. Is that the test for quality programming at B.E.T.? :-) Still, they've made poor choices with respect to relationships and they've subjected their children to their mess too. I know T.I. and Lil' Wayne are famous and currently generate a lot of income (generating and saving are not the same thing), but we have a multiple felon who's currently incarcerated and a heavy drug addict/Pop Diva Impregnator...and that's putting the best spin on it that I can. We have one mother who came from a very unstable background and decided to have a child at 14. The other one has 3 children from 2 men. Do I pretty much have it right? I hope everything works out for them, but this whole situation is a mess. There are plenty of regular guys out there who aren't state property or in a state of inebriation. I'ma pitch a show to the networks. It's about a black man who takes care of his responsibilities, his community and goes to work. There's nothing like it on television. It'll be hailed as groundbreaking. Revolutionary. Critics will say it's unrealistic and doesn't reflect "Urban reality". Maybe it pushes the envelope too much. I might have to go to HBO or Showtime :-)

I haven't subscribed to cable since 2002. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. You save money and you can detox your mind at the same time. That's a win-win.

Assertive Wit said...

CurvyGirl: that's what I gathered from it too...yeah, they've made their "mistakes" in life but they are moving forward with life and that's what the show seemed to showcase...how they are living now.

Black Yoda: I specifically stated that neither of these women were an embarrassment to me because the show isn't about Toya when she was 14 getting pregnant...it's about her NOW as an adult, living with the young choices she made and raising her daughter. The show is not about Wayne and his drug addiction, therefore, I didn't mention it.

Tiny isn't an embarrassment to me either because her family is what's most important to her right now. Sure we can focus on the man in her life being incarcerated for his obvious stupidity but again...the show isn't about Clifford Harris; it's about Tameka Cottle and how she is living her life RIGHT NOW.

I think it's good for real people to be on television sometimes that are making changes in their life for the better so that people who have similar lives do not just sit around and think that is their only option...to live the life their current environment provides them. You can choose to do something different.

Toya could have chose to stay in New Orleans...she moved away so that her and her daughter could experience a better life than what she knew she'd experience there.

I'm sure you haven't made 100% GREAT decisions in life either, whether it was when you were younger or even now as an adult. If you are doing better for yourself NOW though, to constantly focus on the past isn't doing anyone, including yourself, any good. No one is perfect and I don't think that is what the show is trying to portray nor is that what I was getting at when I wrote this blog. I did mention the same things you mentioned about the young ladies but I didn't dwell on them because it's obvious there is more to them than those "choices" they made when they were younger.

As for your "show" you want to pitch to a network, what's stopping you? What's stopping you from pitching it to BET? Not unless you were being sarcastic :)

I currently don't have cable either...I'd rather read than watch TV more often than not so I guess I'm ALWAYS winning :)

NaturallyAlise said...

I was surprised by the show too, I thought it was going to be a Housewives of ATL type of mess, ugh don't get me started on that, but it turned out to be 2 women trying to make their way in life and growing. I also loved that it focused on the strength of friendships which is something sorely missing with black women, well women in general actually... I like your breakdown of the show :)

Black Yoda said...

I'm not focusing on the men in their life either. I'm focusing on their decision-making process. They chose those men to be in relationships with. They chose to have kids with them. They chose to tell their story on B.E.T. so young people can see another winner of the ghetto lottery and know...know that they too can be a winner. Anything is possible! :-( And while I hope things work out for their kids, it's this type of nonsense that needs to be avoided. Typically, the people who make similarly poor decisions are not going to get a show on B.E.T. or have children with rap stars or write a book because they had children with rap stars. They're just going to struggle most of their young lives and have some socially maladjusted children who may end up identifying with Tiny and Toya because they went through a similar fucked-up situation. Well, I want our sights to be set higher.

This reminds me of supporters of Karrine Stephans who tell me they identify with her because she went through a lot and is trying to change her life for the better....or something like that. She did go through a lot and you can applaud the change in direction if you'd like, but you don't have to identify with her story. It's probably better that you didn't. :-) I'd rather children never watch B.E.T. (or television in general) than spend their time identifying with Tiny or Toya. But that's just my opinion. I don't pretend to be perfect. We've all made mistakes. I have nothing against them personally, but B.E.T and all of its current "original" programming should be burned to the ground. Now that would be something worth watching. :-)

Assertive Wit said...

Black Yoda: you're being biased based on PAST decisions those women made and applying them to their current day to day life. You yourself said you only "watched the first part of the video" so your assessment can only be taken with a grain of salt.

