Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How to Become a "Real" Housewife

Last week, while working, I caught up on trying to understand pop culture by binging on The Real Housewives of Orange County. The show started off as a documentary about average-looking shallow California housewives.



And somehow became a multi-show franchise where everyone has big boobs, Botoxed faces, and is (usually) Hollywood beautiful.



As you can see from the woman on the left of the first picture and in the center of the second one, generally one or two housewives stay with the show forever. The other housewives come and go like there's a revolving door. When a new housewife comes in, they usually "pretend" she just happens to know one of the existing housewives, not that she was chosen from a very careful search-and-audition process.



As soon as a new housewife is added, we often see her going through this (if she hasn't already): 



It's as if it's in the contract. "You agree to film for X months straight and get breast implants on camera." There's also tons of this:



Not only do the women look "perfect," they live "perfect lives," complete with ginormous houses...



And fancy cars.



All while not working.



Okay, Miss Piggy up there is a workaholic. The rest design crap that they sell based solely on their Real Housewives fan base.



So that means if you want to be a "real" housewife, your husband will have to work extra hard. Or go into debt and end up in jail for not paying taxes. 



Either way, you'll only get (and stay) on the show if you pretend you have the money to afford the house you live in. Just ask this couple. He faked it until he made it...only instead of making it, his kids were served an eviction notice on air. Their time on the show ended a couple of episodes later.



This husband committed suicide, reportedly due to the pressure (financial and otherwise) the show put on him.



So the question isn't so much HOW to become a Real Housewife as "Why would you want to?" Seems people are willing to pay any price for fame, but the price here may be way too much.

Pssst: I'm having a Goodreads giveaway for an advance copy of Piper Morgan Joins the Circus. Enter below!




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Piper Morgan Joins the Circus by Stephanie Faris

Piper Morgan Joins the Circus

by Stephanie Faris

Giveaway ends June 29, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

54 comments:

  1. Sad that people would go to such lengths for a crappy television show.
    Botox catches up with you. Just look at Kim Basinger.

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    1. I've never done it but YIKES. They stick a needle in different parts of your face and there are big lumps under the skin. It takes a while for it to settle. I heard that if you start too young (as SO many girls are doing these days), the muscles eventually atrophy, which is why so many in Hollywood look weird now. (Well, that and WAY too many nips and tucks.)

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  2. I think it's awful what some people will do for their five minutes of fame. Here in the UK, we also have 'reality' shows called The Only Way is Essex and Made in Chelsea, and it genuinely baffles me as to why people would want to watch - everyone looks the same and sounds the same and no one seems to have any discernible talent. I'd love to watch a reality show based around writers going into coffee shops and having arguments with their characters, or maybe a group of scientists as they do their work and have cat fights over who-stole-who's-research ;). I think that would be so much more fun to watch ;)

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    1. I watch Big Brother every summer, which is HUGE in the UK, I know! I've even watched a couple of seasons of your version, although it's a little tough to battle YouTube to find the episodes, so I gave up. I just watched the 2016 cast announcement and, yeah, at first everyone looks kinda bleh. But then you get to know them after a few episodes and you start to see the real them, at which point half of them become super annoying...just like co-workers!

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  3. If there was a show about 'real housewives' it would show how hard they work everyday to keep their homes clean and their families taken care of all within a budget. I guess I'm getting old, I just don't understand reality TV and its draw. Sad these women and their families go through this.

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    1. Awesome point!!! I gather from the show that wealthy housewives just sit around drinking coffee and gossiping, based on the show. Oh, and doing things to make sure they're physically as perfect as possible so their husbands don't leave them.

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  4. I've avoided watching these kind of shows. I can't imagine how addicted I'd be or how tired I'd be of watching after a while. It sounds hard to try "keeping up" with these shows.

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    1. It is exhausting sometimes! It teaches you a LOT about women, though, and how we tend to tear each other down instead of building each other up. So sad. Also, maybe it's because the cameras are there, but these women never, EVER admit they're wrong. Even when it's obvious they're dead wrong, they'll defend their crazy point to the death! I think it's because they're trying to keep the drama going, perhaps?

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  5. My hubby hates reality TV. We know it's scripted. I mean, seriously. We've actually cut out all TV, except for select TV shows we get online. It's simplified our lives so much. Still, THE REAL HOUSEWIVES may as well be my neighborhood. Not the drama so much...although they are high drama, but the people are mostly very wealthy and set on appearances. They're good people, but sometimes I wonder...

