All Articles Tagged "TLC"

Making Every Bride Feel Special: Meet The Entrepreneurial Sisters From TLC’s ‘Curvy Brides’

June 3rd, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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(Photo courtesy TLC)

Sisters Yukia (left) and Yuneisia (right). (Photo courtesy TLC)

The average American girl is a size 16, which seems to be a fact that most bridal companies have not yet heard. It is extremely hard for average and plus-size women to find fabulous gowns to walk down the aisle in. This is where sisters Yukia Walker and Yuneisia Harris step in.

They are owners of a Columbia, MD-based bridal salon that helps curvy brides find the dress of their dreams. Curvaceous Couture is a unique bridal salon in that it carries gowns from sizes 12 to 44. Yukia and Yuneisia recently shared their story and expertise on TLC’s Curvy Brides, which aired for six weeks from May to June.

Their journey to help curvy brides started when in 2008 when Yukia, 36, was looking for a bridal gown. She searched high and low for beautiful plus-size dresses, but her shopping adventure turned into a nightmare. She couldn’t fit in any sample gowns and she was treated badly nearly everywhere she went.

This prompted the idea for Curvaceous Couture, a bridal salon for full-figured women that she and Yuneisia, 33, started in their parents’ basement. Just a few months later they opened a store. The business became so successful, the two women left their high-paying corporate jobs. Yuneisia was in pharmaceutical sales and Yukia had been in government contracting.

MadameNoire: People have ideas all the time, but what made you go ahead and start Curvaceous Couture?
Yukia: We always wanted to start a business together but it was really my horrible experience in trying to find my own dress that made me realize there was a major need for someone to offer plus-size wedding gowns.

Yuneisia: Seeing how terrible my sister was treated when she was trying to find a wedding dress it made me want to help other women. My sister was literally laughed out of the last bridal boutique we went to. And this was just ridiculous to me because the average woman is a size 16, not a 2 or 4 like the sample sizes. Later, my sister did a ton a research and found there was really no bridal salon that specialized in curvy women, so we  put a business plan together.

MN: How did you fund the startup?
Yukia: We used some of our retirement funds and my mother and father also helped us out.

MN: What were some of the challenges you had as a startup?
Yuneisia: We went into a business that was very high fashion and the sizes are like size two and that was really shocking to us. It was hard to find gown samples in the sizes we wanted. But now since we have been in business for seven years we have designers sending us dresses.

Yukia: The biggest thing I think was that we thought we could open shop and just go to the bridal market and purchase some dresses in larger sizes and they would work for our customers. But every style does not work for every woman, so we had to understand how the dresses were made in order to find and have dresses created for our clients.

MN: How did the TLC show, Curvy Brides, come about?
Yukia: For years we were getting contacted by producers saying let us pitch a show featuring you. But I was dealing with health issues [she has dealt with diabetes, hyperthyroidism and other medical issues that she discusses here], had gotten married and was raising kids. It wasn’t a good time and we never really thought about being on reality TV. But when TLC came calling, we already knew about their show Brides By Design and we thought this would be the right opportunity for us. And we knew we could use the show as a platform to help other plus-size brides.

MN: How do you plan to use the show to further your brand?
Yuneisia: At the end of the day women should know there is a place where they can go to find the perfect dress. We are a mom-and-pop business and to be given a national soundboard, that is invaluable.  Plus, we get to invite people into our home and our family.

MN: What has been the most surprising thing about being on the show?
Yukia: I don’t think we expected such overwhelming support. I have received so many encouraging emails about my health issues which I discussed on the show, the show, our business. It has been incredible. This support has empowered us to keep on growing our business and message.

MN: What were the challenges of the show?
Yukia: I don’t think we realized how hard of work it would be. I think we knew it would be an added stress on the business but we had to do a good job tweaking our filming hours so it would not affect our business.

Yuneisia: It was not easy being around cameras all the time, but we had a really great production team around us who made it easy.

