Tammy Rivera’s daughter, Charlie, has been making a name for herself. She’s been a prominent figure on their WETV reality show Waka & Tammy: What the Flocka, which highlights the relationship of the whole family. Fans have noticed over the years the closeness in the relationship that is shared between Rivera and her daughter, including husband Waka Flocka Flame who is not Charlie’s biological father. Neither are shy of speaking up in defense of Charlie, as was discovered by a fan when Rivera clapped back after they made baseless claims about her body.
Born in 2005, 16-year-old Charlie Wiliams is an upcoming model and owner of her own clothing line called “Charlies Bratz”. Rivera spoke recently with Essence on her experience raising with raising a teenager in this digital and social media age while maneuvering trying to be an understanding mother and friend to her daughter.
“What has worked for me is communication, being able to listen and be that friend, even if it’s not what you want to hear,” said Rivera. “There are times where she comes in the room and she’s talking about something, and she’s telling me, ‘Yeah, because my friends the other day, they were smoking, and we were just chilling…’ And I’m like, ‘Oh…’ I can’t be like, ‘Oh, what the hell?! They were smoking?’ I have to listen instead of reacting.”
Rivera believes that it is her willingness to be open and learn that allowed them to have the bond they share today. The “Babymama” singer prides herself in schooling her daughter on how to deal with various issues that may arise while growing up in the social media age, including dealing with trolls and bullies.
Tammy also discussed the time in which Charlie revealed to both her and Waka that she wanted a girl to accompany her to her quinceanera as her date. “I’m not going to lie. When she first came to me, I did tell her, ‘You’re too young. You don’t even know what you want to eat,” stated Rivera. “I had to sit back and think about it. I watch my daughter. I know my child. I know her behavior, I know her attitude, I know her personality.”
She continued, “I sat down with Waka and I said, ‘You know what? I’m not going to be that parent.’ I said, ‘Charlie has never been a follower. She’s always been who she is. So if she’s gay or says she likes girls, it’s because that’s what she wants. It’s crazy because as soon as I got to that point, it’s like she opened up completely. And we got closer. Even her and Waka got closer. And she was able to be herself,”
Stepfather and rapper Waka Flocka Flame came forward on social media to also share that he would be supportive of his daughter no matter what. “I’m gonna support my daughter,” the rapper expressed. “Y’all stop running with this narrative that she coming out ’cause she ain’t never hiding from nothing. She’s not no face, no spokesman, no nothing. She’s living her f*****g life, man. That’s all it needs to be. Cut it out man, that s**t lame.”
He added, “Who raised y’all? Serious question for y’all. Are you raising a teenager? Are you a parent? Do you know how it feels? I’m not supportive of nothing. This is my daughter. The word ‘supportive’ don’t matter when you’re a parent because you’re automatically doing that. Y’all [are] tripping.”
The family continues to grow as does Charlie. She made the emotional decision to ask Waka to legally adopt her, crediting him for teaching her how to be the woman that she is today. She also shares that her mother, Tammy, is her “ride or die” and the “only person I’ll get in a fight for,” as she wrote in a touching Mother’s Day tribute to her on Instagram.
“[To] the person that won’t ever judge me,” she wrote,” she might give me a HEADACHE but this my closest friend.. I be telling her all the tea .. she knows who everyone is and why I don’t like them.”
While everything may be going well in their world, some folks on social media have been a bit critical of Charlie’s upbringing. Tammy’s lessons on social media trolls came into play recently when she revealed a behind-the-scenes look at the mother-daughter combo modeling swimwear on social media. Rivera brought Charlie on as a model for her upcoming collection, claiming it was her daughter’s “first paid gig” as she pushes her into Kimora Lee’s footsteps. However, she was subject to backlash from those who felt as if she were too young for what some deemed to be”racy“.
“She should have had on more clothes, she’s still a child, smh,” commented one user. Another wrote, “I don’t know about this one. At least cover her up with one of your sheets. It seems like she is selling her off. Just my opinion. Nonetheless, Beautiful Girl.”
Meanwhile, Waka commented under the post with fire emojis and said “My Babys”, stamping his seal of approval. In another instance, Rivera posted a picture of herself and Charlie on a boat while they were vacationing. Both are seen in 2-piece bathing suits where the midsection is exposed, which brought criticism from social media users. One user suggested that Charlie got surgery in the photo, which caused Tammy to react. This time, fans rallied around the mother-daughter pair.
“Sis tried it @charliesangelll it makes me sick to my stomach that these GROWN women are judging a child,” one wrote. Another user commented, “You know damn well this lady ain’t took her daughter to have no surgery…a lot of teenagers and pre-teens look this way.”