This episode was recorded on May 28, 2020.
Loni Love brings effortless personality, confidence, and honesty to TV screens daily as the co-host of The Real. And the secret to her success: perseverance. Because her journey has taken many twists. She sat down with us to share how she’s found her voice, onstage and off.
Carly: Walk us through what your childhood was like.
Loni: I grew up in the Brewster Projects, and I explain in my book all about how the Brewster Projects was actually developed. It was low-cost housing for African Americans at the time that were migrating from the South to cities [in] the north.
At the time I didn't know that I was poor because everybody around me was poor. Everyone around me didn't have a dad because we were under this welfare system so that the dads couldn't be in the household.
So basically I'm explaining how this foundation actually created me and was instilled in me… but the whole point of it is that I got out of it. And I think that's important for people to know. I want people to be inspired, I want people to know that even though you may not come from the best beginnings you can make something out of yourself, you can get out of bad situations. And I think that's important to tell.
Loni: I'm asking women especially to journal, especially in the situation that we're in right now where it's very historic, we're living through a pandemic. A lot of us don't journal. Even if you just write a couple of lines every day. Back then I would keep a diary of how I was feeling, what I was going through, and I was able to look back on that after, you know, 20 years, 25 years.
The thing that I try to stress to people is to make sure that you journal. I don't care what it is, if it's just a couple of lines every day or once a week. Get a notebook and write down your feelings right now, what's happening in your life. Because you're gonna look back five years from now, maybe at a low point or at a high point, and you can realize where you came from.
Loni: When I was thinking about a title, I was thinking about how throughout my life, like I said earlier, I thought in order to be happy I have to be what I thought people wanted me to be. And also, I didn't know how to embrace my flaws. And so throughout my process I've now learned how to embrace my flaws. And if you want to improve your flaws, that's fine. But if you don't, flaws are something I believe God gives you to make you stand out. So I learned to embrace those flaws.
That’s why I named the book, I Tried to Change So You Don't Have To. I'm hoping that by saying that I tried to do it as an example, hopefully you realize that you don't have to do it, and you could just be yourself. You can embrace yourself, you can embrace who you are,