MN: So what is next for you and your brand?
Yuneisia:  We have some things with in the works. We are looking into other areas where we can expand our brand into other cities and help women. Honestly, we really started the business to help other women. My sister and I are both intelligent women, so of course we wanted to have a successful business. But at the core of it all is empowering women. If you could see my sister’s face when she was shopping for what was supposed to be her special day, you would never want anyone to feel that way.

Yukia: We’re in this for the long term. We’re not going back to the cubical life.

TLC’s Duggars Losing Four Advertisers & Counting: Reality Show’s Scandal Scaring Sponsors

May 27th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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TLC had to see this coming. Since it was revealed that Josh Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting admitted to sexually molesting underage girls years ago, four advertisers pulled out of the reality show about a Christian family.

General Mills was the first advertiser to pull its support, followed by retailers Walgreen and Payless ShoeSource as well as hotel chain group Choice Hotels International. Some of the advertisers used Twitter to assure consumers.

“We share your concerns and we have decided to remove our advertising from the show,” said Choice Hotels, which runs Comfort Inn and Econo Lodge chains.

In a tweet Payless said its commercials were “part of a larger buy with TLC,” but that the company is “taking steps to have them removed from future episodes.”

“The network pulled all episodes after In Touch magazine last week published information that Josh Duggar, now 27, had molested several female minors when he was a teen,” reports The New York Daily News. It’s unclear if the show will return to television. TLC is owned by Discovery Communications.

Duggar issued an apology and acknowledged “wrongdoing” 12 years ago. He also quit his job at the Family Research Council, a Christian lobbying group. What makes the situation even more scandalous, it seems the abuse involved Duggar’s sisters. It has been reported that “Josh Duggar molested his younger sisters 12 years ago and that his father, Jim Bob, used his connections with local law enforcement to have the matter hushed,” reports Salon. This info will surely not sit well with advertisers.

The Duggars have been on the air since 2008 and ended its most recent season in May. It is among TLC’s most popular shows; the most recent season averaged 3.5 million viewers per episode, though this was down a bit from 3.9 million the previous season, according to Nielsen.

MN’s All-Time Favorite Girl Group Albums Of The Last 25 Years

February 12th, 2015 - By Deron Dalton
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Girl Group Albums Of The Last 25 Years

Source: Epic | Syco

Girl groups are coming back with a vengeance (minus that whole Danity Kane fiasco last year). But Fifth Harmony is holding it down for girl groups in the US. Their highly-anticipated debut album, Reflection, dropped recently. And with more girl power coming in 2015, we reminisced about some of the best girl group pop albums of the last 25 years. Girl power still rules!

Winning: TLC Surpasses $150,000 Goal With 28 Days Left To Spare

January 22nd, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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TLC

Source: WENN

Good news for TLC fans! The ladies managed to meet their goal of raising $150,000, and did so in just 72 hours. And with 28 days to spare, they will probably surpass $200,000 since they’ve been able to raise $172,319 at the time of this posting.

More than 1,542 people donated their funds to help T-Boz and Chilli raise the money, and while many people who heard about the Kickstarter online tried to clown it, devoted fans (including pop star Katy Perry) were more than happy to help:

“Nothing but love for #demtlcgirls ahhh I’m SO EXCITED! I can barely focus here at work! Love you ladies with all I have! ❤ xoxo #BACKEDbyTLCArmy #TLC2015Takeover #LookWhoRunninThangs #BOOM”

“Awwwwwwwww!!!! I’m SO EXCITED for you!!! I can’t stand it!!! TLC made HISTORY again!!! LOL! Lisa would be jumping up & down acting a fool. She would be happy. This I know. I can’t wait cause I have got to have a vinyl. Xoxoxoxoxo”

“Thank You ladies for letting me be a direct part of this adventure.I have loved you since the beginning.We have been through alot together and I want to tell you both that you are my Superheros.Congratulations, and Keep on Kickin Ass Ladies!”

