Toni Braxton Reveals “This Is What Lupus Looks Like” On “Braxton Family Values”
I used to wish that I knew someone that was both famous and a Lupus patient so that they could shine a spotlight on Lupus Awareness in a way that I cannot. On Tuesday May 3rd, Toni Braxton will show her true strength and courage on an all new “Braxton Family Values” , as she reveals to her family and, later, at a Lupus LA Luncheon to the attendees and assembled press, that “this is what Lupus looks like”. May is Lupus Awareness Month and I am glad that this episode will premiere on the first Tuesday night in May.
If you haven’t seen any of the episodes of “Braxton Family Values” that have already aired, let me share why I love this reality show. The Braxton sisters are not a group of strangers that have been chosen to live together and given artificial conflicts to see what happens. No casting calls went out in search of “dramatic” characters chosen from auditions. What this has is a group of dynamic, beautiful women—all sisters–who truly love one another and often get on each others’ nerves. The real fun happens when the five sisters come together in a group and the alcohol starts to flow. The liquid courage has provided some fun moments as well as a few serious ones. For example, in one recent episode Trina, known as “The Party Girl” (one of my least favorite things about this reality show is how each sister has a nickname that perpetually reminds the audience who each sister is), gets a DUI and the family stages an intervention with a therapist known only as “Dr. Sherry”.
The premiere episode introduced us to Toni “the Superstar”, the Grammy award winning singer and her sisters Traci “the wannabe”, who longs to get back in the limelight –she used to be one of Toni’s background singers and is now a housewife. Towanda “the Responsible One” is a mom, Toni’s personal assistant and the level-headed sister of the family. Trina, the previously mentioned “Party Girl”, is a background singer for Toni who knows how to enjoy a good time.
Later in that episode, the family traveled to Bermuda as Toni performed at a benefit for Autism Speaks. Knowing that Toni has Lupus, it is understandable that after the flight to Bermuda Toni is seen napping on her hotel bed while her sisters enjoy a poolside cocktail party. Later, after the performance, Toni suggests that they enjoy a pajama party and drinks, but Toni is next seen asleep on her bed while her sisters wait – with drinks ready – in the other room. While I may not be performing at huge benefits around the world, I do know that rest is a big part of my life and teaching the process of learning how to deal with the ebb and flow of my energy levels takes a while for loved ones to fully understand. I like that Toni isn’t afraid to show the real reality of her life. In my opinion, the highlights of the show are the moments with Tamar “the Diva” (also a background singer for Toni) who desires a “Superstar” singing career of her own. She is married to Toni’s manager Vince, who is also a big record producer who works with Lady Gaga, Pink and many others. Vince is loving, gentle and doing the best he can to make his wife happy. Watching (via the reality show cameras) is a “guilty pleasure” of mine and this show has the best elements within it. Family trauma becomes family drama and this family is full of love, honesty and the cajones to reveal it on camera to share with us.
For me, the life of the Braxton Family is a joyful and fun escape from the reality of my life. However, last November while I was attending the Lupus LA “Bag Lady Luncheon” my reality and the reality show collided, as I was present when Toni Braxton told the events’ attendees that she has Lupus and that “This is what Lupus looks like”. They were taping content for the episode that will raise Lupus Awareness and share Toni’s story of being diagnosed and revealing the disease to her family, friends and strangers. I was there. If you want to see my video of the Hollywood Bag Ladies Day & Toni Braxton’s revelation please check out:
Braxton Family Values airs on WE TV, with new episodes premiering on Tuesday night at 9PM Eastern and multiple encore airings throughout the rest of the week.
Article written by staff writer, Amanda Greene
Amanda is finding the joys of Lupus. She was diagnosed with Lupus and APS at 15 years old, now as”LA Lupus Lady” is an advocate for Lupus Research and Wellness. Amanda enjoys proving that Lupus Awareness is fun! Find her on Twitter @LALupusLady or at www.lalupuslady.com