Because Mom and Dad Care

 

Here is a piece from one of our beloved commenters, My Elle Readers, also known as good old Stripper Shoes, that got spiked at some other stupid cowardly boring no-fun place that isn’t a basement filled with hissing obese cat ladies. Yes, it’s a bit dated now, but it’s still a great read. Feast your eyes!

On May 14, Bravo announced its newly minted summer reality series, “Miss Advised.”  Immediately, I  found myself chomping at the bit.  Those who look down their noses at reality shows might view my eager anticipation as worrisome.  But I promise that I can explain.

As I read the press release for Miss Advised, two things leapt out at me. One was the description of Miss Advised as a “docu-series about three single relationship experts who make a living dispensing dating advice,” none of whom are willing or able to follow their own expert advice.  Naturally, I was like, “dating experts who suck at dating?  What an absolutely crazy, ironic, entirely unexpected twist!  Who could have seen that coming!  I gotta see THIS.”

Okay, not really.  Unironic irony is one of reality television’s calling cards, and it doesn’t particularly appeal to me.  What made me sit up and take notice was the juxtapposition of the words “three…relationship experts who make a living dispensing dating advice” with the photo of three women, one of whom was Julia Allison.  Julia Allison was already somewhat familiar to me as a Paris Hilton-esque Internet micro-celebrity who had opened a big ole can of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and took aim at the Internet’s memory cache.

Prior to 2011, I had never heard of Julia Allison.  Then I stumbled across this article.  At first, I was startled by the desperate attention-seeking that oozed from the raunchy photos to which it linked.  Then I was perplexed by the notion that someone so seemingly desperate for attention would try to scrub the Internet of all of the untoward photos she had posted of herself, as well as all of the information that contradicted the narrative that she wanted to present to the world as of December 2010 (which happened to be when she began to date the son of former Republican presidential nominee, John McCain; that relationship ended in May of 2011, as detailed on Julia’s blog).  Finally, I was blown away by the contradiction inherent in an aspiring public figure’s campaign to take down a blog devoted to clarifying what was true and what was not about her life.  (With praises to freedom of speech, that blog has since re-formed as Reblogging Donk and is the main repository for the photos and facts that Julia attempted to scrub from the Web.  So, if you’re into seeing an extreme-photoshopped Julia Allison wearing lingerie and sucking on the cigar of an octogenarian, then that’s where you’ll need to go.  Also, rumor has it that Julia has occasionally interacted with that blog, including providing tips as to whom she has been dating (or reality television-dating, as it were.)

Granted, 2011 was a bit late for me to arrive at the party, which had been in full swing since at least as early as 2004, when Julia arrived in New York City and began writing for the free newspaper, AM New York.  That didn’t end so well, apparently: “There’s other shit I want to do, most of which involves marrying rich, but I’ve wanted to leave AM for a while now, and I was really passive aggressive in the last few weeks,” she volunteered to gawker.com in the wake of her departure.

Prior to her stint at AM New York, Julia had been a student at Georgetown University, where she wrote a dating column for the student newspaper, “The Hoya” under her given name, Julia Baugher, and was accused of plagiarism for having appropriated a lot of … ideas (I’m quoting Julia herself here) from an article that appeared on iVillage.com.  But Georgetown wasn’t Julia’s first rodeo.  Julia Baugher spent her first freshman year of college at Indiana University, where she also wrote for the student newspaper, the Indiana Daily Student.

From AM New York, Julia fell upward to Star Magazine as an “Editor-at-Large,” meaning that she made designated television appearances on their behalf.  Okay, here I may just have to tip my hat and say: “You go, girl! Well done!” Oh, but oops…that didn’t end well either, apparently.  After Star, Julia landed at Time Out New York, where she wrote a dating column until 2009.  Since then, she’s been employed as a freelance writer or speaker on the topics of new media and personal branding.

But wait.  Isn’t Miss Advised a docu-series premised on Julia Allison’s being one of three women who makes a living dispensing dating advice?  I mean, sure, she was a dating columnist in the past (although that was so last decade).  And since Miss Advised has aired, she is blogging about the show for Bravo, and in connection with the show for Elle.com (although the former attorney in me feels that it would be unethical for me not to disclose that the parent companies of Bravo and Elle are business partners).  But notwithstanding Bravo’s clever use of the “present perfect” tense in Julia’s bio, saying that she “has written dating columns” is not the same as saying she currently earns a living “dispensing dating advice.”

