It’s no secret from my many articles on the subject that I’m a Bravoholic with an affinity for all things Real Housewives. And while I didn’t think my appreciation for these women could get any deeper, I’ve been especially thankful for them while battling bouts of boredom and anxiety in self-quarantine. In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, it’s only right that we pay tribute to the amazing women that not only gave life to our Housewives, but who have made a lasting impression in their own right while appearing onscreen.
10. Ms. Diane, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’
Ms. Diane is an angel. She ranks this high on the list because she’s one of the most normal and seemingly sane mothers this franchise has ever seen. Her calm demeanor and unwavering support of Porsha through everything from the divorce from Kordell to the infidelities of The Hot Dog King is truly heartwarming. Porsha is one of the few lucky ones.
9. Judy Stirling, ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’
Lydia’s mom, Judy, made an immediate impression when she breezed her way into the OC from what seemed like another planet entirely. She sprinkled fairy dust on her grown daughter, smoked a ton of pot, and even managed to get into it with Vicki’s aggro son-in-law over having her feet on Vicki’s couch. In short, she was a lot more interesting memorable than Lydia.
8. Dr. Deb, ‘Real Housewives of Orange County’
Dr. Deb is what you would get if you swapped out Judy’s weed for acid and proceeded to have a really bad trip at Burning Man. When she first appeared on the show, Dr. Deb intrigued viewers with her multicolored dreadlocks and general IDGAF attitude. She really got into the mix last season at “OC Fashion Week” (I refuse to believe that’s a thing) by fighting with another attendant and allegedly using a racial slur. Clearly used to chaos, it’s no wonder Braunwyn decided to have seven kids.
7. Ms. Dorothy, ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’
Ms. Dorothy made an impression from the moment we met her in season 3. Between her monthly stays at the house she bought for with Candiace and Chris and her attempts to control every aspect of their wedding, this therapist seems to have a blind spot when it comes to respecting boundaries with her daughter. Last season she took this to another level by slapping Candiace upside the head with a purse. It be ya own mother.
6. Lois Rinna, ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’
When we first met Lois, she charmed us with her happy-go-lucky attitude and positive energy. Little did we know that this ray of sunshine nearly died after surviving an attack by a literal serial killer. And not only did she survive that, she also managed to sit through dinner while Camille defended Brett Kavanaugh and served us some epic facial expressions like this in the process:
5. Marge Sr., ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’
As if Marge Jr. weren’t enough of a gift to the show when she was cast in season 8, we got the added bonus of Marge Sr. Dating well into her seventies and even admitting that she’s had sex in a cemetery, Marge Sr. is the Hungarian Samantha Jones. We have no choice but to stan.
4. Mama Elsa, ‘Real Housewives of Miami’
Almost exactly one year ago, the world lost a legend. Mama Elsa was the indisputable star of the otherwise lackluster Real Housewives of Miami. With her strong Cuban accent, flair for drama, and witchy sensibilities, she stole every scene and gave us so many hilarious moments. The world was a wonder while she was here.
3. Dale Mercer, ‘Real Housewives of New York’
Regardless of whether Tinsley decides to return to RHONY, her mother Dale would be a welcome addition to the show. She never misses an opportunity to shade her own daughter, whether it’s pointing out to Tinsley that she’s wearing shoes designed by Tinsley’s ex-husband’s new wife, or implying that her relationship with Scott is doomed. And, of course, we can never forget her indulging Tinsley’s crazy and crying with her over Tinsley’s frozen eggs “babies” while Tinsley tries on wedding dresses despite not actually being engaged.
2. Mama Dee, ‘Real Housewives of Dallas’
Speaking of women that take pleasure in shading the hell out of their spawn, no one does it like Mama Dee. Watching D’Andra squirm while asking her mom for more money to let her take over the business and Dee revel in the power dynamic is truly captivating television. Is this a healthy mother-daughter dynamic? No, but I really don’t give a dog’s rip.
1. Mama Joyce, ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’
Love her or hate her, Mama Joyce is the G.O.A.T. of outrageous Real Housewives moms. She never misses an opportunity to harass her son-in-law, whether it’s butchering the lyrics to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to make a threat, or recounting a childhood trauma about a lunchbox to allude to her distrust of him. The thirst doesn’t stop there. She tried using a shoe as a weapon against Carmon during Kandi’s wedding dress shopping trip, and put on an actual trench coat to dig up dirt on Phaedra, giving us this iconic moment:
She may be a monster hellbent on destroying anyone that gets too close to her daughter’s money, but she’s given us some incredible moments in the process.
Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that the moms on this list make for great TV. Which Real Housewives mom is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Bravo (2); Tenor (5); Trash Talk TV; 1drdeb / Instagram; Giphy (2)
When it comes to made up, unnecessary holidays, I will always be the first to say how stupid they are. Case in point: wtf is National Fruitcake Toss Day and why do we set January 3rd aside for it? As far as I’m concerned, January 3rd is a day of post-NYE rest. Mother’s Day, though, is not one of those holidays, and it is as legit as it is necessary. I applaud all mothers for all of the incredibly hard work that they do. I, for one, was a supreme brat from ages 12-23, so I am definitely going to spend May 10th bestowing upon my mother a thoughtful gift that says, “thank you for putting up with my bullsh*t for so long.”
Here’s the thing, though: my mom deserves like 25 Hermès scarves, the Tiffany diamond (you know, the one Lady Gaga wore to the Oscars) and a few other luxuries, but I just got laid off and can barely afford organic strawberries these days. Luckily, there are a few great Mother’s Day gift options for under $100 that say “You are a queen and you deserve the best, but, as you can see, I am poor rn.” Good enough, I guess.
