I sat down with Tamar Braxton and Adrienne Bailon of The Real for an up close and personal girl chat while they were here in D.C. The ladies opened up about their experiences with evolving as women to issues that they battle with such as overcoming fear. They also shared with me some of the fun things that they do together while away from the television set. Find out all that we chatted about:
I hear so much buzz in D.C. about The Real. People can appreciate the fact that the ladies put the real in “keeping it real.” How does that make you feel knowing that someone watching – you really made their day and the experiences that you ladies talk about or something that you said —they can apply it to their own lives?
Tamar: It’s amazing and that’s the whole reason why I got into the television business was to make a difference in a positive way so that people could apply not only my experience but it first was the Braxton’s and now it’s no strangers – good friends—their experiences. Back in the day when I was growing up we had The Cosby Show; A Different World; we had Diff’rent Strokes – we had shows like that to give us examples about life but those were scripted, they didn’t really go all in. So now that we have an opportunity to be honest and talk about real life experiences and what real women go through – it’s amazing and it’s amazing that the responses have been so positive and so receptive because this is what positive television is all about.
Tamar, you said on the show that you didn’t want to be the same Tamar that you were 10 years ago. You want to evolve, you want to be confident and my friends should not make me feel bad about wanting different things in my life. Often times, we talk about women sticking with each other and uplifting each other but in some cases you don’t see that. Adrienne can you touch on that?
Adrienne: I think it takes a lot of courage to say something real like that and I think the whole show really is about coming out and saying things like that –things that people have thought or have experienced or felt but their like how can you say that – then you’re going to be like – oh peace out to my friends – but that’s not what it is. The message is that your friends should want to support that growth within you. Women should support other people growing and bettering themselves. You should want to be on that same journey with your friends.
I have definitely been in experiences where my girlfriends have outgrown me and that’s ok and I think that I should be inspired by that to know that it’s time to move on – it’s time to evolve as well and I think that should be inspirational to other people. They shouldn’t feel stifled and feel like oh we can’t grow up, we can’t move on – change is a good thing.
People do change and go in different directions – do you think you can take all of your friends with you?
Adrienne: You can and you can’t. I have a really close friend of mine that still lives back home. I swear it to you — we talk maybe every other day. We laugh — but she and I are very different. We like to do very different things and I’m in a completely different place in my life than she is. The friendship is still there but she doesn’t judge me and I don’t judge her and that’s what makes a difference. She doesn’t look at me and say oh my God — you’re so stuck up now — you spend whatever it is on this pair of shoes. I’ve worked hard to get to that place – to have that sort of luxury and to be able to do that and I don’t look at her and say oh my God you’re still living where we grew up? We don’t see each other that way and we get to do things that we love to do together. So I think that it is possible as long as you’re not gonna judge one another and accept each other for who they are.
Tamar: That’s just because whoever she is talking about has their own confidence. I’ve had girlfriends who make me feel bad. Just recently this January as a matter of fact — this is a very interesting story. I only really only had two girlfriends in high school and one of the two girlfriends came out to where we live and I remember being in the car and my purse was behind me. So like don’t you know how when you are driving and your purse is like right in the seat? She was in the passenger seat and so we stopped at a light and I was like oh can you grab my purse real quick? I want to get something out of my bag and I promise you this was the reaction — I mean do you think you’re Oprah? I just asked you to get my bag boo. Girlfriends now — like me and Adrienne have not been friends for a very long time but if we’re in a conversation and we’re in the car and I’m like oh girl can you grab my bag for me — Adrienne would be like oh sure it’s no problem not thinking that she is my assistant.
Adrienne: I would never think that because I don’t already feel beneath her. She already is defensive and in defense mode — she already thinks Tamar thinks she is better than her but it’s not like Tamar thinks she’s better than her. She thinks Tamar is better than her.
You have to be secure in the path that you chose and be secure in the path that your friend has chosen and say you know what she has worked really hard and I haven’t done the same things to get to where she is — maybe not because she’s not capable — it’s because she didn’t want to and that’s ok.
