I’m a self-proclaimed television addict and pop culture junkie, and I never saw a problem with it. I’ve read studies and seen articles about TV affecting how we act in our real lives and how it affects young people growing up, but I never believed it. I mean watching Beverly Hills, 90210 did not make me want to go join a cult like Kelly Taylor. And watching Teen Mom hasn’t made me want to be a mother. It’s actually made me never want to have kids. Ever.
I was never a Bravo girl (I like E! reality shows, The Bachelor, anything on MTV, even FYI… #MarriedAtFirstSight4eva), but after Vanderpump Rules star Stassi Schroeder made me laugh out loud on a podcast I listen to, I decided that my cousins and friends that were Bravo-obsessed were onto something. I watched three and 1/2 seasons of Pump Rules in less than two weeks, and quickly jumped on the Housewives train through reruns and marathons.
About a week into the Bravo binge, I started to notice a difference in my life. I cursed more (the f word just made all of my sentences flow). My sarcastic comments (I have always been more aggressive and dramatic than most) took a negative turn and became borderline insulting (depending on how sensitive the person was). I visited my friends from home and they pointed out my harshness (in between laughs, I might add) almost immediately. During conversations with people, I had monologues/confessionals going through my head like I was going to be interviewed about the situation later (those were really funny and I regret not writing them down). There was even an incident when I briefly thought I was Stassi (which is a story for another time… DM me for deets).
I had my big epiphany on Easter. I asked my aunt if she made a carrot cake and she responded “does it look like a carrot cake?” (Picture a round, white cake with carrots drawn on it) and I said “bitch!” back. I called my aunt a bitch. We’re a pretty funny, sarcastic family, but we don’t exactly talk to each other like we’re servers at Sur or Pump, and I think we should keep it that way. Luckily she took it well, and responded “That’s aunt bitch to you!” (My first thought was that’s a great Real Housewives tagline). I texted my friend and said my reality TV binges are catching up to me.
Now, I should explain that when I watch TV, I don’t just watch the 45 minute show and move on. I stalk the cast on every form of social media. I read blogs and recaps (sometimes I even write them). I listen to the cast’s podcasts and podcasts the cast are on. Basically, Jackie Schimmel of The Bitch Bible has become my spirit animal. My obsessive personality def makes my Bravo binge more dangerous and affects my personality on another level.
Another consequence of my Bravo binge was all I could talk about was Bravo. Remember that scene in Mean Girls when Cady Heron cannot stop talking about Regina George and repeating stories about her? That was me with Andy Cohen. I could see people losing interest (and I had to jam an insane amount of details/explanations into my stories because a lot of my friends did not watch the shows I was talking about) but I just COULD NOT STOP TALKING!
Finally, I would be lying to myself if my Bravo binge did not make me a tad insecure. I’m a pretty confident person… there’s no shame in loving yourself and I think it’s really important. However, it can be a pretty humbling experience to see 50 year old women look skinner than you will ever be. Not to mention their beautifully Botox’ed faces (yes, I just called Botox beautiful… #bravofanprobs) and highlighted hair. It has also made me think about myself and my looks like 35x times more than normal, so beware of becoming more self-absorbed and self-conscious.
My Bravo binge has taught me that sometimes less is more, and I want to be the kind of person who remembers and acknowledges that there is such a thing as going too far. I want to go for the laugh, but maintain some class, ya feel? I’m not calling everyone on Bravo offensive or trashy (because some of them really aren’t), but exposing myself to only reality TV has just made me think about Botox (for myself and other people) an unhealthy amount.
In the end, if you think this means I am going to give up reality TV or Bravo, you are seriously mistaken. I HAVE to watch Erika Jayne perform another one of her hit singles from the Billboard dance charts and see whether or not Jax will ever hit DJ James Kennedy. Giving up Bravo cold turkey would cause more damage and probably a Kim Richards style breakdown. However, reflecting on my actions and remembering my family and friends did not sign up for a reality show (yet), has been an eye opening experience. I am going to consider watching 15 minutes of the news for every two hours of Bravo and vow not to think about whether or not I need a nose job ever again.
We’re all in this together. Mazel, bravolebrity fans.