Sure, I admit it. One of my guilty pleasures is the Orange County, New York and now, Beverly Hills Real Housewives series (ok, maybe that’s three guilty pleasures). I manage to get my fix here in Brazil via ways I’d rather not discuss on a public forum, albeit somewhat anonymous, and I emerge with a hangover every time.
But why should America have all the fun?
Now that I’ve completed my habit with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Reunion Part II by the aforementioned methods, I thought I’d make a plea for a Real Housewives of Sao Paulo. Bravo television, creators of a more creative line of reality shows, should step it up a notch with an international version of their franchise, and I’m willing to assist.
Though the women I know who might qualify from a financial standpoint are professionals and far too intelligent to participate, or well into their seventies, I can definitely help with the scouting. I’ve identified a few places here in Sao Paulo where the producers’ assistants can frequent to scope out potential participants:
Though a public park, the secluded playgrounds consistently attract baby and Gucci wielding mothers, most often with nannies in tow. One solo mother in particular stood in front of a particularly lush tropical display down a path (and, in my opinion, dangerously far from her child) and took no less than 15 headshots of herself (sunglasses on, sunglasses off, smile, no smile,…) with her camera phone while her young son sat under the teeter-totter stuffing his nose with sand. I would argue this qualifies the park as a hunting ground for the kind of intense vanity (and possible child neglect) displayed by pros like Camille Grammer of Beverly Hills, LuAnn de Lesseps of New York City and Tamra Barney of Orange County.
Sure, there are a slew of luxury malls in Sao Paulo providing all the Rolex and Chanel you could want, but then, how would your driver take you from shop to shop? And the trunk of your Mercedes would be way too far to unload goods as you exit stores. That’s why Oscar Freire, Sao Paulo’s version of 5th Avenue, will provide more bang for your buck when shopping for the kind of extreme wealth exhibited by Lisa VanderPump and Adrienne Maloof. I also suspect, as in Beverly Hills, there is a direct correlation between the amount of one’s wealth and the amount-of-metal/size-of-heels on one’s shoes.
This cafe, located on Oscar Freire, is a great place to continue the candidate hunt while enjoying a cup of coffee. I once watched a large, fat, greasy, older man as he practically licked the face of a gorgeous young woman. Either she was actually one of those “life-dolls” (warning, don’t click the link if you are offended by a little faux pornography – ugh) as her reaction was quite numbed or she was targeting wealth at any cost, much like the must-have-married-for-money stars such as Taylor Armstrong of Beverly Hills, Kelly Killoren Bensimon of New York City and Gretchen Rossi of Orange County.
The playground (literally) for the children of the Brazilian nouveau riche, my friends and acquaintances whose children attend the British school (for lack of better English-education options) have told tales of young ones taking off with friends and nannies on the family jet to party (hard) on private islands. My visit to the admissions office happened to be on Parents Day, so I got a glimpse of the Bravo TV possibilities as I crossed paths with a lioness herd of mothers protecting their turf. I can only imagine that the more twisted and aggressive-yet-permissive parenting one might find there would liken to those of Alex McCord of New York City. And the birthday parties bestowed upon these Brazilian children put Beverly Hills party planning mammas Taylor Armstrong and Kyle Richards to shame (see Barbies and Brigadeiros and The Play Date.)
Bravo has already realized the allure and added Brazilian lesbian fitness instructor Fernanda Rocha to their Orange County lineup. There is also a Brazilian, Adriana De Moura, on the newest member of the franchise – The Real Housewives of Miami. Globo, the main station in Brazil and famous for their “novella” evening soap operas, really needs to strike up a Bravo partnership. After all, as US viewers have come to know, life really is much stranger than fiction.