Not all of the kids of Bravo's Real Housewives wanted to become reality stars.
Five of those daughters, Lauren Manzo, Tierra Fuller, Victoria de Lesseps, Pandora Sabo, and Briana Culberson (from right to left above) are speaking out about their famous mothers and what it feels like having your life documented on TV.
Lauren Manzo, daughter of New Jersey's Caroline Manzo, says that the biggest fear of being on TV was people criticizing her weight.
"When we first began the show, my biggest fear was viewers noticing my weight. I knew I was heavy, and I knew people were going to say something, but I did everything I could to hide it and act like I was confident. When the show started to become more popular, I had these younger girls say to me on Twitter and Facebook, 'I look up to you; I love the fact that you’re not a size 2.' I said to myself, 'You know what? All these other women are struggling. Let’s put this on the show.'"
Meanwhile, Pandora Sabo, daughter of Beverly Hills housewife Lisa Vanderpump wasn't too keen on the idea of becoming a reality star. It took a little coaxing, and finally some compromise, for her to allow the Bravo cameras to film her wedding for last season's finale.
"I’m a more private person than my mother is. So when Jason proposed, we had to think about how we were going to do this wedding. My mother’s life is on television, but mine really isn’t. I didn’t mind that the planning was on TV, because, to be honest, it’s quite nice to have a record of all that. Who else gets to relive picking out their invitations or their bachelorette party?
When it came to the actual day, my mother said, “'However you want to do it is OK.' I didn’t let Bravo film any of the wedding. I had a regular videographer like many people do. I edited the footage, then chose what I wouldn’t mind people seeing, and we gave eight minutes of it to Bravo to use."
It's even tougher when your family is going through rough times. Briana Culberson, daughter of OC's Vicki Gunvalson, had to experience her parents' divorce in front of the cameras, unfortunately.
"I’ve seen every episode that’s aired. It’s hard to watch them. Nobody likes to hear their own voice, and it’s weird to see yourself on TV. It’s really tough to see the family things replayed, like my parents’ split. I’d experienced it six or eight months before, then had to relive it on TV, and that’s when it becomes public. People are approaching me, saying, 'I can’t believe your parents are getting divorced!' And it reopens the wound. But it’s kind of like therapy. Most of the time our family’s not very open about our feelings with one another, so we see each family member on TV talk about their reaction to the divorce. It’s nice because you can sit down and say, 'Oh, Mike [Briana’s 26-year-old brother], I didn’t know you felt that way.' It allows us to recognize what each other is going through.
Victoria de Lesseps, daughter of New York's Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, reveals that people do treat her differently though, whether she likes it or not
"I was 12 when my mom told me about doing the show. I’m not a person who loves to be in front of the camera all the time. But my mom said to us, 'I understand if you and your brother don’t want to do this, but you know, it would mean a lot to me, blah, blah.' And so we both agreed to do it.
At my school, everyone’s really down-to-earth. But before, when I was at boarding school, there were some instances when I thought teachers were harder on me because of the show. My roommate would ask for extra help and I would ask for extra help, and I would never get it. The teacher would make comments to me—nothing bad—but I’d notice it. I can feel when there’s a weird tension."
And finally, Tierra Fuller, Atlanta's Sheree Whitfield's daughter, was featured for the first time this past season - a surprise for fans.
She reveals how she's struggled with watching her family on the show:
"I find myself getting very angry when I watch the show. Then I’ll talk to my mom, and she’s like, 'You know, you can’t get too emotional about it.' The whole Marlo thing was hard for me. [In season four, Whitfield and cast mate Marlo Hampton engaged in a screaming match over a snubbed dinner invitation.] That fight was really intense. You want to protect your family, and that’s my mom! If I’m watching and something goes down, I’ll send her a text, like, 'Wow, why did you two start arguing? Did that really happen?' And then she’ll give me the background."
Despite being famous daughters, most of the kids featured in the Real Housewives franchise seem fairly balanced and down-to-earth. These girls are an example of that!
[Image via Glamour.]