An Open Letter To Bravo

Dear Bravo TV:

I love you. I’m a loyal (although somewhat ashamed) fan of your Real Housewives of [insert city here].  Although, as a fan of the New Jersey and Beverly Hills shows especially, I’m well that these series do nothing to enhance my life.  I’m actually quite sure that they suck the brain cells right out of my skull, like giant, bedazzled collagen-infused leeches. Still, I love them, and I watch them somewhat faithfully.

But with this current season of RHWBH, you have almost lost me. After years of cat fights, more bitchiness than I can believe, and a few drunken hot messes (who shall remain nameless), you’ve finally almost lost me. This season, you introduced Joyce Giraud, the former Miss Puerto Rico (and second runner up for Miss Universe 1998), who states in the opening credits that “You can never be too thin or too young”. She has also said that phrase multiple times on the show this season. Now, I can ignore her vapid, self indulgent personality, as that is what makes for dramatic “reality” tv, no? I get that, Bravo. But allowing her to blatantly promote the untrue fact that you can never be too thin is just dangerous, and irresponsible.

Maybe in her make believe world of pageants, shiny hair, and fake body parts, she has lost touch with the fact that there are many girls out there who are, in fact, too skinny, and hearing this could possibly be extremely detrimental to their health. There are girls who literally starve themselves to death because they too believe that they can literally never be too thin (or thin enough). Maybe Joyce needs to be reminded of Anorexia Nervosa, a disease which effects men and women of all ages, the crux of which is truly believing that you’re never thin enough. Tell that to the millions of people around the world with EDNOS, eating disorders that do not fit neatly into a specific diagnosis, that they too, can never be too thin.

Tell me, Bravo, are you ok with the fact that there are probably many women watching your show who take Joyce’s words to heart? Are you at peace with the fact that many women may go to drastic, even lethal measures because of the fact that they truly believe that they can never be too thin?  Are you ok with the fact that Joyce is blatantly promoting that?

Now, I admit that I’m part of the problem, because I’m tuning in week after week. I watch these shows knowing that they’re trash TV, but I know not to expect more out of them than some mind numbing distraction of reality.  I do understand that this proclamation that you can “never be too thin” is the mantra of socialites everywhere, not just on this show, and that Joyce did not come up with this saying herself. But I also understand that as a former Miss Puerto Rico, Joyce is supposed to be empowering and influencing young women around the world, not shaming them into thinking their bodies will never be good enough.

In fact, from the Miss Universe website: “These women are savvy, goal oriented, and aware. The delegates who become part of the Miss Universe Organization display those characteristics in their everyday lives, both as individuals, who compete with hope of advancing their careers, personal and humanitarian goals, and as women who seek to improve the lives of others.”

So, Bravo, when you first cast Joyce for RHWBH, was it her awareness that struck you? Because to me, someone who actively promotes starving yourself isn’t quite exemplary in the “awareness” category. Aware of her own jutting clavicles? Yes. Aware that her words could cause other girls to go to desperate measures to make their clavicles look like hers? That’s where she’s lacking. And hey, I’m glad she’s living up to the Miss Universe standards, as it is crystal clear that her never-too-skinny mantra is obviously said with the intention of improving the lives of others. Right?

And yes, I realize that there are many more things that I could complain about with these ladies — Brandi’s apparent drinking problem comes to mind, but for some reason this one really gets me.  Maybe it’s because Brandi’s opening line of the show isn’t “drink yourself into oblivion every night!”, but it’s also because the portrayal of her issues doesn’t glamorize them, it only serves to prove how much she probably needs some help.  But with Joyce, she actively promotes her holier-and-way-skinnier-than-thou persona, through absurd proclamations and constant judgements.

Don’t get me wrong, Bravo. I’m not expecting to see a show about five housewives who spend their days doing laundry and taking care of the kids (I mean, what kind of housewife does that?) But I do expect a little bit more than what Joyce is dishing out. I don’t expect to be intellectually stimulated by these shows, but I also don’t expect to be told that being skinny is the most important thing in life. Come on, Bravo. Maybe Joyce isn’t better than that, but you are.

Sincerely, 

A fan who’s questioning my already questionable TV watching choices. 

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