“I love this!! TLC is forever!!..pledged and done!! woooo!!”

And nobody is more excited than Chilli and T-Boz, who took to Twitter this morning to share the news of their Kickstarter success:

Tionne

Chilli

That’s awesome that the ladies were able to do this and will now be able to put out their fifth and final album exactly how they want to. Congrats!

Did you think they would meet their goal?

With The Help Of Fans, And Katy Perry, TLC Kickstarter Makes More Than $100K In Less Than Two Days

January 21st, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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WENN

WENN

Remember when we told you yesterday that TLC was doing a Kickstarter to help raise the funds to create their fifth and final album? Remember when everyone thought it was crazy and kind of pathetic coming from a group that is one of the biggest selling girl groups of all time (more than 65 million albums sold worldwide)? Well, folks might have to eat their words, because in less than two days, the group has raised a majority of the $150,000 they need.

According to their Kickstarter page, the group already has 1,134 financial backers who have helped them accumulate $107,399.

So where is all that money going exactly? According to their Kickstarter:

“Every penny we raise during this campaign will go towards MAKING this final album together with you! The initial goal of $150,000 will go towards a writing session in the studio with a producer and engineer. The money beyond that will go to booking music producers, writing sessions, mixing sessions, recording sessions, and SO much more.

We want to work with the best in the business, so the more we raise means access to the best.”

And depending on what folks donate, there are different perks. But for those who were asking yesterday, those who donate at least $15 will get a digital copy of the album when it comes out, on top of an official remix and a list of the group’s favorite TLC tracks. So no, you won’t have to buy the album on top of helping out…but if you donate less than $15, you will still have to buy the album when it’s released.

And according to TMZ, singer Katy Perry doled out a few dollars to help the ladies. She reportedly donated $5,000, which comes with the perk of a slumber party with T-Boz. But Perry won’t be the only one kicking it in her jammies with the singer, because three others (only five are allowed to do the sleepover) dropped $5k.

Nope, TLC “Ain’t Too Proud Beg,” and fans clearly aren’t too stingy to help out.

 

 

[Watch] TLC Asking Fans To Fund Their Final Album Through Kickstarter

January 20th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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WENN

WENN

Apparently, their 2013 biopic was not the final chapter for TLC. The duo recently announced that they are hoping to release a “fifth and final album” and that they are soliciting the help of fans to do so.

By way of a newly rolled out Kickstarter campaign, remaining members Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas have asked fans to help them raise $150,000 to finance their final studio album.

“We want to do an album, but we want to do it on our own,” Watkins explained. “Through Kickstarter, with your pledges, we can make that a possibility. There’s no better way than to do this with our fans since they made all of this possible anyway.”

“You guys will be financing our final TLC album,” Thomas added. “How cool is that?”

According to the duo, they’ve already kicked off the creative process for the album and are calling on people who brought them success in the past, such as Kandi Burruss, to assist with pulling the album together.

“While major labels offer artists multimillion dollar recording and marketing budgets, they don’t often give artists complete control of their own music,” the pair explained. “It is ESSENTIAL that we create our final album completely on our own terms, without any restrictions, with YOU.”

As of today, 550 pledgers have already donated $60,732 towards the album. They have 30 days left to gather the rest.

Are you interested in hearing one last album from TLC?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Petition Filed Against TLC’s New Show “My Husband Is Not Gay”

January 8th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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In true TLC fashion, the television network is set to release their new series My Husband Is Not Gay this upcoming Sunday. Known for documenting cultural phenomenon or behavior people don’t usually like to associate with, TLC draws their audience in through uncomfortable ideas or controversial people and revealing how they still fit into the societal norm. My Husband Is Not Gay will cover four Mormon men from Utah (three are married and one is casually dating) who have relationships with women but are attracted to men. These men do not identify with being gay or bisexual.

