Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Playing Poor in Beverly Hills

Brandi Glanville (photo courtesy of US Magazine)

Gripped by the whole Brandi/Adrienne Glandal, like any other red-blooded Real Housewives of Beverly Hills superfan, I've had a lot of sleepless nights,  ruminating over Brandi's decision to air Adrienne's personal business on the air. Like a modern day Brandi and the Beanstalk, she's slayed the reputation of the giant Aloof family.

I wonder if she regrets her decision, which while spicing up the current season, also appears to have cost her in "friendships" and legal fees. After alleging that Adrienne and now ex-husband, Paul Nassif attempted to bully her into banding against castmate Lisa Vanderpump on Twitter and/or at the last reunion show, she then allegedly claimed that Adrienne used a surrogate to carry her children.

While I personally don't understand why Adrienne should feel shame over using a surrogate, I do appreciate that to her it must have been a source of embarrassment or grief if she chose to keep it private. I could play devil's advocate here and argue that she's a public figure and therefore has no right to privacy if she allows herself to be taped; but I don't feel this way. Everyone has secrets and everyone is entitled to them. If someone tells a secret to their friends, which doesn't harm anyone, it should remain a secret no matter what this person does. It's their personal life and they're entitled to keep it within their group of intimates.

When Brandi exposed this truth, she seemed to be using it as a means to prove that Adrienne is a liar. When Adrienne alleged that Brandi was an unfit mother and slapped her with a threat of a lawsuit, Brandi began playing the poor mother card, questioning how this Goliath of a family with so much could have the gall to sue her, who has so little — other than her kids.

In this day and age, it's no surprise to me that most people are sticking up for Brandi Glanville. She's a bad-ass woman who speaks the truth in an age of transparency and fights against the rich, oppressive forces around her like an occupy protester. She portrays herself as a "little guy" who managed to occupy a spot on the most affluent TV zip code since 90210.  Even her tagline, "Money doesn't give you class; it just gives you money" seems to support this.

However, as much as I love an underdog character, I do find it hypocritical that Brandi throws the "mother" word around when it's convenient, yet wasn't sympathetic to Adrienne's presumed feelings of inadequacy for not carrying her own children. In fact, she knew that putting the truth out there would really sting, which is why she looked so smug when she exposed the secret.  Again, I don't understand why Adrienne cared so much, but it's not my place to. [Insert sentence about how society unjustly makes women out to be less than if they can't conceive and/or carry children to term.]

It also irks me that she calls the Maloofs rich in one scene, yet derides them for only owning a few percent of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas in another. Certainly those without money are the ones who talk about it — and gripe about it — the most, but for Brandi to play poor is just unacceptable to me. She is a model, who was married to an actor and is on a top-rated TV series. I'm assuming that she also gets paid to do promotional appearances and probably made a good amount of money from her book release? Sure, she might not have a private jet, but those who get to fly first class don't get to complain about money.

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