Why Do the New ‘Real Housewives’ Always Get Hazed?

RHONYC Reunion with Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan, and Bethenny Frankel | Charles Sykes/Bravo

Regardless of a new cast member’s confidence or presence, new Real Housewives are usually traveling through rocky waters. For the most part, new Real Housewives have a warm introduction, typically introduced by a current cast member. But without fail, there is push back from one or more cast members.

Lizzie Rovsek from The Real Housewives of Orange County told Radar Online she was targeted from the beginning and had to stand her ground. “I would say the toughest part was just kind of the hazing you get from the veterans. I really didn’t expect the hazing.” But said she stood up for herself immediately and “had to defend myself just from like the first meeting.”

Hazed ‘Real Housewives’ haze new women too

It would make sense that the women who were hazed would be kinder to the new cast members. But it doesn’t seem to be the case on the series. Gretchen Rossi from RHOC was targeted when she joined the cast. She was dating a wealthy older man of ailing health and the women seemed to attack her at every turn.

However, when a new cast member joined the group, it was Rossi who dished about how she and the other cast members iced the new member out. “The first party [where we were all together,] we were pretty hard on her,” she told US Weekly. “We just gave her a hard time and every time she said something we’d just be rolling our eyes or doing something, but nothing too harsh. We don’t make her go running in her underwear around the street or anything like that!” The new cast member in question was Heather Dubrow.

So why do they do it?

Joining a franchise like The Real Housewives is almost similar to joining a sorority in college. A newcomer is indoctrinated into a tight-knit group and is expected to get along. The new cast member may appear to be welcome to the group. But their presence may pose as some sort of threat to the group dynamic.

“It’s almost as though the period of time around group entry was deeply problematic,” Aldo Cimino, a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at UC Santa Barbara said. “This may have been a time during which coalitions were exploited by newcomers. Our intuitions about how to treat newcomers may reflect this regularity of the past. Abusing newcomers –– hazing –– may have served to temporarily alter their behavior, as well as select out uncommitted newcomers when membership was non-obligatory.”

Plus the goal is about domination

New Real Housewives may get hazed but ongoing cast members may also get iced out. “Like many other mammals, we humans are genetically wired to form social hierarchies – with the alpha males and females at the top getting access to the prime cuts while the rest of us fight over the crumbs,” Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today. “The fascinating thing about hierarchies – whether in Beverly Hills or the animal kingdom, is that they keep changing. There are always those plotting to overthrow the King (or Queen Bee) and to recruit other characters into secret or not so secret alliances.  There is always someone younger, more beautiful, rich, talented, or socially shrewd waiting to step on stage.”

The women from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills hint that “queen bee” Lisa Vanderpump is on the out’s during the upcoming season. She’s missing from the women’s party and outings on Instagrams, including Camille Grammer’s wedding.

However former bestie, Kyle Richards insists Vanderpump is always included. But may be choosing not to attend events. “I keep seeing stories out there that she’s not been invited and excluded. She’s invited to every single thing that we’re … everyone’s been invited to everything,” she told US Weekly.

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