I think it VERY unfair of you to lump Antonia Carter in the same boat as Karrine Steffans because what proof do you or anyone else for that matter have that she CONTINUED to make bad decisions after getting pregnant at 14? You haven't stated anything substantial in regards to her "bad decision making" that would lend credit to her being a habitual idiot. You mentioned her being with Wayne but it is MORE than obvious that WHO he is TODAY is NOT the person she married. I'm MORE than sure she'd still be married to him if he hadn't started changing negatively. I think that was a GOOD decision to make for herself personally AND for her daughter so that her daughter doesn't grow up in a household thinking the abuse of drugs is "alright". Maybe you should have watched the ENTIRE show.

I wouldn't have gotten married at that young but was that a bad decision to marry the father of her child so they could be a family? No. They stayed together for quite some time and there is no mention of her having any more children with Wayne or any other man, for that matter. She's pretty much stayed under the radar of "flashing lights" until the divorce came out...and now this show. So, since you know SO MUCH about the bad decisions she's continued to make in regards to her life, enough to compare her to Karrine Steffans, I'd like to hear more. I'm waiting....

As for the comparison in regards to Tameka Cottle, yes, I will agree that as far as having children with multiple men, there have been some bad decisions made there. Last I checked she had 4 kids by 3 different men; her oldest being pretty much a teenager, another kid whose paternal origin I am not familiar and the last 2 boys from Clifford Harris who she has been in a relationship with for the past 6 years. If you wanna ride her for that...be my guest.

I am not "supporting" ANYONE'S bad decision's but if I can see with my own two eyes that at least one of these women have made the necessary changes to move forward with her life, I'm certainly not going to call her a bad decision maker for something she did over 10 years ago. There is a big difference between HER LIFE and Karrine Steffans. Frankly, I didn't see much change in direction as far as Karrine goes. I saw a woman with an opportunity to tell her story and THEN choose "classier" men with more substantial incomes to sleep with. I didn't really see her smutty behavior change...but hey, that could just be what I saw and I READ THE ENTIRE BOOK before forming an opinion about her as a person.

I'm not throwing my cape on for any of these women but I am encouraging you to be fair in how you view people who have these kinds of lives and CHOOSE to make better decisions. You aren't doing that here AT ALL and it bothers me because you appear to be someone who can logically assess an entire situation; just in this instance, you're choosing not to because you've condemned them as victims of their own circumstances.

As I stated before I DO NOT LIKE BET AND I DO NOT WATCH THE STATION. I didn't watch this show on that station; I saw this episode on the internet on someone's blog. Should I happen to watch anymore episodes, I'll more than likely see them online as well.

I'm not saying this is Grade A quality programming either; I just appreciate that they are showing Antonia Carter as a young woman who didn't CONTINUE to make bad decisions with her life and did better for her daughter. That isn't so hard to understand or to agree with that YES, SHE HAS NOT ALLOWED HERSELF TO BE A VICTIM OF HER OWN CIRCUMSTANCES.

And that has ALWAYS been my point...

Black Yoda said...

I could only stand to watch the first half. So to be fair, I watched the rest of it and the first half was more than enough. I'm not against either one of them. I'm against all the crappy programming and B.E.T. I was thinking about qualifying my statement about Karrine Steffans when I said it. I was hoping I wouldn't have to, but I will. I'm not saying they are just like Karrine Steffans. I'm saying the argument used to defend them is similar to the one I heard used to defend her. She's changed her life for the better. She's empowering herself. Women can identify with her story and struggle, etc. And somehow, I guess, through this identification, they won't make the same mistakes? That's the part that's usually a bit foggy :-) They made some mistakes in the past (as we all do), but they haven't learned from them as much as they're trying to profit by them. And I'm not even mad at them for that. People do that all the time including some of the rappers they've been with. I'm just saying I'm not going to cosign it.

It's like Michael Vick getting his own show on Animal Planet. :-) He can show us how much he learned about proper treatment of dogs. He can show us how much he learned from his past mistakes. Does anyone really need to see that? The concept is ridiculous. We all know this is a business and it would be a transparent attempt to cash in on his infamy. And despite whatever small amounts of sage advice that might be offered, the show would be a spectacle more than anything else and your time would be better spent doing almost anything else, or even nothing. Maybe Chris Brown can host a relationship show in a couple years. He'll have a whole treasure trove of experiences he can draw from. :-)

The alternative is to try to prevent young people from going down that path in the first place. The very existence of this show says that you can make a lot of stupid choices when you're young and still be successful. And you know what? You can. George Bush is a great example of that. But that's not the message young people, especially young black people, need when their margin of error in this society is so small compared to others. There's a whole lot more failures than success stories out there and there's no reality show at the end of the rainbow for them.

Black Yoda said...