Casetify Monogram Studio Case, $50
I’m sure some of you may think that no respectable woman would carry around anything that says “mom” on it, but this phone is not for regular moms; it’s for cool moms. Seriously, my mom is a classy broad with amazing style and I know for certain she’d f*cking love this leather case. It’s totally customizable, so if you’re not into pastels with navy accents, you can pick whatever color combo your mother would love most. Have fun spending the next four hours designing this bad boy!
Earl Grey Tea Tin, $8.95
Most mothers I know subsist on tea, and these super cute vintage-looking tins from Society Social make for a great gift. Each tea flavor comes in a different colored tin and contains 20 tea bags, so she’ll be set with her tea habit for a good while. Also, if you ask me, this is a literal steal.
Slip Pillowcase, $71
This silk pillowcase is a perfect example of something I’ve always wanted, but could never bring myself to actually buy. Luckily, I dropped enough
super subtle hints to my roommate and she bought it for my birthday. Let me just say, it totally lived up to the hype. Here’s why your mom will also love it: it’s anti-aging. For starters, she won’t wake up with creases all over her face, but more importantly, the silk won’t absorb her serums, moisturizers and eye creams. It also protects her hair. Win-win!
Levain Bakery Cookie Assortment, from $27
If you’ve ever been to New York, you’ve been to Levain. They make the densest, richest cookies I’ve ever had, and I mean that in the best way. The sweet relief that comes with taking a bite of the classic chocolate chip walnut is what I imagine doing opioids must feel like. Seriously, they’re so f*cking good and can last for months in the freezer. I don’t know your mom, but I promise she will love them.
Local Eclectic Dainty Princess Birthstone Ring, $74
Local Eclectic is a female-founded and female-run online marketplace for emerging and independent jewelers to sell their gorgeous designs. I have gotten so much jewelry from this place that I’m embarrassed to admit how much of the money I don’t have has supported my jewelry addiction. Anyway, these birthstone rings are super delicate and can be layered, so getting a few for your mom based on the months you and your siblings were born is so cute. Or just get her one to remind her who her favorite is.
Serena & Lily Spa Robe, $79
This robe is currently on sale, so don’t wait to get it if you want to save serious $$. It’s made of Turkish cotton, which means it’s soft af. The inside is a super plush terry cloth and the exterior is a very on-trend waffle pattern. I am really tempted to get this for myself because I’m pretty sure that my current dark gray floor-length robe was inspired by the Grim Reaper’s from the Sims. Serena & Lily is a home brand beloved by many moms, so I’m sure any of them would appreciate this.
Jo Malone London Candle, $67
Let me just start by saying if you have principals and refuse to spend $67 on a candle, check out Voluspa for gorgeous candles at a less offensive price. Anyway, Jo Malone is known for her perfume and, as of late, her candles. I actually have this one on my nightstand and I get whiffs of it even when it’s not burning. The glass container has a really nice minimalist look and the candles all smell amazing, so you really can’t go wrong. The Wood Sage & Sea Salt scent is the most popular, and I love that not-so-subtle “bougie parfumée” flex on the bottom of the label.
Barr Hill Gin, $44
Guys, listen: for my first Mother’s Day, I would really appreciate a bottle of 90-proof liquor. In all seriousness, this is a great gift! Everyone loves a good cocktail—especially now that we will most likely still be staying at home on May 10th—and gin is a crowd-of-less-than-10-pleaser. Also, this bottle looks like something Julia Engel would have displayed on her bar cart because it’s so charming and whimsical-looking.
Moon & Jai Love Ritual Kit, $49
In the Pursuit is kind of like Local Eclectic, but for literally everything, not just jewelry. If your mom is into crystals, burning sage, and palo santo, she will lose her mind at this kit. It contains a rose quartz crystal, clear quartz point, sage wand, beautiful matches and a bunch of other sh*t that will definitely clear the bad energy from her house.
Escape By Gray Malin, $28.95
Gray Malin is a photographer whose pictures are reminiscent of Slim Aarons, but way more affordable. I got this book for myself at a book-signing and, after flipping through it, bought myself one of his photos. His work, mostly aerial photos of beautiful beaches around the world, is really beautiful and the book is a great way to see it all without having to drop thousands on a big-ass picture your mom has no wall space for.
UGG Fuzzette Slide Sandals, $90
Everyone loves slippers, and if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re a liar. UGG may not be as cool as it was in 2006, but their slippers are still unparalleled. If your mom is aching for a canary yellow slide that she can wear around the house, she’ll love these. They also come in black, though.
Kin Sora Multipurpose Towel, $68
If your mom loves yoga as much as she loves the environment, this towel is the perfect gift for her. I know what you’re thinking, “a towel?” but this is no ordinary towel. In fact, it’s made from recycled fabric and is non-skid, so your mom can use it as a yoga mat. I mean, who doesn’t love a good multi-purpose product, right?
PlantShed Adore You, $34
If your mom lives in the tri-state area, don’t even think about getting her flowers unless they’re from PlantShed. If Rufus Humphrey was a botanist instead of an art-junkie, he’d have opened PlantShed (it’s half charming flower shop and half coffee shop). They teach you how to care for your new plant so that your mom couldn’t kill it if she tried.
Images: Brigitte Tohm / Unsplash; Bloomingdale’s; Gray Malin; In The Pursuit Studio; Caskers; Jo Malone; Serena & Lily; gopjn.com; Levain; Slip; Society Social; Casetify; Kin; PlantShed
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