Every week, after “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” airs, I know I’m guaranteed to find a mixture of commentary about Mrs. Harris (aka Tiny)  throughout my Twitter feed. Not because of anything she may have said or done during the episode, but the subject never fails to be her looks. And it doesn’t just stop at Twitter. In fact, whenever the subject of T.I. or the show comes up, Tiny’s appearance always finds a way into the conversation–and it’s rarely anything positive. Her face. Her shape. Her hairstyles. Her choice of clothing. Her makeup. Tiny just can’t seem to catch a break.

But, why?

For the record, I’m not a Tiny fan. I don’t know much about her outside of the fact that she is wed to one of my favorite artists and she was a part of the group Xscape. But from what I’ve observed of her and T.I., they seem to have a good relationship. They’re both family oriented and despite their large blended family, they make things work. They enjoy each other’s company, and they have fun together. Their love seems real, and I like them together.

As an individual, Tiny seems caring and sweet. As a mother she comes across as loving and attentive. And as a wife she has proven herself to be loyal and devoted. So why is it so hard for people to accept her? Why is it so easy to poke fun at her?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I don’t know how she pulled T.I.!” And I hear this especially from other women. Could it be that some of us have bought into the idea that men of a certain stature must have some dazzling beauty on their arm whether they make a good match for them or not? What about character, personality, and overall chemistry?

I think it’s deeper than Tiny. The bigger picture is that our society has become so consumed with looks and surface level attraction that we often fail to see past all of that. We mentally pair people together based on fame, looks and stature when quite often these handsome couples are void of sincere compatibility or anything in common besides looking good together in a photo op. And while T.I. and Tiny may not be the prototype for healthy marriages, I believe there’s more to their relationship than just physical attraction (and not that I’m ruling that out).

I admit, I used to be one to look at certain couples and scratch my head, and from time-to-time I still catch myself still doing it. He is too cute for her or she is too pretty for him, I would think to myself. But it wasn’t until I fell for someone who wasn’t what I thought was “my type.” I never thought this person was attractive, yet his personality truly won me over. We clicked. We bonded. And we got each other. It’s that thing many people experience in life, when you realize there’s more to love than a great smile, charming words, and a nice physique. You find that there’s something at our core, beneath our pretty or not so pretty exteriors that bonds us to another soul, despite what package it comes in.

We often call out artists for constantly displaying such unrealistic and unhealthy images of women in their videos, but when we see an artist settle down with someone like Tiny she gets ridiculed. Why subject each other as women to such double standards? It’s hard enough trying to embrace our own unique beauty, why make it hard for the next woman.

No, Tiny doesn’t look like the average girl from a video, and she is no more glamorous than the average girl around the way. She’s down-to-earth; she’s not picture-perfect, and who says she has to be? None of this should matter. True beauty is not what you see but it’s the essence of a person reflected in their actions, spirit and the good that they give of themselves to others. Overall, I think it’s unfair Tiny gets so much flack simply because of her looks. If she’s is to be critiqued, let it be for something more substantial than the fact that she does not fit everyone’s standard of beauty. And of course, that goes for anyone else.

So the next time we look at a couple and think “Why her?” or “Why him?” let’s challenge ourselves to wonder, why not? And if we can’t think of an anything beyond the surface, if we dig deeper, we just may be able to find the answer.

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  • twee

    I’ll admit I didn’t think Tiny was attractive at all, especially back in the Escape days. But now I feel that she’s not a perfect beauty but she’s also not ugly. And I agree the standard that is out there is what make people judge her so harshly.

    That’s the beauty of seeing their relationship played out on TV and I love how he greets her with hey beautiful and how Tiny could care less about what the critics have to say and still think she’s cute. And apparently TI doesn’t care about the critics either.

  • I could state the real reason why people are going at Tiny…but I’ll wait and see who’s going to be the first to bring it up…

    • @ PA,

      she ghetto?! and sounds uneducated?! she’s half white?! boo c’mon. pray do tell! howwwwwdy.

    • My comment did not post but i think it is because good-looking men usually have their pick of the ladies. So they are usually less than faithful. Just my take on things.

    • Kaya

      ..how about ohh I dunno jealousy?
      People are so unfamiliar with identifying when a basic negative emotion takes root and have a idea of how someone looks or act when they have pride or JEALOUSY they never associate the behavior and feeling to them.
      They try to over complex why they feel one isn’t good enough or this or that but the base root is jealousy. I personally was blind and deaf, til of late, on the hate with Tiny. I feel that she is extremely pretty and always thought so-I didn’t see and dont see where she’s “physically challenged”. The only thing that gave me the side eye was her voice but it was with her personality as well that made her interesting, too me.

    • girlformerlyknownasgrace

      Man i really wish i had a man like TI. Jailtime really makes a man more attractive.

