If you’re a die-hard fan of the Housewives and have been watching since The Real Housewives of Orange County premiered way back in 2006, then it should be fairly obvious that things have changed over the years, especially when it comes to glam! Just think Vicki Gunvalson in season one of RHOC and compare that look to her appearance in her final season, or compare that to Erika Jayne‘s current look. Yes, there’s been a definite shift, and that’s not a dig at the original OG.
Carole Radziwill, who appeared on The Real Housewives of New York City from season five through season 10, is discussing the glam evolution she witnessed during her time on the show and is spilling some juicy behind-the-scenes tea at the same time. It’s interesting to note that she believes the launch of Instagram contributed to the change in a major way.
The former RHONY star, who happened to be a well-respected author and award-winning journalist before she even joined the show, recently penned an essay for Allure examining glam and how it actually affected her as well as the other ladies on the show.
“In my first season of RHONY, I, along with most of the season five cast, did not get my makeup done professionally for each scene I filmed. When I started RHONY, I did not have the phone number for a single makeup artist (I now have eight, on two coasts),” she confesses. “We had glam teams, courtesy of Bravo, only for our ‘confessionals’ and a few of the ‘all-cast’ events, she explained. It wasn’t until midway through season six — incidentally, also the year we all joined Instagram — that I recall glam becoming the rule and not the exception.”
Carole goes on to describe the very moment she realized that glam was officially the rule, and it all went down in the Berserkshires Berkshires, of course.
“It all started with a ruined blow-dry in the Berkshires: When Kristen [Taekman] splashed water on Ramona’s [Singer] fresh blowout, and Ramona went, well, berserk, we knew that a new standard of glam had arrived.” She continued by saying, “I suppose, after all those years, it was difficult to watch yourself on a high-definition TV screen and not want to make improvements.”
The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating author goes on to explain that by the time she left RHONY in 2018, glam teams had actually become a part of her everyday life.
“[The] producers [would offer] to pay for glam if they could film it as part of the story. We were shown getting Botox injections to smooth our foreheads, chemical peels to tighten our skin, lasers to reduce a** fat. I was once filmed getting a Brazilian bikini wax — legs up,” she jokes. “It seemed nothing was off-limits.”
It’s no secret that Carole is no longer friends with Tinsley Mortimer, so she took this opportunity to expose some behind-the-scenes drama from season 10 involving Tinsley and just how genuinely obsessed the socialite was with her appearance. Apparently, this situation was even dubbed “glam-gate” and fans would have loved to witness that drama, but Bravo apparently decided against breaking the fourth wall for this particular situation.
“When new castmate Tinsley flew her glam team with her for a group trip to Cartagena [Columbia] in 2018, all hell broke loose after it became clear that they were there for Tinsley only,” Carole dishes. “Glam-gate provided lots of drama, though none of it ever aired. Apparently, getting your makeup done for a dinner in New York was fine, but flying your glam team on location to film a TV show was too over the top, even for Bravo.”
If fans recall, Carole herself has even been accused of being too involved with glam and fashion. After she had a falling out in season 10 with former BFF and co-star, Bethenny Frankel, the Skinnygirl mogul accused the former journalist of changing and becoming inauthentic, which Carole did briefly mention.
“When I cut my hair short in my last season, Bethenny seized on it to say how my values had suddenly changed and all I cared about was glam and dresses.”
Carole basically admits that glam was something she was also very conscious of and she was an active participant, but she confesses that “the culture of glam isn’t always so pretty,” even though it has become such an important part of the entire Housewives franchise.
“Fourteen years into the Housewives phenomenon, we’ve seen haircuts get weaponized and fake lashes get normalized. And, trust me, nothing irritates another Housewife more than their frenemy showing up in a better outfit.”