Imperfectly Nice

Pretty is as pretty does

If you have read the About Me page of this blog, you will know that my Granny had a list of things that nice girls don’t do and that airing your dirty laundry is on that list. And, oh, were there some dirty drawers flapping in the breeze on the premiere of Lifetime’s “Pretty Wicked Moms” last night. Yes, I watched it. Judge away folks, and while you are at it, please know that I regularly watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey, New York and Orange County. (But never Miami and only sometimes LA. I mean, I do have standards.)

I hadn’t even heard of “Pretty Wicked Moms” until an article began making its way around Facebook last week because one of the wicked mamas is not only a Mississippi girl, but an Ole Miss graduate and Eli Manning’s cousin. That makes her Southern royalty once removed.

The Mannings are legend, and not only for their skills on the gridiron, but for being genuinely good, down-to-earth people. When Eli is in Oxford in the off season, he borrows can openers from the neighbors and plays basketball with local kids. The Manning family sets up their tent in the Grove with everyone else, just like, you know, regular people. Matriarch Olivia  is the definition of a Southern Belle – gracious, well-mannered, kind, stylish – everything your grandmamma wants you to be. So, I assumed that Emily Dees Boulden, who is known as the Queen Bee Mom (Yes, they really label them like that, with capital letters and everything –the Doggy Mom, the Alpha Mom, the Divorcee, etc.), would be much the same.

Weeeellllll … not so much. In a move that left church ladies all over her hometown of Philadelphia, Miss., clutching their pearls and adding her to prayer lists, Emily not only talked openly about all of the s-e-x she doesn’t have with her husband, the whip-thin blonde cussed like a sailor. My personal favorite line was that she would rather “slit her damn throat than go on a play date.”

The show centers around Emily, her single white female sidekick, all of the sex she is not having with her husband and her like or dislike (or both) of the other mamas. If you didn’t see it, let me paint this picture for you and let’s hope it doesn’t get too confusing because I am about to mash a lot of movie themes together.

Emily is Regina George. She will decide what we wear today, she will decide which hair styles are acceptable and she and ONLY she will decide who is worthy of being in the “Jingle Bell Rock” number at the talent show.

The one known as the Newbie Mom is Cady, complete with drab to fab makeover and, I predict, the desire to kick our Queen Bee Mom off her throne in season two, which will leave Emily having some very Dr. Frankenstein regret-filled moments, I’m afraid. I also predict that Emily will not be dethroned. Not for one second. She will scoop up a piece of marble floor, screaming, “As God as my witness,” before she lets that happen.

Single white female/Doggy Mom is a combo of Gretchen and Karen and all she really wants is to have Queen Bee’s approval for every little thing in life and to make fetch happen. I would bet my next pay check that if she gets skinnier, Emily starts giving her fake energy bars because no one, NO ONE, is going to be allowed to be skinnier than Emily. (Side note: there was a girl a year or so younger than me at Ole Miss who was on a strict diet of Marlboro Reds and Diet Coke. No, seriously. She would tell people she was just “gettin’ skinny!” I am wondering if this was the Queen Bee. Because she seems like someone who would be that dedicated to having clavicles that look like they could cut glass. Hmmmm.)

At one point, Emily says she “doesn’t give a f**k” about how mothers judge one another. Honestly, I would applaud if that were the case, but the truth is, she doesn’t judge other mothers based on bottle vs. breast or sleep training vs. co-sleeping because she is too busy judging them for their hair, makeup and/or the fact that they are too into their kids. Oh honey, you give an eff. I could write a list a mile long about all of the effs you give. (Although, apparently, none of them are for your husband. Oooh, I took it too far there didn’t I? And, y’all, my mother is now totally clutching her pearls because I am even making reference to the f word and making a joke about it. But I bet I won’t end up on the prayer list at First United Methodist because that would mean she would have to air the dirty laundry that her daughter almost said the f word on the Internet. Multiple times. Love you, Mama!)

I’m guessing that, like all reality shows, there is a lot of fake and staged stuff here. For example, Newbie Mom was obviously given dark eye circles and bad hair on last night’s episode on purpose so we can see the “benefit” of the full-on Plastics makeover next week. Emily spent half of her camera time talking about how she didn’t want to talk about anyone else’s kid, or even her own kid, for that matter, and the other half of the episode telling us how much she loves her little baby bee. I imagine her *whatever* attitude about her daughter is at least slightly exaggerated for the cameras. I think there is a lot of truth in who these women are portraying themselves to be, just like there is some amount of truth behind many stereotypes. They are playing it up for the cameras. Colorful people make interesting TV. I get that.

But the problem, folks, is that Tina Fey is not writing the script here. There will be no redemption for Regina in the end. No one will decide that being a mathlete is better than being part of the Plastics. Newbie Mom will get skinnier and blonder, and Alpha Mom will continue to spend more than she has, every last one of them will keep trying to keep up with Regina George and will always, they believe, keep falling short. We will continue to celebrate women for being shallow and catty and their daughters will grow up knowing that if you act shallow and catty *enough*, you might just get paid for it. If you are skinny, that is. And I will continue to be part of the problem because I will watch it.

Anyway, I don’t know what kind of feedback Emily has received today after the first show aired, but that’s okay, because whatever it is, you can be sure that the ladies over at First Baptist are praying for you, sweetie.

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2 thoughts on “Pretty is as pretty does

  1. Kat Spann on said:

    The very first time we watched it, I exclaimed ” that Emily is NOT from Atlanta. She’s an Ole Miss girl. I can hear…and see it. Now to guess just which sorority. It was my second guess.

    From an Ole Miss alum, raised in Mississippi, I can tell those gals because they have been groomed from an early age to be…..Emily.

    • aprillollar on said:

      Kat,

      It becomes easy to spot doesn’t it? It’s kind of like name that tune. I can guess that sorority based on home town, brand of sunglasses and preferred cocktail! I am an Ole Miss girl too, and a sorority girl at that, but it’s a pretty safe bet to say I wasn’t in the same house she was. I was certainly not raised the way she was. My mama would sit me down pretty quickly for a long talk if I were acting like that!

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