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.