Saturday, January 29, 2011

the b word

*i accidentally pasted the link to this post on a comment at reality tea.  i'm sorry about that - i actually meant to post the link to the video in that comment.  so if that is what you are trying to find, it is actually here:
sorry about that!*

bullying is an all too real problem.  but calling someone a bully for simply defending him/herself (particularly when you are knowingly spouting lies about them) is inappropriate and dismisses the experience of people who are actually being bullied.  way to go, Camille.  Kyle was calling you on the fact that your story has, verifiably, changed so often that all of the stories couldn't possibly be true.  given your offense, she was even challenging you relatively calmly.  but rather than stick to an issue, you struck below the belt again and dropped the b-word. sidekick is getting a vision ... yes, Kyle was right ... someone did advise you to drop the word ... it was ... it was ... someone you pay ...

but now that you have dropped the b-word, let's think about which cast member actually behaved like one during the reunion.  and the winner of the bully award goes to ........... Taylor! for her disgusting role in tormenting Kim.  congratulations, Taylor, you should really be proud.

during the reunion, Lisa brought up Taylor instigating trouble in NYC.  to be fair, Camille is just as much at fault as Taylor was - after all, Camille was only pretending to have made up (a catty thing to do, Camille).  so the blame falls on both of them - Camille used a cowardly way of dealing with her anger (and, do we need to point out again, her anger was misdirected - it is fine that she felt extra sensitive because she had good reasons to feel that way - but she needs to point her finger Kelsey's and others' way, not Kyle's) and Taylor selfishly used the opportunity to promote herself while stepping on others (by gossiping with Camille and pretending to be on Camille's "side" - silly Camille, Taylor is only on her own side).  and for some reason(s), Taylor just didn't like Kim, so Kim bore the brunt of it.

so why does Taylor get the bully award?  Lisa and Kim were both sure to point out Taylor's role in the Kyle vs. Camille debacle (though Lisa did so a little more eloquently).  at first, Taylor did partially own her actions and admitted that if she could do it over, she never would have said anything because she really did not know that Kyle had used the word "insecure."  at a superficial glance, one might be pacified by Taylor's response.  but (see posts below) the sidekick is not satisfied.  again, i ask: why would Taylor think the discussion she had was ever appropriate, let alone appropriate when Camille was already upset?  Taylor was covering for herself, given that Taylor was the one discussing Camille's insecurities at the airport.  true, Kim used the specific word "insecure," but it was in the context of understanding what Taylor had already been saying about Camille feeling insignificant.  so Taylor was pretty much walking on eggshells throughout the whole show in order to keep up her game of make believe: she conveniently sat wide-eyed and remarkably silent when Camille accused Kyle of making a snide comment that, in fact, had been made by Taylor (the comment about Camille using a surrogate so as to not lose her figure)... and she was so threatened by Kim (because Kim did know what was going on and in her unrehearsed, direct, and vulnerable way, called Taylor on her behavior).

so ... like the sidekick, Kim was unsatisfied with Taylor's response.  like the sidekick, Kim was asking: but still, why would you say what you did?  and the sidekick (and i strongly suspect, Lisa) also wanted a satisfactory answer.  however, rather than fully admit her own involvement and exactly what that involvement entailed, Taylor went on the offensive and hit Kim with blows that rivaled the ones Camille threw against Kyle after her infamous dinner circus party.  Taylor threatened Kim, warning her to "tread lightly" and didn't miss an opportunity to allude to Kim having a drinking problem, however ill-fitting such an allusion was to Kim's actual comments.  Kim (and many of the rest of us) wanted to know why Taylor would stir the pot (and we aren't buying the party line that Taylor didn't know what she was doing - Taylor nearly always knows exactly what she is doing because she is opportunistic and a far better actress than Camille).  instead of giving an honest answer, Taylor resorted to emotionally abusive and bullying strategies.  she even appealed to Kim's sister (who deeply regretted and seemed genuinely saddened by her behavior of calling her sister an alcoholic on television), asking Kyle whether she should bring up Kim's drinking (which, of course she knew, she had already done by virtue of simply alluding to it).  Taylor didn't take the hint when Kyle looked down and separated herself from the situation.  kudos to Kyle for not jumping on the bully bandwagon ... but it was a bit disappointing that Kyle failed Kim the same way Kim had failed Kyle: when put on the spot, Kyle failed to confront Taylor's inappropriate behavior.  except that when put on the spot, Kim did eventually speak up against one of the two people responsible for Camille's attack on Kyle - unfortunately for Kim, she (Kim) chose to speak out against the person that Kyle had decided to excuse from responsibility.  and Kim suffered for the rest of the season as well as during the reunion for her genuine attempt to have Kyle's back.

