Little Women, Braxton Family Values and Embracing your Role

Some may find it blasphemous that I would ever compose a sentence with terms from classical literature and modern day reality TV. However, if you are one of those people you probably also stumbled across my blog mistakenly, just like another poor soul recently did when they googled “black man eating pizza.”

What can I say? I am all about cultural diversity.

But seriously though, growing up in a household with two sisters, we were forced to share many things -including a tiny bathroom and sometimes clothes-but I guess those don’t really count since I stole them from my older sisters without asking. Hey, it was my definition of sharing. I never claimed to be great at vocabulary.

Melody and Rachel enjoyed, along with beating me up and making me be their “slave” for the day, periodically making reference to Little Women, comparing our roles and sisterhood to those of the novel.

Being the youngest one, read also the least brainy one, it comes at no surprise that I never read the book. During my adolescent years, if it didn’t have cliff notes then it just wasn’t serious enough literature for me to waste my time on. I was too busy being a musical genius writing lyrics that started out with “unicorns in the heart of my dreams.”

What? It was the 80’s, it totally could’ve been a hit.

So, if you’ve read the book or seen the movie, Im guessing it’s no surprise to you at all which sister I am. Wikipedia describes her as “the pretty, selfish little artist that often fights with Jo.”

Okay if you still don’t know, then you might also be the youngest one. That’s a nicer way of saying not so smart. But, I won’t hold it against you.

I was “Amy.”

When I was younger, I always resisted this and would get angry that my sisters got to play the role of the more responsible, sensible and intelligent sisters. Basically I would throw a selfish, dramatic moody artist fit which only further convinced them and the rest of my family of my role as Amy.

My oldest sister, Melody, got to be Jo, the brilliant and naturally, beautiful writer. My middle sister, Rachel was Meg, the gifted, wise and talented one that wooed everyone with her sparkling smile.

After those adolescent years, something happened. As I searched to find myself, I somehow lost myself. Without knowing it, I spent the majority of my 20’s,  conforming to anyone but my authentic self. I  found myself awkward and unhappy and making those around me uncomfortable and confused.

But, as I’ve entered my 30’s, I’ve begun to understand myself-and really like myself-even with all of my quirks and imperfections. I finally understood that the only way to true fulfillment was by embracing who I truly am.

Which brings me to one of my newest, favorite reality TV shows, Braxton Family Values. Recently during one of the tots very long naps, I turned the channel to A & E and happened upon rerun after rerun of this hilarious, heart-warming and thought provoking show. Yes, I just called reality TV thought provoking. I feel like Chris Harrison when he says weekly that “this Bachelor is the most dramatic episode ever.”

So if you haven’t seen Braxton Family Values, it’s all about five sisters doing life together. These sisters share a rare bond that reminds me of myself and my sisters. It only took about four episodes and 1/2 a bag of baked cheetos before I recognized our roles in each of these “characters” on the show.

I would give you the opportunity to guess which sister is which but to be honest, it just took you too long last time and if you cant tell by now I really despise building up suspense and drama.

Watching the show, I quickly fell in love with Tamar. She is so over the top, passionate about what she believes in and isnt afraid to blounty share it with those around her.  She is also super girly, materialistic and selfish. Why was I in love with her again? Oh yea, she’s me.

Moving on to the other girls, I realized Melody was Terwanda. She is the who feels responsible for everyone else and takes on the lead of the family, balancing out all of the family plans, trips and events.

And last but not least, Rachel was Toni. Toni is the most famous and most known Braxton (much to Tamar’s dismay) and the wealthiest one who is ever trying to keep the peace and hold the family together. However, she doesn’t like the fame or the special treatment. (also to Tamar’s dismay)

So, here we were again, manifested in these characters-very different ones I might add-but still beautiful women sharing the ups and downs of life. Just like us minus the famous and on TV parts.

But this time when I saw myself in a character, I was able to embrace it. I didnt feel the need to have more money like Toni or lead the family like Terwanda. I was Tamar and I was fine  it. I watched the episodes not just laughing at myself but appreciating the things that make me unique. And wishing I was born a black woman-if not for any reason but the church services alone..but thats a whole ‘nother story.

Which brings me to the question. What is it about you that makes you- YOU? You may not shine in the limelight like Toni or have the career as a big time editor like Jo, but we all have qualities that make us special-enabling us to do a job on this earth that is unique to just us-our purpose if you will.

So, what makes you unique? Have you spent years trying to be someone you weren’t in order to gain the approval of others or have you always been rockin out your true self, singing to your own tune like Tamar?

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  1. Oh my word, you are cracking me up! Too many one-liners in this post to list.

    It’s interesting that you and your sisters fell into those same roles as the book and show. I was thinking through my own family and wondering if we’d be the same. I think our dynamic is a little bit different since it’s not all sisters and we have a huge age gap. But then again, I’m the one who’s chasing an “artsy” pursuit, so there ya go. 🙂

    • Thanks Sarah! Yea it’s crazy how much we have in common with the characters in both the novel and tv show. I could go into even more detail at one of our coffee dates:)

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