Toni Braxton couldn’t make it, but mom Evelyn and sisters Trina and Traci stopped by WSB (the AJC’s corporate cousin) the other day for interviews to promote upcoming episodes of “Braxton Family Values,” their WE channel reality show. Season 2.5, as they’re billing it, launches at 9 p.m. Thursday on WE.
We visited with the ladies one afternoon last week prior to their visit with KISS 104 afternoon host Art Terrell.
“When we decided to do this show, we decided to put the ‘real’ in ‘reality’,” Trina said. “We are women with really strong opinions.”
And they have shared personal matters, including health issues, business deals, sibling tension and relationship drama, with viewers. In past episodes, for example Evelyn and her daughters started planning for a wedding that never happened. Mother Braxton is happy on her own, she said.
“If it’s not broke, why fix it?” she asked, explaining that she enjoys her single life. “It’s always been about someone else – my ex-husband, my children. I need to get to know me. It’s a good thing to be living on my own.”
She was just getting started.
“Having a husband, you’re a little limited,” Evelyn continued. “When you don’t have that you don’t have to worry about cooking, you don’t have to worry about his clothes, the house. It’s about me.”
At this her daughters cracked up.
“Would you like to tell us how you really feel?” Trina asked. She has shared relationship drama of her own with viewers, of course.
“My relationship was tumultuous,” she said. “I am the only person I know how to be. No matter what the issues, be open and honestly talk about it. That’s what makes us identifiable.”
Traci, on the other hand, dealt with her sisters confronting her about her health while the cameras rolled.
“I was on the fluffy side,” she said. “To have my sisters say, ‘Traci, you need to lose weight,’ it hurt my feelings.”
But positive lifestyle changes resulted from the encounter.
“I had to open my eyes,” she said.
Speaking of health matters, the show has been a way to raise awareness of lupus, which Toni Braxton has been diagnosed with; and autism, which her son Diezel has.
“When Toni told us she had lupus, we were of course devastated,” Evelyn said. “We pray a lot. We have a lot of faith. We got through it.”
Toni shared Diezel’s diagnosis first with her mother.
“It was very devastating at the time,” Evelyn said. “Early intervention was key.”
So what can viewers expect when episodes resume this Thursday? More drama (will Traci open her salon? will Trina’s single “Party or go home” be a hit?), more candor and more laughs.
“We just enjoy each other all the time,” Traci said.