“The B-Styles Curvy Girl of the Day”: (Celeb Spotlight) Tionna Smalls
You may recognize my “Curvy Girl of the Day” from the VH1 Reality Show, “What Chilli Wants”. Tionna Smalls has garnered national attention from handling the difficult task of trying to find R&B singer “Chilli” of the group TLC a man. I personally sat by the TV every Sunday night to watch this series and saw the difficult task at hand she had. Tionna Smalls calls herself a relationship expert today, but it did not come easily. After ending a six-year relationship, Tionna began her career by re-evaluating her past mistakes and triumphs. She used the closure that came with her relationship as inspiration in writing the book titled, “Girl, Get Your Mind Right!”. It was from here that her career unexpectedly took an upward turn. Reaching Internet celebrity status, Tionna’s book saw a rapid increase in sales and her blog maintained a steady fan base of daily viewers. Tionna then went on to pursue developmental opportunities with television networks, host her own Internet Radio Show “Talk Dat Ish” on BlogTalkRadio and was quoted in various publications including The New York Post.
In April of 2009, VH1 approached Tionna with an opportunity to turn years of hard work and past heartache into a position as relationship expert to Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas. “What Chilli Wants” was a hit for Vh1; receiving over 1.3 million viewers per episode. In June 2010, Tionna also received a book deal from Harper Collins Publishers. Her new book, “Girl, Get Your Mind Right! The Tell-It-Like-It-Is Advice Your Love Life Has Been Missing” will debut in December 2010.
Q & A with Tionna Smalls:
What do you consider your fashion style?
I like to say that I am into the diva look. Big hair, clothes that don’t always neccessarilly have to match. I love to create my look and find clothes from all different kind of avenues. I’m not afraid of colors and wearing sequin hats. I just like to switch up and comfort is my number one priority. I also just started loving the color white. I used to be scared to love white but now I’m a fan.
Where are your favorite stores to shop?
I shop all over but lately I have been stopping at Ashley Stewart. Though most of their shirts are too big for me but the pants and jackets fit me perfectly. I just turned a hot shirt of theirs into a dress and it fit my body so lovely. I was so proud of how I looked. I shop in Macys, Bloomingdales, everywhere. I’ll get a piece here and a piece there. I love online shopping mostly though.
When did you learn to appreciate and accept your body type?
Well growing up I was underweight. I was so skinny and had no breast at all. It was crazy. So when I got older and had a little weight on me…I was excited. I didnt want to gain as much weight as I did at that point but I always wore the right things that made my body look great. As an adult, I am just loving me (as I always had) because I dont base beauty on being a size 2.
I am a thicker girl than most and I do bigger things than most so I’m cool. I call it thick, some call it fat but hey if I’m fat…let me be fat. Women have to stop trying to impress other women. I live for myself and if I like it, you should love it. Fat or skinny…fly will and always will be fly. I’m fly so I don’t have those problems with myself. Although I have got more toned since the show and feel a little bit more energetic, I still embrace my thick girl roots. I work out more and walk more but thats because I need to stay healthy especially for the stressful business that I am in. I lost a cousin last year and I promised myself from then on I was going to take care of my health.
Do you and if so, why do you feel it’s so hard for plus-size women to find a man?
I think its hard for any kind of women to find a man. I don’t think its a plus size thing because most of the women I know that are married are all on the kind of plus size scale. Who cares about weight? Its about how you take care of yourself. A man will love you if you love you. If you sit there and eat apple pies all day and McDonalds then a man will be turned off from your big ass, but if you are a healthy person who is trying to get yourself together, you’re pretty, buy the right clothes, and keep yourself sexy then you will get that man. Women who are just sloppy moppy as I like to call it will have a problem finding a man. I’m 5’2 and for most of my adult life I was 180-210 (the biggest I ever got) and I always had a man baby cakes. I just always kept my swag and my sway up and my body always stayed proportioned. So its all about you, girl!
What’s the craziest story you’ve ever heard on your relationship advice column?
Well I hear crazy stories all day including women who caught their moms sleeping with their man so thats hard to answer but I will say the craziest advice I ever gave was to a girl whose man said her vagina smelled in front of people after they broke up. I told her well if he smelled something, he should have said something…lol.
When and what can we expect on the book tour?
You will find a lot of girlfriends talking, fabulosity, kinship, friendship and just plain talking about relationships. You will find that I am out there trying to lead women to the promise land of love for themselves and for others. You will see alot of women coming together and getting real about life and love. I am so excited. I want to go to every city. This is going to be a book tour to remember. My book will be out in December…It’s called Girl, Get Your Mind Right: The tell it like it is advice your love life has been missing. It’s published through Harper Collins Publishers and I am just blessed that I now have the avenue to get the word out across the country. My editor, Matthew Benjamin, is a genius so we are just working hard to get things done. So look out for that new book.
What other projects do you have in the works?
Well I have had my entertainment company, Talk Dat Ish Entertainment, for a while now so we are bringing it to another level with our new publicity department, etc. My company is also working on producing a show for Luscious (an exotic male dancer who is now based in Atlanta). We also have another show in the mix that has already been sold to a network so were doing big things.
I am working on my plus size bra/lingerie line. Oh it’s going to be sexy. It’s going to take a while to develop but Im working on it. It’s going to be lingerie, bras, panties, tees. Just sexy stuff for those nights a thick girl over a size 10 or so want to get it on and popping with her man. I was working on opening my store Loveys but that is on hold for now because I am just too busy right now and I had to get my priorities together and things in place first.
Lastly, working on starting my mentorship program for young girls who are at-risk. We are going to get these young girls in shape and help them get and keep their lives in the right way. There will be more tv work coming my way as well and working with radio soon so it’s just so much. I like to stay very busy as you can see.
Tionna: Thanks Bella Styles for the interview and please tell everyone to follow me on Twitter.com/tionnasmalls where you can get free advice and chime in on our relationship question/topic of the day. Thanks so much!
Bella Styles: I’d like to thank Tionna for taking the time out of her busy schedule to chat and do this interview with me. It was a pleasure!
Do you have a love dilemma that you just cant seem to figure out? Are you having issues with your man? Well girl, get your mind right and “Ask Tionna.” All letters and inquiries are kept confidential and your information will not be shared. Please note: Due to popular demand, Tionna will not be able to answer all letters but she’ll do the best she can.
Email Tionna at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, Finding that good man starts with YOU so Girl, Get Your Mind Right!
Please visit her website today: www.tionnasmallsonline.com