      In their case, it is not like TI is college-educated, on the top of every womans list. It is not jealousy. If this was Idris Elba – who is dont care for but apparently other women do. It isnt that women are not good enough, it is that MEN like TI act like women who look like Tiny are not good enough. It really does have to do with the way men typically are and TI just defies that stereotype by sticking with his woman, not cheating, and being a good father. What they have is rare and admirable- and that is why people act as though it is too good to be true. I dont agree with it, i just call it how I see it.

    • Kaya

      A complex analyze form by a simple root. At the end of the day guys may act a certain way and females may perceive it however they wish, but its not the guys that have the problem with TI and Tiny .
      For some people, prince charming fell in love with and ugly duckling. The next part that never gets said aloud is-why that ugly duckling?
      Too sit there and pick aprt her physical features and feel that you are better in that department and he deserves better shows an mentality that love have to have an association with beauty instead of the beauty -in-one-eyes, which makes me feel why would one sit there and speak such negative words? Their negative the words are hateful and intended to ssay as a woman for TI, who find her beautiful, she’s not good enough. Where does the hate comes from?-oh lemme guess just hatin to hate?

      At the end of the day, we have our opinions bout where and why someone do
      And behave on the situation and feel-but it really is immature, that people do that perhaps we may agree on that.

    • CD86

      “I could state the real reason why people are going at Tiny”

      Um, I presume you have insider information about their relationship because you are part of their inner circle? Otherwise, the ‘real reason’ is speculation and merely your opinion.

    • Hey, CaliDreaming86, instead of coming at me sideways, what you need to do is go and seek some help about your depression. You might actually succeed in that…

    • CD86

      SMH! Your ad hominen response was well predicted. For you to attack my emotional well being with the response above in an article of no relation speaks volumes of your maturity level.

      I am willing to bet you felt superior after you typed your response. Since you want to make this personal – I hope, if you haven’t already, experience an adverse period of your life and no one gives a f{uck}.

    • “SMH! Your ad hominen response was well predicted. For you to attack my emotional well being with the response above in an article of no relation speaks volumes of your maturity level.”

      So says the “woman” who feels the need to run off at the mouth about things that don’t concern her…

      “I am willing to bet you felt superior after you typed your response.”

      You came at me sideways and all I did was return the favor- deal with it.

      “Since you want to make this personal – I hope, if you haven’t already, experience an adverse period of your life and no one gives a f{uck}.”

      I’ve been through more adverse times in my life in 2 years than you have in your whole life. The difference between me and you is that I’m still standing, walking with my head up high and smiling, while you are constantly whining on the internet about your issues that nobody cares about. Now, what does that say about YOUR maturity level???

    • CD86

      Nobody ‘came at’ you ‘sideways’. I may not have directly asked you to clarify your comment, but that is essentially what I was doing. I did not personally attack you.

      I am not going to address your response in depth because it has no relevancy to the original topic or anything thereafter, but what I will address, is that your assumption about experiencing more adversity than me is purely subjective. Likewise, your degree of adversity cannot be compared to some else’s. Additionally, no two people handle adversity the same way. Good for you that you have been able to overcome your issues, but it does not make you better than the next person.

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    You know what it is? (shoot, i will say it perverted alchemist. Or at least what i think it is). Good looking men usually are extremely flawed (read:cheaters, players, etc). It is usually good looking women who settle for average looking joes because average looking joes (jayz) know they have to work to keep their girl. Good looking men feel entitled. I have yet to meet a good-looking dude that either wasnt with a good looking woman or does not cheat. There i said it.

    • Cecily

      Agreed. And didn’t T.I cheat with Hoopz? And many more I’m sure…another woman probably would have up and left, but he knows Tiny won’t. What a beautiful relationship….

    • OSHH

      I have to agree here. with both of these comments.
      Its kinda rare to come across a FIONNE man with the character and substance to match. Unicorns and such,

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    Idk what happened to my comment

  • Dawn

    It’s amazing because the attractiveness-bashing is so one-sided. When Rick Ross or Biggie, or any of these terribly unattractive men, lands a gorgeous-looking, successful woman, no one really bats on eye. And Biggie dating Faith definitely wasn’t the topic of no 10-minute radio show because of his looks.

    I hate that people are naturally more critical of how women look, and I hate that women tend to gang up on one another about this. You won’t hear me saying one negative thing about Tiny; I think she’s attractive, and T.I. is lucky to have someone like her.

    The whole focus on women’s looks is getting out of control. I feel like men and women have become more critical of women as a whole – just check out any comments section of a blog like Bossip or Perez Hilton – while men seem to get a pass just for being famous (i.e., Rick Ross, and the numerous women who I’ve read as saying he’s attractive to them).

    • QoN


      There is a simple explanation. Men have resources and women have looks. They use that to bargain and navigate in the dating world. If a beutiful woman was with a broke dude, we would be critical of her.