Cosmopolitan says that although the basis of My Husband Is Not Gay is controversial, the lifestyle these men choose is all too common in the United States:

“Whether it’s thanks to societal pressures, religious pressures, a desire for “normalcy” and a “conventional” lifestyle, simply not wanting to be gay, or a whole host of other possible reasons, gay men have been getting married — to women — for a very long time. (And for that matter, gay women have also been marrying straight men.) There are listicles of gay celebrities who’d previously dated and/or married woman all over the Internet; from either spouse’s perspective, stories of the often-broken marriages that follow such couplings are very common across tabloid newspapers, airport newsstand memoirs, and personal blogs.”

There is a petition to stop the show from premiering. Found on Change.org, the petition states:

This January, TLC will debut “My Husband’s Not Gay,” a TV show that promotes the false and dangerous idea that gay people can and should choose to be straight in order to be part of their faith communities. As a gay Christian man who’s seen first hand how this message can harm people, I am calling on TLC to cancel “My Husband’s Not Gay” and to stop telling America that LGBT people should lie to themselves and to their faith communities about who they are and who they love. As a devout Christian, I understand the important role faith plays in the lives of the show’s main characters. It was made very clear to me by the conservative community I grew up in that being gay was considered “unnatural” and “an abomination.” So I, too, did everything possible to hide who I am. I was even subjected to six months of so-called “reparative therapy,” a discredited and dangerous practice that falsely claims to turn gay people straight. I was promised I could change, and told that I should “pray the gay away.” But I quickly learned the very real harms of “reparative therapy” – a practice that’s been denounced as ineffective and dangerous by nearly every major medical authority. In the end, the only thing that this so-called “therapy” did was stoke a growing despair that maybe my life wasn’t worth living. The men featured in this show deserve to be shown compassion and acceptance. Perhaps even more importantly, TV viewers need to know the horrific consequences of trying to change who you are. Instead, TLC is presenting victims’ lives as entertainment, while sending the message that being gay is something that can and ought to be changed, or that you should reject your sexual orientation by marrying someone of the opposite sex. This message is harmful to both LGBT people and communities of faith, and I call upon TLC to stop spreading such dangerous misinformation by cancelling “My Husband’s Not Gay” immediately.

So far, the petition has received 96,466 signatures; Arlene Ausich from California shared her reasoning for signing the petition by highlighting the suicide of a transgender teen girl Leelah:

“As if the recent suicide of Leelah isn’t enough to prove how damaging it is to endure a lack of support for and acceptance of who you are, let’s add a tv series to the mix. Enough is enough! It’s a downright travesty that the human race is no further from our conservative & restrictive thinking (first {and still} African Americans, then women, now LGBT..) that a show like this would even be considered for air. TLC has lost at least one viewer.”

Do you believe My Husband Is Not Gay will further promote intolerance against the LGBTQ community?

Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “CrazySexyCool”

November 15th, 2014 - By Deron Dalton
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MI0000061388

It’s one of our favorite albums and we’ve all seen VH1’s biggest TV movie, “The TLC Story: CrazySexyCool.” Nevertheless, MadameNoire compiled a list in celebration of CrazySexyCool‘s 20th anniversary as one of the best selling R&B albums of all time.

Like for example, this album made TLC the biggest girl group in the world at the time, which they are still one of the biggest to this day. Their success makes sense — watching them grow into sexy, sophisticated women. They created an album representative of their personalities as well as how each member was portrayed in the media — taking on their personas. Left Eye named the album as she did all their other albums. She was crazy, Chilli was sexy and T-Boz was cool.

Honey Boo Boo Child And Why White Poverty Is No Laughing Matter

October 29th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Source: TLC

Source: TLC

The first taste of White poverty came by way of old episodes of “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

They were backwoods and uncultured and sometimes criminal. But they were lovable, funny and filled with the down-home wisdom, which only comes from true salt of the earth people. This, along with the large sum of money earned from striking oil on their property, made them on par, if not better, than the elitist snobs, who judged them. As such, there was lots of pride to being a Beverly Hillbilly.