the fact of the matter was: whether or not Kim was drunk or whether or not Kim had/has a drinking problem have absolutely no bearing on why Taylor stirred the pot and spread malicious and potentially untrue gossip in NY.  likewise, Kim's drinking had no bearing on why Taylor would resort to violent threats (even if the physical violence of the threat was not sincere).  the point was: why, Taylor, if you are so sensitive to the issue of physical abuse, would you ever think it appropriate to threaten physical violence (even if it was an empty threat)?  why would this ever seem appropriate to you, regardless of the situation?  and Taylor, if you are so sensitive to the issue of abuse, why would any kind of abuse (read: your emotional abuse of Kim) seem acceptable?  well, obviously, these are very threatening questions for Taylor (perhaps because she was confronted with something she truly did not like about herself - a moment of hypocrisy that belied a very real commitment to the charity ... or perhaps because Taylor was afraid to lose some kind of social standing or connection if she was perceived to not be authentically involved in the charity ... either way, she was highly threatened).  so Taylor lashed out like a bully, as if to say in her emotionally abusive way, "shut up - stop casting me in a bad light (read: shedding light on truth) or i'll completely humiliate you and destroy your self-worth on television."  a respectable person would have honestly answered the questions.  a bully resorts to threats of violence, emotional manipulation, and/or real violence rather than honest communication.  Taylor's behavior was unconscionable. and the sidekick is getting strong vibes that Taylor was subtly bullying Kim all through the filming season ... there are glimpses of it (e.g., listen to each of them in their interviews after they go to the nail salon together ... Kim is so innocently trying to get along with Taylor ... but it does not seem as though Taylor has any intention of playing nice with Kim ... perhaps Taylor does not perceive Kim to be someone who is able to help her climb social ladders ... and, therefore, Kim has no worth to Taylor ... that will be the working theory for now anyway).

Kim and Lisa are both onto the fact that, via cosmetic procedures, multiple name changes, and decades of practice in disguising true motives with opportunistic and socially acceptable motives, Shana Hughes completely constructed the fake person known as Taylor Armstrong.  Lisa just communicates it in a more understated manner.  Kim is routinely bullied into silence ... however much the sidekick would like to see her refuse to back down and really hammer Taylor to get the truth out.

so .... yes Camille can behave in nasty and catty ways and uses her own negative emotion as an excuse to say any vile thing her brain (or her advisors' brains) can come up with ... but Camille is so ridiculously transparent that she seems more harmless when compared to the deceit and bully that is Taylor Armstrong.

(for the record, thus far posts have been overwhelmingly pro-Kyle and pro-Kim and overwhelmingly anti-Taylor ... but that is not because the sidekick believes Kyle or Kim to be complete angels (they are, after all, real people in all the glory and downfall that is being human ... and this is not to excuse any misdeeds of one sister toward the other), nor is it because Taylor is necessarily all bad (most people aren't ... even Taylor might not be, but given how much trouble she goes to to ensure that no one knows who she really is, she can be a harder read - we might want to believe she is genuinely concerned about her charities and perhaps we should give her the benefit of the doubt.  it would be easier to do if she weren't so dishonest in so many other domains.  has anyone figured out why she changed her name so many times? and why she lied about the reason on the live segment with Andy after the show?)


  1. disclaimer: the above post may have been a little overly generous to Kyle.

  2. in fact ... though i still have trouble buying the argument that Kyle was such a bully to Camille (maybe just because Camille dished the bullying right on back) ... i don't mean for Kyle to come off sweetness and light (i just didn't want to delete what i had already written because that feels like cheating) ... but for an update see

  3. and yet in light of even newer information, i've completely considered. can't count the number of times i've wanted to delete the paragraph about kyle not being a bully. but that is cheating. i was duped. i have to own it.