Truly desperate housewives

Trophy wifing can make you a star!


Rebecca Traister
March 20, 2006 7:59PM (UTC)

I just saw this on the "Today" show and the transcript isn't up yet, so this may not be precise, but I had to get it down and put it on Broadsheet. And then jump straight into the shower to make myself clean again.

"Today" correspondent David Gregory was interviewing the cast of Bravo's new reality show, "The Real Housewives of Orange County," which seems to be some real-life mishmash of, um, "Desperate Housewives" and "The OC."

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Gregory was interviewing Kimberly Bryant, whose bio describes her as "a housewife in the traditional sense of the word," asking her about her self-proclaimed status as a "trophy wife" and about the time her husband asked her to get breast enlargements and she complied.

"Is there tremendous pressure to look as good as you can?" Gregory asked, apparently conflating having fake breasts with "looking good."

Bryant replied that her augmentations were really more about the fact "that we're outside a lot, so we want to stay healthy" -- by getting breast implants -- "but sure, we want to keep up and look good; we want to be trophy wives for our husbands!"

Gregory's reasonable follow-up was, "Are you worried about the messages this show might be sending to your [13-year-old] daughter?"

Bryant beamed and nodded. "Absolutely!" she said, as my jaw dropped. The B-reel showed Bryant sweating it out in the gym as she explained that the show was really only about a small portion of her personality. (Maybe she has other personalities who don't want to be trophy wives and who didn't get implants on demand.)

When Gregory moved on to Jo De La Rosa, the "Real Housewife" whose fiancé is furious at her for getting a job, I turned off the show.

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Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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