Yandy Smith shares her secret to ‘Love & Hip Hop’ longevity: “You got to [have] thick skin”

Courtesy of VH1

Yandy Smith is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Love & Hip Hop, the VH1 reality series franchise that helped launch the careers of many personalities we see today, including Grammy Award winner Cardi B.

Smith, who recently joined the Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta cast after starting on Love & Hip Hop: New York in 2011, says she’s still amazed by her journey as one of the original members.

“It’s so crazy looking back, because literally my whole entire adult life has happened with all of you,” Smith tells ABC Audio. “Every single thing from being a dating woman, to being an engaged woman, to a married woman — well a mom first — then a married woman. Then a single mom… every single step of the way you guys have endured with me.”

Smith says having that endurance over the years wasn’t an easy feat. That’s until she learned one of her biggest lessons: “You got to get thick skin.”

“And you also have to really figure out who your protective village is because you will get torn down,” she says. “Everyone once in their life deals with a breakup. Everyone once in their lives makes a stupid decision. Everyone once in a while says something that just is like, ‘Why did I say that? Why did I do that?'”

Unfortunately, Smith says, having those stupid decisions “in front of a million people or more” will lead to some really harsh feedback.

“You get a lot of judgment,” she says. “And if you don’t have thick skin, it will break you down to the core of the white meat.”

The new season of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, also starring Rasheeda Frost, Spice and Erica Mena, premieres Monday, July 5, at 8 p.m. ET on VH1.

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