And from what I can tell from this, she is no dating expert either.  In fact, it appears that her primary area of expertise has nothing to do with dating, sex or relationships.  Rather, Julia Allison’s primary area of expertise appears to be spinning her life’s narrative this way and that way and any which way, depending on the year, depending on who she is trying to impress, depending on who she is trying to piss off.

And thus we come to the gooey, delicious, meta-center of what makes Miss Advised so incredibly clever, particularly if you never make the mistake of watching it, as I did:

Bravo calls Miss Advised a “docu-series,” which means that viewers should expect a series that is factual and objective.  Of course, anyone who has ever watched a moment’s worth of reality television already knows that there is nothing factual or objective about a life unfolding under the heat of television cameras, with the coaxing of producers and a cast of characters hired by a casting director.  Nowhere is this more true than in the context of a reality show about dating.  And this particular reality show about dating is premised on the further contrivance that Julia Allison is actually working day to day as a dating columnist (just as the other two stars of the show, Amy Laurent and Emily Morse, work day to day as a matchmaker and a radio host/published book author, respectively).

Yet, as of the first episode, while we have seen Amy and Emily hard at work at their respective jobs, we have yet to see Julia doing anything more productive than standing around while some poor schlub whom she met on Craig’s List (casting? gigs?  who knows?) and with whom she went on one very awkward, chemistry-free date, schleps her moving boxes for her (immediately after he is done acting as her pack-mule, Julia calls him to inform him that she doesn’t like him “like that”; he responds with intensely deep … apathy).

No, I’m sorry.  Did I say that?  Please disregard that and allow me to rephrase it this way: I have yet to have seen Julia Allison doing anything that would indicate that she actually writes a dating column for a living.  What we have seen is Julia Allison doing exactly what she does best: spinning her narrative until it resembles the truth, or until the truth resembles the narrative, as it were.

And so there you have it, a veritable panoply of meta:  In pretending to fail at pretend dates while pretending to be a dating columnist who fails at dating on a “reality” television show about dating columnists who fail at dating, Julia has succeeded in…becoming an actual dating columnist.

For now.

 

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62 Responses to Because Mom and Dad Care

  1. Longtime Lurker says:

    Isn’t it pulling a Julia to publish a piece an editor already passed on?

  2. Longtime Lurker says:

    How is that?

    • Albie Quirky says:

      Because we, the catpeeps, wanted to read it is why.

      Nobody wanted to read the stupid Observer interview.

      Also, Stripper Shoes/My ELLE Readers wrote that on spec, so she owns the copyright. Julie doesn’t own the copyright of an Observer interview, even one with her that didn’t run because no1curr.

  3. Lilly Liberation Front says:

    Nice piece, My Elle Readers!

  4. donniedriveby says:

    In pretending to fail at pretend dates while pretending to be a dating columnist who fails at dating on a “reality” television show about dating columnists who fail at dating, Julia has succeeded in…becoming an actual dating columnist.

    [img]http://nobodyputsbabyinahorner.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/1238157980_scanners_-_head_explosion.gif[/img]

    • Blinking.S.O.S.at.the.Camera says:

      I hate this gif with the passion of a short-lived long-distance relationship x 1000.
      Just sayin’ … nothing personal.

  5. iblow4shoes (formerly sad lilly) says:

    I love you so much for this Jacy. My night is complete now.

  6. "Pilot" is the new "keynote" says:

    Thanks so much for this, Jacy, JP, and MER/SS.

    I was thinking today how awful it feels to tell even a small lie (“I’m late because of the bus” rather than “I’m late because I didn’t leave home in time to catch a bus.”). Her sociopathy is truly off the charts with the dozens of GIGANTIC lies she has told and continues to tell.

    Remember when she came in chat and said this blog helped her to stop lying? It is to laugh.

  7. Albie Quirky says:

    “Gooey, delicious meta-center” is brilliant.

    The ironing, though, is that she isn’t even writing a dating column for ELLE.com; she’s just writing about herself, with no advice for others. Julie always does it wrong, always.

    Bravo, SS/MER!

  8. Blinking.S.O.S.at.the.Camera says:

    Sorry this didn’t get picked up, MEC/SS and I hope you and Jacy get the back story if there is one. I love that meta paragraph that was quoted just up topic a bit. Don’t know what pub you submitted to or the house style/tone but your writing is solid. The only thing that jumps out at me (not knowing the intended audience) is that the first handful of paragraphs are about you and then maybe one or two more later on as well. As an editor I’d cut those and have you keep the focus on the story, unless of course you’re supposed to be the story. Well done all in all.

  9. The LA Chick (Downward Spiral Donk aka Cocoloco) says:

    Thanks for the background because I’m super late to the party (picking up the red cups from the floor kinda late). She has successfully inauthentically attempted to authentically validate her existence as a “journalist” and or “human being.”

