Take away the micro minis and maxi breasts, the skyscraper heels and the alcohol, and many of the women of reality TV are more like you and me than anyone wants to contemplate. Girlfriends tend to bond over retail therapy. Mothers drive their daughters crazy. Arguments (and fist fights) start when somebody decides they’ve been disrespected.
Reality women may show their insecurities against more lavish backdrops than yours, but their core storylines are old, old old. They hook audiences because they feel true.
- ‘Mom/Dad loves my sister more’
- ‘I have the perfect family. Everything’s perfect.’
- ‘Why can’t I find love?’
Issues related to childlessness pop up as they statistically should, though childfree by-choice isn’t as well represented yet. Dance Moms‘ Abby Lee Miller and NY Housewives‘ Carole Radziwill come to mind. The list of reality women struggling to become mothers is much longer.
I only know enough about BRAVO’s Shahs of Sunset to recognize The Artiste, The Gay Guy, The Troublemaker and The Diva among a circle of wealthy friends with Persian (Iranian) roots. Recently, my channel surfing landed on Shahs as the Diva was overwhelmed by sure understanding, for the first time, that her dreams of motherhood may not come true. In just a few minutes, she whispers her fears. I knew those words in my soul. I knew those feelings. Do they resonate with you, too?
I can’t guess exactly how another childless by-chance woman feels, but I know that when The Diva — MJ — says “I never thought that it was not going to be a choice,” many female viewers empathized. The loss of choice — of control — is rarely a happy development. Been there, realized that.
MJ’s tipping point was the sight of a friend’s toddler niece and that young family’s interactions. MJ is 40-ish. She works hard. She parties hard. Kids were on her radar, but still in the distance.
The way she shut the moment down, to make it through the night, in public, at least, is Standard Operating Procedure for thousands. Wiping her tears and stashing the Kleenex, MJ declares,
“I just want to go … have a cigarette, pull it together, change the subject, tell a joke and move on.”
I rarely find it easy to watch a reality NotMom’s sad exasperation. On more than one show I’ve seen a NotMom curdle as a Momfriend sharply announces that a woman without children can never understand maternal emotions and actions and probably shouldn’t speak about them, either. Once, I caught a bit of Khloe’s struggle with infertility with soon-to-be-ex Lamar Odom and heaven help me, I felt sorry for a Kardashian.
I have no idea what comes next for MJ, and televised answers will probably be few, anyway. Perhaps her story got some women to wake up about the lifespan of their eggs, and helped others to know they’re not the only ones figuring out a new dream.
(Image Credit: BRAVOTV.com)