These shows are like the ghetto equivalent of the lottery. "Who's the next Reality show winner going to be?" "You got to play to win." Anyone can win, but if one truly understood the odds, then you probably wouldn't want to play. But if you don't play, then the Government and their subsidiaries don't get their money so they try to make playing look as attractive as possible even though it's bad for you. They want people to get caught up in the idea of playing and the possibility of winning even though they'll most likely end up worse off for doing so. Similarly, they try to get young people to watch this and think "Even if I fuck up badly I can still make it. After all, they did." Shouldn't the point be to succeed? This means you can't fuck up badly. You can't keep making the same mistakes.

Seriously, look at the premise of this show: 2 rappers who act/acted stupidly get famous. Now 2 women who acted stupidly with them are trying to get famous for the stupid things they did. I can already see the book deals, the new albums, maybe even a fashion line flashing before their eyes. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they don't plan on making a dime from this. Maybe they didn't get the show because of who they've been with. Maybe they just want to mentor young people to avoid the mistakes they made. After all, B.E.T. has an excellent track record of providing quality, responsible news and entertainment. And this show was going to happen even without the side pieces of two of the most popular rappers in the country. I sure would like to see the other common, ordinary finalists they had before settling with Tina and Toya. The point of the sarcasm is not to belittle them, but the vehicle they've chosen to tell their story. I see through B.S. no matter how well it's dressed up. Overall, this show is ridiculous...though not more so than most of what is on television. Again, I'm not against them personally. And yes, they're much better than Flavor Flav, but that's not really a compliment.

No child should watch this show or anything else on B.E.T. That's what I'm concerned about.
I worry for the kids who don't have a competent, caring adult who can turn off the B.E.T. sludge pipe (cable wire) and counterbalance all the terrible messages that come from it and people who have been damaged by it and the media in general.

kweensweetee said...

when i heard the preview for this show, i thought the same thing: oh great, another one! but after watching the video clip, i have to agree with u, syn, and add that this is an ok show. i went online and watched the rest of the episodes and it's not that bad.

side note and personal opinion: if this show was really about their famous lifestyles and their famous 'men', it would showcase that, but i find it's really about their struggles to find themselves and work towards being better human beings despite their past mistakes, and i appreciate that about the show seeing the 'mess' that has been on the air lately.

another thing, after watching the rest of the episodes, one of the Tiny's 'children' (the light skinned little girl with cinnamon hair) is her niece. Tiny only has 3 children. im just saying.

Thumbs up for the blog!

Assertive Wit said...

kweensweetee: thanks for that clarification; I had a friend who has 2 children with 2 different fathers. Her daughter is a teenager and her son is an infant. Yes it sounds bad when you say "oh, she has 2 baby daddys" but when you see the span of time between each kid, it's essentially the same as a woman who has a kid in her single days and then a decade later gets married and has another child. Her saving grace becomes her marriage but as it stands, her children have different fathers.

I appreciated your "side note". I've learned that society, as a whole, is VERY unforgiving at times. Rehabilitation is a process that anyone who has made a mistake must go through in an effort to make themselves better people. However, if there is ALWAYS going to be that group of people standing there to push them down when they are trying to get up, how in the hell are they ever going to be able to do better? We can't continue trying to make people pay for mistakes that they aren't continuously making...it's stupid and inhumane to a degree.

Jay_fever said...

This back and forth exchange in the comments is somewhat humorous to me. Especially after reading your blog and you're various attempts at saying that it's not cool to judge people because in so many words... "nobody's perfect".

One thing I have to say is that "Tiny" didn't win any "lottery" she has been relatively successful in the music business both in the spotlight and behind the scenes for some time now. So to write her off as if she's some chick that got lucky by getting knocked up by a successful rapper not only is it not fair, but it's also not accurate. One of the first things she says in the video is that she has a writing credit on the TLC song,"No Scrubs". The album which that song appeared on, Fanmail, sold diamond (that's 10 million albums). So I'm sure she has something positive to add to the world.

Assertive Wit said...

Jay_fever: I stopped the "exchange" because it's obvious that some people just aren't going to let ONE BAD DECISION go on another human beings behalf. It happens all the time in "normal" people's lives too...what you do as a youngster can follow you around for the rest of your life (i.e. being a knucklehead, getting in trouble with the law ONCE, then branded as a failure in society even if you aren't behaving the same after your mishap).

I knew about Tameka's accomplishments as well but you know, for some people, it doesn't matter. She lost all credibility (apparently) when she chose to let a felon impregnate her (insert my sarcasm). Never mind that she had money and stability LONG before she even met T.I....but whatever, you know what they say about going back and forth with some people...after a while it doesn't matter who's right, both parties start to look silly as hell.

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