  10. How Brayella Got Her Hoove Back says:

    I’m watching this reality show on CBNS called “3″ about three women living in a Chicago home & meeting 100 candidates to pick out of to date … it’s so far pretty decent.

    Wonder why D0nkey’s agent didn’t get her on this (no I don’t! this show wouldn’t have her)

    • How Brayella Got Her Hoove Back says:

      *CBS

      #SausageFingers!

      • Albie Quirky says:

        CBNS=Contra- Blogging NonSociety?

        • How Brayella Got Her Hoove Back says:

          Oh, you’re good!

          D0nkey would have killed for this show! Except no way she’d have bonded w/ the other women & tried to help them woo any guys. Looks like this show pays for some expensive dates w/ these good-looking, accomplished men.

        • How Brayella Got Her Hoove Back says:

          Oh, you’re good!

          D0nkey would have killed for this show! Except no way she’d have bonded w/ the other women & tried to help them woo any guys. Looks like this show pays for some expensive dates w/ these good-looking, accomplished men.

  11. Joardache & the Pelts says:

    Hey that was nice and sharp. Good job.

  12. Guam in the Shower says:

    Excellent.

    Although, I feel obligated to point out that NBCUniversal (Bravo’s parent company) and Hachette (ELLE’s parent company) are not in any way associated.

    • Malformed Face (Like a Bloated Deli Ham Left in a Hot Mercedes C Class) says:

      Yes and no. I mean, it says here they are operated under the same parent company and I don’t believe that to be true. However, Scott Sassa who ran NBC now runs Heasrt so I am sure that is why there is so much synergy between Elle and Bravo.

    • darling dearest says:

      arent they both owned by the sheinhardt wig company

  13. juliaspublicist cried his rhinestone off juliaspublicist says:

    SELECT A CATEGORY
    Oscar de la Renta Launches Childrenswear Blog “George & Ruby”
    POSTED IN:
    Life & Love News
    Guinea Pig of Love: Pleasure Camp
    July 23 8:00 AM by Julia Allison | Comments
    ugly truth

    Photo: Julia Alison and Pleasure Camp founder Jena la Flamme; Courtesy of Julia Allison

    I grew up going to camp: sailing camp, ballet camp, Canadian canoe camp, even debate camp. But I’ve never attended Pleasure Camp…until now.

    Run by the effervescent Jena la Flamme, Pleasure Camp is a weekend seminar meant to “completely re-wire a woman’s mindset around her own attractiveness and body-image.” It is crucial, Jena insists, that I mend my broken relationship with my body if I want to have the relationship with a man that I’ve always wanted.

    “The workshop,” Jena explains to me, “is for women who have struggled over the years with bouts of painful body image and emotional eating and find themselves conflicted about having an attractive body.

    On one level they want it, but on another, they’re afraid of the consequences: being considered a threat to other women, reduced credibility in the workplace, undesired attention from men, to name a few.”

    So why is finding my ideal man an issue for me? “When you’re in a state of disapproval about your body, men pick up on it,” Jena explains. “A woman who disapproves of her body, her appetite, her beauty, and her pleasure, has a disadvantage in the game of love, even if she’s gorgeous. Great looks may be able to attract desirable men for casual dating, but Mr. Right—the love of her life—is also looking for great self-esteem and inner confidence.”

    To say I’ve struggled in the past with my body image would be an understatement. At 18, a freshman at college, lonely and miserable, I started binging on foods that would give me that serotonin kick for an instant jolt of happiness: pizza, ice cream, candy—you know the drill. Unsurprisingly, I gained weight. I hated myself, and I hated that horrible feeling I got after I stuffed my body to the breaking point. I just wanted relief, so I began throwing up. Binge, purge, binge, purge, binge, purge: a massive bulimic was born.

    Perhaps it’s not a surprise that I had some of the loneliest, most disastrous relationships with men and sex during those same years. It was not a period of peace, calm, or contentment in my life.

    It seems obvious now: every area of your life affects every other area, and if you don’t love your body, you’ll choose men who reinforce your belief systems. In other words, your relationship with your body directly affects your relationships with men. But I didn’t connect the dots.

    “Be skinny.” In our session, she explained that, “the turning point comes when you realize animals in nature don’t struggle with body image or over-eating.” Those in the room laughed at the idea of a dog thinking its “too fat” to be loved. “Understand that your body is a living, breathing, feeling, decision-making animal that already knows what to eat, how to exercise, and what it needs to feel great and look great. You just need to get into the ‘right relationship’ with your body, your ‘animal.’”