As a young Black kid, growing up on the North side of City Hall, in communities that where predominately poor, Black, brown and some Asian, White poverty was a stark and bitter contrast to who we were. Even when The Beverly Hillbillies were acting and behaving at their worst, they were victims of their circumstances, whose salvation came with the influx of money. Problem solved. Whereas, our poor weren’t always nice and lovable. And there was no pride in it to be had. Through television and through real life, people were always reinforcing the idea that Black poverty was nothing more than tragic and dangerous. And we were to be ashamed at all times for being poor, not prideful.

All that changed the year that I was bussed to the other side of town and had classmates, who were predominately White and poor. That’s when I learned that television was a lie. And that the White poor ain’t no more special than the rest of the disenfranchised colors. Just slightly more privileged and washed over.

And that is the other disturbing part of the entire saga of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” which very few are willing to talk about. “Mama” June Shannon is a sad and desperate woman. But she’s always kind of been like that. And so has the rest of the clan. From their junk food-packed dietary habits up to the criminal backgrounds, the Honey Boo Boos have long been steeped in some serious dysfunction and pathology. As the website Hollywood Life.com reported, Alana Thompson (Honey Boo Boo)’s father Suga Bear was convicted of burglary in 1994 and her mother Mama June was under investigation for a previous and unrelated (to the recent molestation controversy) allegation of child abuse.

Nothing about these facts and their overall conditions should have been a laughing matter. And in real life, glaring poverty and the dysfunction it produces, rarely is. The Learning Channel should have been pushing for therapy and intervention to help this family both heal and progress economically. Instead, Honey Boo Boo’s clan got repackaged and branded as a whimsical and unconventional, yet all-American family. And instead of crying and shaking our heads, pondering about how we can help those poor, desperate White people, we, the viewers, laughed at them as they ate cheese curls for breakfast and cracked sassy one-liners about being unapologetic hot messes.

And so we laughed. And many of us would continue laughing “with (but more like “at”)” the Honey Boo Boos for several seasons until the banes of dysfunction (by way of child molestation allegations against June’s boyfriend) could no longer be ignored – by the advertisers at least. Only then had White poverty stopped being lovable and comedic. But even as folks now finger-wag Mama June and shun the clan completely, we as a society have yet to acknowledge the role our own cultural biases might have played in influencing their conditions to begin with.

In the book Race and the Politics of Welfare Reform, particularly in the chapter How the Poor Became Black, Martin Gilens notes the media’s role in shifting the portrayal of the poor in America. More specifically he writes:

The association of African Americans with the “undeserving poor” is evident not only in the changing media coverage of poverty during the mid-1960s, but throughout the period studied. From the early 1950s through the early 1990s, images of poor blacks increased when the tone of poverty stories became more critical of the poor and decreased when coverage became more sympathetic. Similarly, images of African Americans were most numerous in news stories about the least sympathetic subgroups of the poor. As I discuss below, these differences in the racial portrayal of the poor cannot be accounted for by true changes in the racial composition of the poverty population or by racial differences across subgroups of the poor. Rather, the media’s tendency to associate African Americans with the undeserving poor rejects—and reinforces— the centuries-old stereotype of blacks as lazy.”

Worse the aligning of Black folks with poor made White poverty virtually non-existent – at least in the media. As reported in this recent article in the Miami Herald:

Though it’s true that African Americans are disproportionately likely to live below the poverty line, it is also true that the vast majority of those in poverty are white: 29.8 million people. In fact, there are more white poor than all other poor combined.

Owsley County (Booneville is the county seat) is the epicenter of that poverty. Median income here is less than $20,000. The obesity rate is 50 percent. Life expectancy: 71.4 years, more than seven years below the national average. With 36 percent of its citizens living below the poverty line and 98.5 percent of its population identifying as white, it is the poorest — and one of the whitest — places in America.”

