Tanisha Thomas: From Bad Girl to Business Woman

By// Starrene Rhett Rocque

The world first met Tanisha Thomas during season two of Oxygen’s hit series, Bad Girls Club. Back then she was a loud mouth, rude, larger-than-life-girl who was constantly getting involved in drama with her cast mates. However, a trip to jail—which was aired on the show (and ironically based on an offense she didn’t commit, also caught on camera) — changed the plus sized diva’s outlook on life. She’s still big and loud but admits to being more mature after witnessing her crazy behavior and says she now tries to stay away from drama as much as she can, unless she’s hosting it, of course.

These days, the Brooklyn native can be seen on Oxygen hosting the Bad Girls Club reunion, as well as Love Games, which premieres a new season on November 5 at 11/10c. caught up with the bad girl-turned-business woman to chat about her new ventures and making the most of life, even when it gets rough.

Most people last saw you on TV due to your wedding special. How’s marriage going?

Unfortunately, I’m sorry to report that a little bit after the show, we separated. We are still legally married, but we are separated. It happens. We’re still in contact with each other. We are still friends. But you have a little bit of crack within the relationship, and then you choose to add a camera and that doesn’t actually help the situation.

Aside from that, I know you have been working a lot with Oxygen, so talk about the new season of Love Games.

Love Games premieres on November 5th. I’m really excited about this season. It’s really different this season. We really shake things up. A lot of things you guys aren’t going to be expecting happen. The girls are emotionally invested, so are the guys.  Even I get emotionally invested and pop off a couple of times. So, it’s just a great season. It’s great to see the girls really get out there, really love, and I think you guys are really going to enjoy it.

One of the things I noticed that was different, was that the three girls are all from the same season. How does that play out, because I know some of those had beef with each other when they were on Bad Girls Club?

It definitely plays out. You will see bad girls being bad girls, and tension, and drama, and all that good stuff. But honestly, what I really love about it was a lot of the girls realized in the end that there’s only one girl and one guy left standing. And when they realized that, it was like, “Ok, it’s time to get ourselves together, because we’ve got to compete.” And, they really do so, it’s a great season.

You’ve also been a part of a lot of the girls’ lives like the God Mother of the Bad Girls, giving everybody advice. So, being that you’re now where a lot of them are trying to go, what do you hope that they have learned from you?

I don’t know. The thing is, I don’t even try to be a role model. I don’t know how this happened. Even with the Bad Girls Club, there’s so much drama off camera as well, on the social media front, the girls do a lot of club affairs and appearances after the show, and they start getting cliquey. This one said this, that one said that so I kind of stay out of that mess, for the most part. And what ends up happening is if I do end up having an issue I just try to diffuse it. Life is just so much bigger than just fighting, cursing and just being bad. There’s so much out there, there’s so much opportunity, there’s so much money to be made. Honestly, it’s about getting your money up, living out your dreams, and really living to your full potential.

It’s interesting that you say that because in past interviews you talked about how you wished that some of the girls would get along better and realize that they shouldn’t be fighting each other but more like them against the world. That being said, have you come across some bad girls who may have realized that after the fact and started to evolve?

Definitely, yes. Something happens when you go on The Bad Girls Club and then you go home and watch yourself on television and you have that ah ha moment, and you see those moments where you’re like, “Oh my God, that wasn’t cool, I shouldn’t have did that or I shouldn’t have said that.” I definitely feel like there’s a lot of moments where they look at themselves and they feel like they have to change. Flo has evolved to one of the most beautiful women. She has her daughter, she’s a great mom and a lot of the girls have evolved.

And you get to see that by hosting those wild Bad Girls Club reunion specials.

Oh yes! This one is a three-part reunion for the first time ever and it goes down! It’s like, you better hold on to your sombreros because it’s a wild and bumpy ride. I mean, I start running for cover and it’s so crazy to see me running [laughs].

You’re unique in that you still have an edge but despite your “bad girl” tendencies, you’ve managed to become a respected TV host. What steps did you take to shift your image?

It was my management. It started with me just doing a guest appearance on Love Games’ first season and it became a staple. They brought me in to fill in that day and it just took off that day. I got a call from my management that said they wanted me to do this and I was just like, “But there’s only one problem, I’m not a host.” I was nervous but I know that I’m a go-getter and whatever I put my mind up to doing I can do it. I’m a Virgo I’m a perfectionist, so I knew that even if it wasn’t right that I’m gonna make it right and it worked out.

What else are you working on?

We’re getting ready to release Plush, it’s a diva’s closet. It’s getting ready to release in December or early January and I’m really excited about it. It’s a plus size boutique. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now and I’m also proud that I’m pulling together the first plus size New York City pageant in February or March. I’m single and I have this big platform, so I have to definitely promote beauty from within and I’m really excited about this pageant. The response has been amazing and I can’t wait to do this.

You’re one of few women in the public eye who is unapologetic about the fact that she loves to eat.

I think we need that. So many women are going through life feeling beat up and down. I just did an interview where I said I feel like we live in a society where hip-hop music really defines our culture. It defines what’s beautiful, what’s hot, what’s not—this girl with long hair is beautiful, this exotic girl is beautiful, the one with the 20-something inch waist and the 50 inch hips is beautiful. So, I think we need to step in and start doing stuff about this. There’s a lot of domestic abuse going on and women are taking it because they feel like they don’t deserve better. I remember when I broke up with my husband, my friends were like, “You better keep this secret, you can’t let anybody know,” and it’s absolutely nobody’s business but I will not keep up a front just to save face. If it’s not working out, it’s not working out and here’s nothing wrong with that. You have to buckle up those boots and keep it moving.

How’s your relationship with Natalie Nunn?

I don’t even know what to say about her. We’re not on speaking terms. She was very upset that I was hosting the Bad Girls Club reunion. She doesn’t understand why she can’t host it [but] I don’t understand why she thinks people in America will be able to put up with her voice and her annoying laugh. No shade. I’m happy for her. She’s hosting things and she’s doing things on her own but what makes me laugh is, you know people who are so jealous they cant even hide it? That’s her. Every time she sees me and I mean, what if I was half my size? She would kill me [laughs]. But that’s how you know you’re doing something right. Bobby Brown told me himself, “If you don’t have the haters, you’re not doing it right. He said, Tanisha, “As long as they spell your name right, let ’em talk. Great advice.