Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A reality star's daughter breaks her silence: I was 'exploited, 'powerless without a voice'

One reality T.V. kid steps into adulthood, and introspection: 'Excess debris created by a produced, manipulated, pseudo-reality universe.'

Says Real Housewives daughter Christie Staub in this chilling account (and big foreshadowing):
  • My mother's storyline was edited and produced, placing her in scenarios to achieve a desired outcome. She wouldn't normally be involved in these scenarios; they were dictated by the producers, and they just told my mom where to show up for filming. In season one, my mother didn't expect this to happen. These were the early days of reality shows. In 2006, The Hills was in its first season, and the Real Housewives franchise had yet to become a household name. Today, reality stars are savvy, but a decade ago, talent lacked a frame of reference. Other than Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, my mother had never seen a reality show. Just be myself, she thought. Little did she know that myself is how the producers choose to present you. Every story arc needs an antagonist and a protagonist—that is what creates the conflict and resolution, i.e. the drama. 

  • Imagine if all of the arguments you've had in your life were filmed by a stranger, and they took out the worst things you said, edited it together, and then presented the footage on TV to define your character. Would you say that characterization was accurate? Anything that is produced, and edited in this manner, is fictitious by default, but unlike an actor, my mother didn't have the advantage of hiding behind a character, not to mention that the reality forms a perception that is impossible to overcome when the viewers aren't aware of what goes down behind the scenes. The producers had the power to manipulate my mother in anyway they pleased to increase ratings. When the second season ended, my mother decided to leave the show. The network portrayed her decision as her getting fired, but she left to save her life and her kids. 

  • Even now, all these years later, people see me as a character created by a producer. They see me as the daughter of an infamous reality show prostitution whore. They may not have called me garbage like they called my mother, but that's how they made me feel. They took away my name and my voice. My name is Christine Staub, and I will no longer be the excess debris created by a produced, manipulated, pseudo-reality universe. I will never again be a character defined by unethical producers, and exploited by networks all over the world. I am no longer a child, powerless without a voice.