    To further illustrate her point, she asked us all to imagine refusing to give a child healthy, nutritious food, water, enough sleep, access to fresh air and light, touch, movement, and play. What if we never hugged our child? What if we never allowed our child to play? What if we locked our child in a dark room and told him or her to type on a computer for 12 hours straight, stopping only to pour coffee down his or her throat to keep him or her working? The entire room cringed, imagining social workers taking our children away. Except that’s what many of us do to our own bodies.

    “You can think of that relationship like your very own ‘inner marriage,’” Jena explains, “and the quality of that relationship—whether it’s abusive, neglectful, or deeply connected and loving—sets the tone for the type of relationship with a man that you will draw into your life.”

    After that we broke in groups of five, with one woman in the center directed to dance slowly and sensually, getting into the flow of her body, while the other four support and empower her in a circle. At first I was shy. Being asked to dance the way I do when I’m in a really good mood—alone in front of my mirror, shaking my butt and thighs—in front of strangers was nerve-wracking. But once I let go, it felt so free, so natural.

    I finally got it. In order for my future husband to find me sexy, I have to find myself sexy first.

    “A woman who appreciates her body, her beauty, and her pleasure sets the stage to attract the right men into her life, and in turn he’ll adore those qualities in her too,” Jena assures me at the end. “A woman who doesn’t honor her body and her sexiness won’t find a man who honors it. A woman who does, will.”

  14. juliaspublicist cried his rhinestone off juliaspublicist says:

    Can we talk about something else? You guys! This happened!

  15. mule on rouge says:

    Loved this, Stripper, thanks for sharing it with us. Hugs to momcat and tomcat for posting it. :) I never knew Donks wrote for Indiana U; I thought her time there was completely shrouded in mystery. Is it possible that she had to make a hasty exit because of a plagiarism scandal? Because that would be delicious!

    • 11th Wang says:

      Um she wrote a couple articles for the student paper. Any student who signs up for a journalism class is published in the student paper. It’s part of their grade.

  16. moonshinedonkey says:

    Two things, OT:

    1. Watched Celeste & Jesse Forever tonight. Holy hell, so good. Catladies around the world get a shout-out

    2. Toph’s ex tweeted something nice (this is definitely looking too far into Walden Pond, but it’s interesting anyway):

    anneke jong ‏@annekejong
    “you can’t lie to the internet. that never works.” @robburnett1 at @pandodaily #firesidechat

  17. juliaspublicist cried his rhinestone off juliaspublicist says:

    What does this say behind her?

  18. Can-Swiss says:

    …persons ___ ___ TWO days!

    • Can-Swiss says:

      God her face…

    • Fueled by PMS & Chocolate says:

      HER FACE! She looks sooo haggard while trying to put on her cutesy act.

    • cupcake cray cray says:

      photo 29 of 61: it looks like the photographer asked them to show their (empty) engagement ring fingers, emily and amy extend their left hands, but…dumbass julia sticks out her right hand. i know it’s been nearly a decade since her last engagement, but you would think a woman who is so obsessed with getting married would never forget which HAND it’s supposed to go on.

  19. My Elle Readers (formerly Stripper Shoes) says:

    I am soooo happy that this saw the light of day. Well, basement, really, but it’s a well-grouted walk-out basement with an English garden planted at the sliding door, no? Or is that the wrong basement?

    Anyway, yeah, Lurker or whatever your name is, this could be pulling a Julia, me publishing a piece my publisher passed on. But that was months ago! Who remembers such things except jealous, obese, catlady stalkers? Why do you care? Feel free to relax.

    And thanks for the writing/editing notes from Blinking SOS!! I know…it was really Julia-esque, all about me me me. I do have a reason for that though. The publication invited me to write first person pieces. I got slammed for writing a piece that was meant to be informational and objective on a serious topic (breast cancer), and I had to rewrite it in a first person format. Bleh.

    Basically? I don’t know why they didn’t pick this up because they went radio silent on it yet published several other pieces ive written since, including one on a topic so boring and of so little interest to most people that i was shocked that it was published at all. And yet, not a word about Miss Advised since the first scathing piece was published about the first episode. Since then, there has been not even ONE PEEP about Miss Advised from them.

    I have to wonder if this is a lawyers-up scenario.

    If so, I want to know who those lawyers are because they are damn good, and I could have used them when a website copied one of my columns and claimed it as their own original writing. Got that squared away using my own powers of persuasion. Unlike Julia, some of us can function without the assistance of Dadsers.

    Anyway, thanks for reading!!! And Jacy and JP thanks for publishing!!

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