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I have waited my entire freelancing lifetime to write this post, so sit back and enjoy as I blow the lid off of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives” phenomenon.
While I realize the premise of any of the five Real Housewives shows is meant to be satirical, the sheer ridiculousness of these shows as an adequate representation of any genuine “real housewives” is overwhelming. I mean these shows should really begin with a disclaimer similar to the following: “This show is meant for entertainment purposes only. Any resemblance to actual hard-working, house-cleaning, floor-scrubbing, diaper-changing, meal-cooking, carpooling, lawn-cutting, homework-doing, laundry-folding housewives living or dead is purely coincidental.” That about covers it, right?
Let’s take a look at what I’m talking about here. We’ll do a little “compare and contrast” exercise. On the left, you see the home of Kyle Richards from TRHW of Beverly Hills. On the right you see the average American home as represented by Google. Pretty stark contrast, wouldn’t you agree?
Next we have the average vehicle you would generally see one of the Real Housewives tooling along in (on the left) and the average vehicle you would see the ordinary American housewife driving. (on the right) Yeah…no bells or whistles on that minivan. We’re lucky we don’t still have to crank our windows down with the little handle…thank goodness for automatic windows, our one luxury!
We see lots of the “Real” Housewives having to deal with money just like the rest of us do, only their biggest decision is whether or not to buy the beach condo or the Spanish villa. I have to decide whether to get toilet paper AND milk or toilet paper OR milk. Hmmmm….
You would never see a “Real” Housewife with wrinkles or…gasp…acne! That’s because between their plastic surgeon and their dermatologist they’ve got that shit wrapped up tight. I on the other hand am a 40-something mother of 7 who finds herself personally keeping Oil of Olay in business. No plastic surgeon on call here…nope. Botox be gone, my friends…this momma’s face is 100% genuine.
And then there are vacations…lots and lots of vacations…because they work so hard they just need to “get away from it all”. They all pile in to someone’s private jet and fly off to Spain or Cabo just like that. Designer bags packed and they’re gone. I recently went on a trip too…to North East Ohio, you know, the snow belt…in January. I lugged my suit case and my carry-on through three different airports, unpacked and undressed just to clear security, waited hours for flights, was squished in the stupid middle seat…twice, and ate airport food for two days. Sigh….
And I always wonder who cleans their houses and takes care of their kids. Their houses are always immaculate, yet you never see them cleaning a damn thing. They have kids, but who does the carpooling and lunch packing and homework? Who bakes last-minute brownies for student council meetings or does a load of laundry at 10:00 at night because their daughter just has to have THAT pair of jeans for tomorrow? I do all of that here.
So I guess my point is this, maybe the show would be more adequately represented with a title like “The Rich Housewives” or maybe even “The Elite Housewives”, but leave “The Real Housewives” to those of us who are actual housewives. We put in the long, often times unappreciated, hours on the battlefield we call home. We scrub toilets, use crock pots, pick up dog poop, and wash dishes…with our hands! We know how to make doctor’s appointments, run homework, and pay bills all at the same time. Our idea of a night out has nothing to do with ball gowns and Grey Goose, it consists of watching our kids play ball and grabbing a pizza and a Red Box movie on the way home.
I know being a housewife is different for everyone and that the women in these shows face challenges of their own. I realize they are in fact real people with real lives, and I can respect and appreciate that. Their lives, however, are not representative of housewives as a general population. We see enough of the rich and famous on reality television, I challenge Bravo to produce a show about actual real housewives. It may not garner the ratings that the other shows do, I mean what we do every day isn’t exactly drama-filled, exciting entertainment, but maybe it would shine a light on the women behind the scenes of the average American family…The Real Housewives of America!