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    1. I think that's what's scary...we know actual people like that! The TV show Unreal kinda gave a glimpse into what happens. It isn't so much scripted as it is "guided." Producers push the drama in the direction they want it to go. On Big Brother (and Real Housewives), producers conduct these interviews where they coax cast members into answering questions in a way that gives them a particular quote. And then the editing...OMG. There was a BBC show that demonstrated how they do that. They get shots of the participants rolling their eyes or not saying anything and they edit it in a way that made it seem like there was tension. They can do it to even the most ordinary conversation, as they demonstrated on the show. I will say, if anyone ever asks you to be on a reality show, RUN! One of my former hairstylists was on that Tabitha's Salon Takeover and they made her out to be something she is DEFINITELY not.

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  6. I am proud to say I don't watch any of those reality shows. It's rather sad and pathetic. A lot of unhappy people seeking something....

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    1. So true. And they never really find it, interestingly. I think most people are disappointed when they learn what fame really means. I think it's different now than it was 20 or 30 years ago...there are varying levels of fame, thanks to the Internet. You can have a fan base just based on videos you put on YouTube. Even with movie stars, there aren't too many household names anymore. There was a time when EVERYONE knew the top box office stars by name. Not so much anymore.

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  7. I watched one of the housewives shows for a week or so, as it was so hard to look away from the trainwreck, lol! I don't get how they don't feel embarrassed by how desperate they are to hold on to their physical beauty, and what they do to 'achieve' it. Real lips don't look like that!!

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    1. No! It's like Big Brother in the early seasons...Real Housewives was almost better early on, when it was a little more authentic. Now everyone is on there because they know it will bring them fame. Back then they thought they were just shooting a documentary that might not even ever be watched! The first season Big Brother cast actually thought they'd become famous, but they had no idea how to "act" in the house to get more TV time...today's houseguests seem to know exactly what they need to do and that takes a little of the "reality" out of it.

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  8. The only reality show I watch is The Amazing Race. Not sure if that falls under reality, either. Even so, there's a lot of soap opera drama on that, too. I just laugh through it.

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    1. I'm a Big Brother fanatic, but I always zone out during the challenges. That's why I couldn't get into TAR. I just need more of the soap opera and a little less of the running!

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  9. I've never watched this show, and your excellent description makes me glad.

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    1. Yeah, it's not really a show men would enjoy!

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  10. I don't watch these shows (anymore) because I get addicted to seeing worse and worse train wrecks. It's without a doubt a requirement to continue. If you can't make a worse disaster than the last episode, you're out. Sorry, we need it to be worse. So then everyone is tuning in because there can't be anything worse than that last disaster. Oh wait, she did WHAT??!

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    1. LOL, isn't that true? If a cast member doesn't find a way to bring enough drama, they fire her...so you can see them each positioning for which fights they're going to start this year.

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  11. I grew up in Orange County. Not the Orange County of the Housewives. That's south county. Where the rich people live.

    I can't watch these shows. I once watched (can't remember which one) some girl have a meltdown over a pile of laundry. I happened on it by accident. Couldn't believe the drama they built over that.

    However, I am curious about the show UnReal. On Lifetime. But that's fiction based on reality shows.

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    1. You need to watch Unreal. It was SO good!!! I watched the entire first season on Hulu...not sure if you have to be a Plus member to watch it, though. But it was SO fun! But yeah, we have areas of Nashville (Davidson County) that are richy-richy and when I lived in Nashville, I did NOT live in one of those areas, so I know exactly what you mean! Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman live in those areas of Nashville, not nobodies like me!

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  12. The "REAL" housewives. LOL
    I always found the title of this show amusing for some reason. No, I have never watched it. The only reality shows I watch are the Amazing Race, Survivor and Big Brother. That's as "REAL" I get to REALality.

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    1. Big Brother solidarity!!! It's coming up... They did the cast reveal yesterday, in case you missed it. You can read all about the 12 they're revealing (four are "secret," which traditionally has meant their returning houseguests from previous seasons).

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    2. I'm really anticipating it. I read an article that had the names, but no photos. I shall have to go searching for more info today. I've always wanted to blog about it, but there is so much I don't think I could keep up.

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  13. Wow...you really got this all right! I totally agree with you!

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    1. So sad, the things people will do for "celebrity" these days.

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  14. I don't watch these kinds of shows. The price is not worth it. I'd rather be right where I am than what they do for their 15 minutes of fame.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I think so! I've watched the Big Brother Live Feeds for three summers now and having cameras on you, capturing you as you live your life, would be a nightmare. People don't realize that until they're in it, I guess.

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  15. I've never heard of this show, but I watch very little TV. If they claim to be "real" housewives to make a lot of money, they are pathetic. They obviously haven't learned that true beauty is on the inside, not the outside. Great post. I now know what I'm not missing.

