Real Housewives

Warning: This is a pointless post about a stupid thing and it also mentions ED.

I have a reputation for being highbrow, but it’s only partially earned. I can really marinate in the trashiest possible culture; for example, over the quarantine year (a wild time when we all learned new things about ourselves) I found that I quite enjoyed the Bravo series of Real Housewives programs. I only watch two of the franchises — New York and Beverly Hills. And I watch them on Hulu, so I am a season behind. They provided a much needed form of oblivious escapism over 2020. For some reason, watching the stupidest women alive throw money around and scream at each other felt comforting in a “we’re just monkeys, and it’s actually not some epic tragedy that we’ve come to the end of our reign on this earth” kind of way.

But I am not here to talk about the lurid appeal of the Real Housewives; wiser cultural commentators than I have trod that topic into the ground. I am here specifically to take a dig at Lisa Rinna.

I’ve just watched the most recent series of Beverly Hills available on Hulu, and at one point in the show, new housewife Garcelle suggests that part of the reason Lisa Rinna’s daughter struggles with anorexia is because of Lisa Rinna’s obvious obsession with her own extreme thinness. Lisa Rinna is offended at the suggestion, and because she is a trash monster, she decides to ask her daughter about this on camera in front of a worldwide audience. Her daughter says no, there are a lot of reasons, and her mother isn’t really to blame, which is big of her.

Throughout this storyline, I just kept thinking about the fact that I waited on Lisa Rinna and her family once around about 2008, when the girls were very young, and I remember that everyone had lunch except for Lisa, and at one point when I approached the table to refill waters or something, Harry Hamblin was urging one of the girls to eat more of her lunch, and she said, “Mommy isn’t eating” and Harry Hamblin rolled his eyes and said, “well, eat anyway.”

I’m not agreeing with Garcelle here; girls get ED because every aspect of the culture is obsessed with female thinness, and their own mothers have also been indoctrinated and model it at home. Lisa Rinna has clearly had an eating disorder her entire life (but it’s also a partial requirement of the line of work she is in), and her daughters are obviously going to be affected by that, but that doesn’t make it solely her fault. They live in wealthy white LA celebrity culture and are 100% going to have EDs regardless.

My point is merely that it tickled me to watch this very dumb storyline play out all while having insider knowledge! Anyway, Lisa Rinna sucks in a variety of entertaining ways, but on this particular charge (as always), I must blame the patriarchy.

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