Tamar: My whole thing is I don’t know where everybody else has been at but I told everybody that this was gonna happen. These were my goals in life and just because it doesn’t happen all the time — people don’t get to see people’s dreams and goals come true and I understand that because I almost gave up on myself too as well but I was a person who wasn’t willing to waver. So at the end of the day — excuse me put your hands in the air — why are we so surprised? Do you understand what I am saying but I also realized that I have a responsibility in it to — I can’t walk around here acting like I’m better than everybody. I can’t walk around – acting like – this can’t happen for you because it happened for me. I’m 37 years old and for me I have to keep being a testament not just to myself but to the people around me and to my community – this can happen for you, you just have to put in the work and that’s it.
Tamar, I went to the Love and War concert at the Fillmore and you talk about your story to never give up on your dream even if someone says you can’t do it, you fight to the best of your ability to make those dreams a reality and Adrienne you were in the industry very young at age 15 with 3LW and a star in the Cheetah girls trilogy how do you two give back to encourage young girls that want to get in the industry?
Adrienne: Leading by example obviously and now that we have this platform on The Real and using that platform to continue to remind people that we weren’t born with silver spoons in our mouths. We had to work to get to where we got and I think that all of us actually have that same story on that stage. All of us worked really hard to get to where we are. We came from situations where the odds were against us. We were all the under dogs at some point and I think that that in itself is a message to children. Like oh my God this is a panel of five women of color who have really worked extremely hard to get to where they are and this is the first time that there has been a show like this — that in itself is a testament to times changing and that we are opening and hopefully paving the way for the next generation for women of color.
Tamar: We’re not there yet. We’re just figuring it out.
Adrienne – Getting the opportunity to even get the show to get picked up in itself shows that there is more to come like this. More programming that will be targeted and focused on a more diverse cast but along with that for me — and I know Tamar does tons of stuff like this as well –going out in the community and doing charity work — I’m really involved with the boys and girls club of America. I went to the Boys and Girls club because my mom worked and when I would come out of school – I needed a place to go and do my homework and so I try to support things like that. That is where my heart is at. I try to encourage young people to follow their dreams. I think even if you’re born in an urban community that it’s always something available to you whether it be a dance class or whether you do really good in school and you can get a scholarship. I couldn’t afford dance class and I did well enough in school where I got scholarships to go to these sorts of things. So if you just put your mind to it and if you educate people enough and they know that they can find resources to help them get to where they need to go then that’s also really important.
Tamar: My story is absolutely ridiculous. People think I grew up and got opportunities on hook ups alone. No no no………..It’s like the other side of the spectrum because people look at you and are like well why do you want to do this? Well because at the end of the day I didn’t see myself being a housewife. I had my own dreams and goals and if that’s what you want to do then that’s what you want to do. That’s fine….If you want to be at home and raise five or six kids…..that’s also a dream or goal as well because there are women in America and in the world that can’t have kids and can’t fulfill their dream doing that but at the end of the day I feel like I have a responsibility for those who feel like they have nowhere to go and no outlet and no one to turn to and I feel like though all of my experiences seeing other people — I used to say if you want to blow up hang around me because all of my friends we would hang out and next thing I know they are major worldwide superstars – like oooh what about me? It’s real….It happened to Toni. It happened to Gaga, JoJo — everybody I was around and so I just feel like I can’t have a concert or can’t go to a meet and greet and I can’t go to a radio station or a setting like this and not express to everyone that’s listening that there is a space for you as long as you keep going; you keep practicing definitely because my life was not built on hook ups because if that was the case I would be the Tamar that I am today 15 years ago.
The ladies on The Real have great chemistry. What do you ladies do for fun off of the set?
Adrienne: We’re regular girls. We like to go out for a drink. We like Hot n Juicy. We’re normal girls. We like food. We find good food. We like a good drink.
Tamar: We talk about boys. We talk about relationships. We talk about fashion. We talk about who is wrong and who should not ever try that again! We talk about music.
Adrienne: We talk about what songs we like. Do we like the music video? Does it seem corny? We talk about every and anything you could ever imagine and I think that the great thing is that we genuinely like each other. There is a message in that. We are nothing alike. We are all so different but we like each other.