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    1. I admire people who don't watch TV and choose to remove themselves from that. It's a very good way to live!

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  16. LOL! These shows are sooo bad, but I get sucked into the Beverly Hills one every year.

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    1. Haha, yeah, I like that one...that one has actual celebs on it, so it's a little fun. I enjoyed getting to watch David Foster play piano at dinner parties. I mean, where else can you see that? That guy wrote some of the best-known songs of my generation!

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  17. Reality TV and celebrity culture are nothing new; we've always liked to look at people do stupid things and make them famous for it. We like it even better when they fail - humans get enjoyment out of watching other people suffer. At least it's not happening to us, right?

    And Reality TV is so prevalent because it's quick and cheap to make; it's like today's version of game shows.

    All together it creates a perfect storm where I think we'll be seeing some variety of reality TV for a long time to come.

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  18. Oh reality shows...such great tv. But so produced. Would love to see behind the scenes, but not so sure if I'd ever love to be on one.

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  19. I wouldn't want to be in one and be in public eye :)

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  20. I must admit I don't watch TV much, and when I do, I'm quite selective about the shows. Anyway, I don't really like reality shows, and as for 'real' housewives - not THIS is my idea of a real housewife.

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  21. I really do despise those kind of people.

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  22. that's a scary trend! And to think its true for TV the world over! It's almost regressive here in India

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  23. I do not watch any of these so-called 'reality' shows. I have enough nuts in my own neighborhood to watch out for.

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  24. I don't care for these reality housewife TV shows. For one thing, all the women, no matter what city they are in, look the same to me. They're either blonde or brunette, scrawny, with expressionless faces. They scare me and I don't like to be afraid. Also I don't watch the shows because... stupid!

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  25. There's nothing 'real' about any of these reality shows. They're all half-scripted, badly 'acted' rubbish, full of issues and 'problems' that no one else on the planet has. I'm a real housewife because I vacuum, do my laundry and clean my windows

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  26. I love the drama on these shows! My favorite is the Atlanta franchise. I know that a good majority of it is scripted but it's still such a guilty pleasure. I think that reality shows are the new age soap operas (coming from a recovered Young and the Restless addict). As far as why people go on these shows, fame is probably the number one factor. I've seen a few of the ladies really make a dollar out of fifteen cents (NeNe Leaks comes to mind), but not everyone is going to be able to flip their fifteen minutes of fame into a legitimate entertainment career.

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  27. I've never watched this type of show. I have, however, wondered why they call something so blatantly fake a reality show. To each his own. It seems like all the effort some women put into enhancing their looks is all for naught when the guy doesn't stay around after all. I'd rather be a (winning, of course) contestant on Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune ;-)

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  28. You got it....who'd want to.

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  29. It is amazing what people will endure for the sake of being on television.

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  30. I do like some "reality" TV, but never got into this one. I'm more of a Project Runway fan.

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  31. LOL! Let me first say that I've been wanting to read this book, so I had to enter the giveaway. The bad news is that it's been so dang long since I've been on Goodreads that I had to reset my password because I forgot it, AND my profile was a total mess! (lol) How long has it been? 6 years! Anywho, the first Reality Houswives I watched were the ladies from New York, then it started getting too crazy. Then I moved on to Atlanta, and they were over the top. I've been trying to move on to Dallas to see what happens there. Watching these shows always reminds me that having really good looks and money don't necessarily equal happy people. Great topic!

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  32. Talk about superficial crap! :P I've never watched this so-called "reality" show or any others of their ilk. It's puzzling to me why anyone would be interested in this. The old expression "gag me with a spoon" comes to mind. ☺

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  33. I despise so-called "reality" shows. Except for "American Pickers". :) As if the personal damage isn't enough, these false ideas undermine our society. A real estate agent told my father that even the property based programs give people unrealistic expectations! They expect to buy homes for a fraction of their worth and have it show-house perfect. How dumb is that? ~sigh~ Hopefully, my parents will receive a worthy offer. Be well, my dear.

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  34. Yeah I'm not touching that kind of lifestyle in any way shape or form. I'll just earn my money the old fashioned way thanks.

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  35. The poor husbands and children. I don't watch such shows (or The Kardashians which my youngest sister seems to love) but I know many people do - it's probably a form of escapism, which everyone does, just in different ways or through different shows. For me, too much bitching or whining creates toxic and it's not 'entertaining' for me. Rather, it drains.

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  36. Wow. So far I have managed to never see a single episode of Real Housewives or Jersey Shore or any show with someone named Kardashian or Honey Boo in it. Now I know why.

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  37. I have not seen any of the Real Housewives shows- but I have a lot of friends who watch them. Too bad it doesn't seem "real" at all! Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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