There’s one sad memory that almost everyone shares: We can all remember the putdown someone made about us that cut to the bone and left us feeling exposed, insecure and maybe even ugly. For most people, this memory dates back to middle or high school, when Mean Girls and Obnoxious Guys spoke recklessly, hurling insults left and right, not caring who they harmed as long as they got a good laugh or won a verbal battle.
Unfortunately for Tamar Braxton, that insult isn’t so old. It only happened in 2014. And not only does she have to suffer, but she has to deal with the world knowing about it—and chiming in often to laugh at and make fun of her.
This week on The Real, the daytime show’s co-host was asked what advice she would give her son about being bullied. And the normally chatty Braxton uncharacteristically had nothing to say—except for this backstory. Through tears, she explained, "A particular person started saying that I look like a Muppet and people say it so much I start to believe it. So I even asked Vince, 'Do I look like a Muppet?" And he's like 'Absolutely not.'”
Back in the summer of 2014, Braxton said a “particular person” named K. Michelle was copying her hairstyle. And K. Michelle shot back, saying Tamar didn’t just look like any generic Muppet, but Kermit the Frog specifically. This hasn’t sat so well with Braxton and she hasn’t been able to shake it off.
She continued on The Real, saying, "But this person has the whole world calling me that and it's just so devastating, because it takes me back to high school and there's nothing I can do about it.”
This week we also learned the extent of how much “nothing” Braxton can do about it. That’s because some people, when told how their teasing has affected someone, would back off, offer an apology and wave the white flag. But not if that “particular person” is K. Michelle. When she heard about Tamar’s tearful on-air breakdown, she tweeted, "You can't go and start a fight with someone, then when they reply cry and play victim."
And that may be the jump-off point for the advice that Tamar might want to give to her son, or to any child being bullied. She may want to tell them to always remember that more than being right, more than saving face, the thing to remember is everyone else’s humanity. It should trump righteousness. So even if that person did something that you still think was in poor taste—or maybe just plain tacky—if they are hurting, you should want to hug, not hurt. Sappy sounding? Maybe. But also, so what? Because in the end, petty putdowns and snide asides can’t support letting someone stay in pain.
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.
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(Photos from left: Prince Williams/WireImage, Isaac Brekken/BET/Getty Images for BET)
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