Tamar: It’s not completely cookie cutter now. Everybody works on each other’s nerves but that’s real girlfriends. How we look at it is like this is girlfriend check in hour. We’re sitting around just having a conversation – a girl chat and so soon as somebody gets out of line….it doesn’t necessarily have to be me — although it’s mostly me but one of the things that we decided to do when we first met was decide that every day is Monday so we’re gonna start brand new and fresh every day. So if I have an issue with you today and you worked on my last nerve –tomorrow it doesn’t exist.
You just have to let it go because you don’t want that negative energy to mess up where you ladies are going.
Tamar: No it’s not about work. It’s about showing people that five women can get along and work together and make things work.
Adrienne: You have a bigger responsibility. It’s about getting the job done. It’s also about going against the stereotype.
I saw where you ladies had a segment on the show about conquering your fears. I can’t stress how important that is because if you don’t conquer your fears — you can end up holding yourself back and hindering yourself from growing. What are some other fears that you have had to overcome in life?
Adrienne: For me, I’m constantly scared. I’m not gonna lie. I’m constantly fearful of what’s to come and people don’t realize that just because you’re doing something doesn’t mean that you’re fearless but you get up every day and you do it. Even doing a show like this and being honest and open — you open yourself to allowing people to judge you. Like well why did she say that? It takes a lot of courage to be real and I don’t think people really realize that and for me I was afraid of it – Like what are people going to think of me from anything to talking about I got breast implants to when I turned 19 to relationships that went wrong to my opinions. You can be afraid to voice your opinions but you just fight through it. It’s like NIKE okay you just do it.
Circling back to the breast implants, can you touch on what you said on the show about going from one insecurity to facing another insecurity?
Adrienne: Your insecurity doesn’t change and had I just dealt with what it was that I didn’t like originally and been like this is the way I am and accepted it I would have never had the other issues.
Tamar: My fear was snakes and that’s something I’m definitely not going to work on but something that I do work on a daily basis is fear of being successful and because I was so unsuccessful for so long. I was used to the word no. I was used to you’re not good enough or ummmm not quite there or ooooh you need to fix this about you. So for me I am honestly walking in faith every single day that I am going to be able to handle whatever God has for me. Because I am not used to being in a place where people appreciate my work and understand my work and want to be a part of my work and getting something out of my work because for so long it was so misunderstood. So the success part for me is the hardest part and everyday I’m still battling….I’m not crying this is not Barbara Walters. You are not Barbara Walters. You don’t look nothing like her…..battling with myself and trying to jump over that hurdle because you have to have a certain amount of self-esteem to accept success and a lot of people don’t talk about that.
So what do you say to yourself every day when you go out there and face this world?
Tamar: I do it for the people who can’t and for the people that wish they were in this situation. What would they do? They won’t give up. They won’t turn around and drive home.
Adrienne: Always remember that somebody is praying for the opportunity that you have. I saw a quote once that said “Whatever it is that you are complaining about – somebody is wishing that they had.” Like if today we said oh my God we had to get up this morning at 4 am —this is ridiculous and we be complaining about that but at the same time, there is somebody praying that they had somewhere to go at 4 am in the morning. There is somebody sitting up trying to figure out how they are gonna pay their rent at 4 am in the morning. So we are so blessed to say you know what think of that person – the person that can’t be in the situation that you’re in or isn’t and do it for them. Get up and be gracious and excited and happy to wake up at 4 am in the morning for those that can’t.
What’s next on the horizon for you ladies?
Adrienne: The Real! That is my main focus and I also have another show on Oxygen called Nailed It that is premiering October 7. It is a nail art competition show. I have a nail polish line called “Fingertip Fetish.” Nails are my passion and I am so excited to be able to host that show and the winner of it actually wins $100,000 to embark on their own business of starting their own nail polish line or nail salon. It’s a really fun show.
Tamar: Of course I have the Braxtons and Tamar and Vince and I also have another show that is on WeTV – it is coming out in February called Glam Slam. It’s almost like Fashion Police meets Watch What Happens Live. We talk about everybody under the sun – fashion and hair and makeup and styling. Of course I’m working on my second record which I’m so excited. Vincent told me today that my single will be out in a week. I’m really enjoying this music and it’s about time Vincent Herbert. Hopefully in the summer I get to go on another tour because that was one of the best times of my life.
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