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.

  • TheBestAnonEver, Part 2

    +50000

    The criticisms of her or any woman a black male celebrity dates, really reveals something ugly in some black women.

  • Velma

    She has looks like my grandmother. Meaning, she has strong Indian features. She is a different looking woman, but why would you want to look like everyone else?? What I really like is the relationship between her and her man, she really loves him and he loves her. She doesn’t have an ego when it comes to him and vice versa. That is so lost in black community today….as it seems it’s all about who can trump who. She’s cool in my opinion.

  • Cantarah

    The same women who go on and on and on about Tiny being too ugly for T.I. are the same dumb women who fall for a dude telling them that he’s only attracted to dark-skinned/half Cuban/dreadlocked women (ie whatever they happen to look like) and think it’s so totally complimentary when he tells them about how much he hates blondes/fat women/tall women/whatever women that don’t look like you look like. It’s a line and a certain type of woman is stupid enough to fall for it and they are the same damn ones who honestly care about whether or not a rapper they’re attracted to but will probably never meet has a woman who is up to where they think his standards should be.

    And the men who go on and on about Tiny’s looks? The same type of men who can’t pull women much better looking women than Tiny anyway and see nothing odd about the likes of Biggie and Rick Ross being with women that blow them out of the water in terms of physical appeal.

  • 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.

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