The effects of this White-washing over White poverty has been disastrous for some communities in America. And as reported on the Appalachian Community Fund website, 40 percent of residents in Logan County West Virginia do not have access to safe drinking water. 50 percent of the counties located in Central Appalachia have access to only one hospital, while 1 in 5 do not have a hospital at all. And in Eastern Kentucky, where 60 percent of counties are consistently poor, the A.T. Massey company operated coal mines through 18 subsidiaries, has reported revenues of $1.1 billion. Therefore not only are the White poor invisible but because of how they are maligned and misrepresented through the media and particularly painted as happy-to-be-poor, smiling rednecks, they become prime and easy candidates for exploitation from more affluent Whites and international corporations.

So while you will get no arguments here that TLC did the right thing in pulling the plug on the series, they also will get cool points from me for trying to profit off of dysfunction in the first place. Nor shall the rest of television. “The Beverly HillBillies,” “Roseanne,” “Moonshiners,” “Cajun Pawn Stars,” “Son of Anarchy,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia” (which still might be on Netflix), etc…all have their roles in normalizing not just White poverty but criminality and other pathologies and distorting poverty in general.

You see, while the Evans family (as well as most of the Black families from low-income communities portrayed on television) were scratching and surviving, hanging in the chow line and going through all sorts of sad and depressing things (with some occasional laugh tracks mixed in) trying to get out of the ghetto to be with the rest of civilized society, the White poor are content. They are happy. And everything is good with them. Therefore how bad can poverty really be, right?

Why Can’t Girl Groups Keep It Together Anymore?

September 8th, 2014 - By Alexandra Olivier
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Danity Kane Returning To Reality TV

Source: WENN

702.

SWV.

Blaque.

TLC.

Xscape.

Destiny’s Child.

En Vogue.

The ’90s girl groups we all loved at one time have seemingly all disappeared. That era was overrun with women doing their thing, dominating the radio with break-up playlists, love making tunes and pre-game records. You can’t talk about ’90s R&B without giving a nod and some love to the ladies and gents who banded together to provide perfect harmonies for our ears to bump to.

In this new age where technology dominates and artists become stars courtesy of Vine, Instagram and YouTube, it’s hard to miss that there are no reigning girl groups around. The industry has become saturated with solo artists all producing the same sound and looking the exact same, and the industry is also littered with failed reunion attempt after failed reunion attempt from folks who still can’t seem to get along. What’s changed?

In this new scope of music, it seems like the outlook is pretty grim. Can there be another TLC? Can there be another girl group with an impact thanks to songs that detail a little bit of everything, including the struggle of battling depression, calls for unity and even safe sex? With plenty of social injustices in the world, there is certainly a void for women to fill.

How about the records that made you feel s*xy and empowered at the same time? Xscape’s “Tonight” vocalized women’s desires without being crass, and the group maintained a sense of elegance – baggy clothing and all.

Even with Diddy’s Making The Band, a group of talented young women who managed to top the charts couldn’t foster a lucrative career as one unit. Danity Kane’s early success appeared promising with their self-titled album, knocking pop veteran Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics album out of the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200. But after touring and starring on a reality show, they couldn’t get it and keep it together. Everyone wanted to do something different and animosity between members was crazy. Breaking up. Making Up. And now Danity Kane have broken up for good after a physical scuffle between Aubrey O’Day and Dawn Richard. At this point, their track record is almost synonymous to Chris Brown and Karrueche Tran’s relationship–just unstable.

There is unfortunately no rule book or recipe to concoct the new millennium guide to success, but there is a market being ignored due to the lack of staying power from girl groups. The inability for women to remain and dominate as a band begs the question of whether or not the power in numbers has dissipated? Judging by Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Michelle – all of whom have gone on and led prosperous lives post Destiny’s Child – it appears the proof is in the pudding.

I miss having a group like 702 or En Vogue dazzle audiences with their powerful range and dance moves, and I hope that the historic revolving door in music allows for girl groups to shine and reign atop the charts once again. At this very moment, however, I’ll continue to play oldies but goodies and live out the music I miss with the help of YouTube.