Tionna Smalls Tionna Smalls

Vixen Chat [Part 2]: Tionna Smalls Slams 'Basketball Wives,' Seeks to Uplift Women

Since we were first introduced to Smalls on VH1's What Chili Wants, audiences have witnessed the blunt honest take an alternate route to get her point across. Instead of sugarcoating tips or giving faulty advice (which TV sometimes calls for), the 27-year-old media personality decided to pen books that serve as self-help manuals.

Girl Get Your Mind Right and most recent kickstart to a pocketbook series, Men Love Abuse, have gained a healthy amount of recognition, launching Tionna to the top of our list of relationships advisers. Should we sleep with the man we're dating? Do we give men too much power? Should we ignore his phone calls?

She answers it all, even adding in tales of her own love mishaps.

Vixen caught up with the Brooklyn native on her way to Lovey's boutique. In part I of this interview, she spills on why nice girls finish last, why she thinks celebs are watering down her lane and the top dating no-no's. But now, in part II, she's slamming VH1's Basketball and telling us her plans for future projects. --Niki McGloster
VIBE VIXEN: What is it that you think black women are doing wrong?

TIONNA SMALLS: Giving up too much for love. Women give up too much of themselves for love. We give up our coochie, our mouth, our past, at times we give up our bread, and it's gotta change. If I can’t save this generation, I will try to help the other generation and those girls coming up. I just do not like these women now.

With the younger girls, their is an issue of wanting to "claim" a man so quickly.
Ugh, girls are claiming everything these days. Very possessive these young girls are. Personally, I don’t want a young girl to be claimed. If you are 18 and under, you are too young to be claimed. I mean, I did it at a young age. But you have to ask yourself, Are you sad more than you are happy? Does your mother like him? Is he on your level? These are things that black women have to ask themselves. I’m writing a book for teenagers, and after I get a few more of these Pocketbook series out of the way, I’m going to write a book for the teenage girl. I’m gonna travel the world talking about it and like get serious with these teenager thing.

You've mentioned previously that crying in front of your man is a huge no-no, but why?
Take your ass in the shower and cry. You can’t be showing emotions to your man. You can’t cry in front of these people like that unless you maybe put in five or more years. But if it's only been a few months, and you cry because he made you upset about something, he got you. It’s like playing cards, you don’t show your whole hand in spades. You showing your cards by crying, and he knows he got you.

So when is it okay to cry?
I don’t think you should cry over relationship issues. I know some people may think, She is such a hard ass bitch, but when you are first in a relationship, you don’t need to be doing those things. Crying aint gonna change the situation.

Okay, let's switch gears. I know you've heard about Chad and Ev's situation.
I don’t watch Basketball Wives anymore for the simple fact that it lowers your IQ. I watched the show because my fans loved it and to watch with them, but I don’t like anyone on that show. Everyone [on the show] plays too tough. Staring at a bunch of weak bitches all day? I don’t have time for that.

You want to be inspired by something.
Yes, it's time! Shows like that are turning our children into whores. Like, I’m on a book signing tour right now, about to go back to school to be a therapist... I am doing stuff right now. I also study relationships outside of school, and I am finding that they are turning your kids in obsessive angry whores. What people don’t realize is that I actually sold a show to a network called Boss Chick. They sold it back to me saying that people don’t want to see females in bossy roles; they want to see drama. People don’t want to see women getting money; they want to see us fuck rappers and get money from players.

That's sad that networks don't really want to strictly showcase women being confident and being entrepreneurs.
That’s why they got Meeka [Claxton] off the show. Granted, Meeka may have came off a little messy on the show, but Meeka is doing it. She may not even know this, but I really admire her. Meeka Claxton has a wonderful husband, two beautiful daughters and she lives in a mansion in Long Island. She’s doing it, and the reason why they don’t want her on the show is because they don’t want to show that. They want to show bitches renting out condos. They don’t really have the best interest of black women on that show in mind.

You seem to really be about uplifting young women and teaching them something. What specifically do you want them to learn?
Entrepreneurship, financial literacy and independence, especially financial literacy. No matter what, we don’t know everything. I want to really teach young girls how to save. I’m only 27, and I’m just learning how to save for a rainy day. Before I even got on TV, I use to spend money, I used to waste money, I use to treat everybody to dinner, but now you won’t see me waste a lot of money. In the hood, we are taught to floss, but I definitely got something up my sleeves for the young girls. I want to create a non-profit after all this is done and be a boss chick. I got some classes coming called Entrepreneurial 101 for men and women because I never do anything for the men.

Lastly, what's the most important chapter in Men Love Abuse?
The most important one is “Never Let Him Have too Much Access” because that goes back to having your own, keeping your friends and never just making a man your all.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

Continue Reading
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

Continue Reading
Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
Getty Images

BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

Continue Reading

Top Stories