The Hypocrisy of the Braxton's Family Values

Photo Courtesy of WE TV
By Brenda Alexander

Nothing irritates me more than seeing black kinfolk treating each other like enemies on any public space while we and non-coloreds (i.e. white people) sit and consume their familial drama for entertainment. We have enough outsiders preying on our downfall for us to partake in the mess, especially publically. Unfortunately, this has become the case for my beloved Braxton family.

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I’ve been a stan since the show premiered on WeTV in 2011. Five black sisters who were beautiful, had solid bonds and who could all sing...I thought to myself, this is the second, female, coming of the Jackson 5! Or at minimum, they were the Kardashians but WITH talent. It was refreshing to see a successful black family on television that displayed positivity. But, all good things come to an end.

Any BFV fan will tell you that there have always been internal issues. Their parents split after over three decades of marriage as a result of their philandering pastoral father’s ways. It was discovered later that the girl's broken home, despite them being adults when their parents divorced, led to issues amongst them.

Toni has been vocal about feeling as if she’s always had to share her successes with her equally talented sisters out of guilt that she was chosen by LaFace over them. Traci was often treated as an outcast from the rest of the sisters. She became pregnant when they were due to sign a record contract and her sisters went on without her, leaving her bitter and resentful for not being able to fulfill her dream as a singer with her family. Towanda, Trina and Tamar released music as a trio sans Traci, but that was short-lived due to what they felt were mediocre songs and marketing, with record labels not knowing what to do with the sisters of a megastar and in-fighting between the sisters. Tamar went solo and it wasn’t until the reality show that all 5 of them worked on any type of project together, on or off stage.

What’s perceived as the downfall of The Braxton’s has been a long time coming. Since season 1, we’ve watched the sisters fight and argue and whether they want to admit it or not, all of their issues are magnified when it included any type of creative endeavor, as a collective or individually. It took 6 years after trying and failing dozens of times to produce a Braxton album and even then, it wasn’t in the form that fans expected. Instead, we received an 8-track Christmas album, mainly featuring the vocals of Trina, Towanda and Toni and only two with all five because of scheduling conflicts and attitudes. There was an issue when Tamar accepted a spin-off with her husband, which according to the sisters, she was not forthcoming about. They haven’t always supported each other’s careers, most notably Traci, who was kicked off of Toni’s latest tour- which many suspect Tamar, who was also on the roster, had a say in. And let’s not forget about the time when Tamar allegedly threw her sisters and mother out of a venue after she was pissed that her sisters joined her on stage. They stay in each other’s marital and relationship business, secretly hated one sisters husband and spilled all the tea once things came to a head, downgrade each other’s business ventures, and separate into sub-cliques when the majority are on the outs with another.

You have to remember we are dealing with sisters here, not a random ensemble cast that were put together for the sake of a show. They know each other's strengths and weaknesses and play off of such when fighting. I’m sure words they spew at one another cut deeper than a social media thug/outsider. In the first two seasons, the fighting was tolerable; but, its escalated to the point of no return.

Just recently, filming came to a halt after the sisters, with the exception of Traci, decided to boycott because of pay disputes. This spilled over to the gram after the others, most notably Tamar, disapproved of her decision to continue to work.

Say what you want about the Kardashians, but they put on a united front. Despite the magnitude of hate thrown their way, they have yet to turn on one another. Take the whole Rob and Blac Chyna fiasco. When the relationship ended, due to loyalty and respect for her brother, Kim has made it a point to never speak ill of Chyna or any other sibling’s significant other as children are involved. I need the Braxtons to take notes.

You would think therapy would be a valuable resource, but that’s worked to no avail. They over-talked Dr. Sherry for the first 4 seasons and even God’s own disciple Bishop TD Jakes could only do so much healing. The simple answer would be to turn the cameras off until they did the work to save their family. But, they have opted out of doing so. It’s been reported that they have called on Iyanla Vanzant for her help and they are scheduled to appear on an episode of Fix My Life. If Iyanla’s methods of laying her client’s heads in her big bosoms and grabbing them by the hands while she endearingly calls them beloved and forces them to face their truths doesn’t work, then I don’t know what will. Because if we can’t get back to the Braxtons who harmonized on que at the snap of a finger, the fun shade they gave each other and even Tamar’s outlandishness (at minimal), then cancel the damn show.

 What do you think about The Braxtons family drama?
Brenda is a Philadelphia native with a love for Marketing, Creative writing, wine and Jesus. Her work has been featured on Mayvenn’s Real Beautiful blog and she is the co-author of the book Christmas 364: Be Merry and Bright Beyond Christmas Night (available for purchase on amazon). Follow her on IG @trulybrenda_ and trulybrenda.wordpress.com

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