Once upon a time, Gigi and Bella Hadid were not supermodels. They were Yolanda Hadid’s teenaged daughters who occasionally popped up on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Just a little over a decade before makeup mogul Kylie Jenner got into it with Forbes about how much she is worth, she was best known as the baby of the family on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. After getting their start on Dance Moms, Maddie Ziegler, Mackenzie Ziegler, Nia Sioux, JoJo Siwa, and Chloe Lukasiak all continues to work in show business. The Real Housewives of Atlanta‘s Noelle Robinson, is, as Cynthia Bailey’s boyfriend Mike Hill said on a September 2019 episode of the It’s Bravo Betch! podcast, “pursuing her goals of acting.” He continued, “She’s an influencer, so she’s doing her thing for YouTube and her YouTube channel.”
Suffice to say, there are a lot of kids who more or less grew up on reality TV that went on to make showbiz dreams a reality. There are also a lot of reality TV kids who chose to steer clear of the entertainment industry and mosey away from the gaze of the public eye. Hey, whatever works for them works for us.
Here are some of the reality TV show kids who live “normal,” more relatable lives now.
The OG of the OC's kids grew up
Vicki Gunvalson’s daughter, Briana Culberson, appeared on The Real Housewives of Orange County many times, but the nurse and her husband, Ryan Culberson, bid the series farewell when they moved out to North Carolina in 2017. The following year, Gunvalson confirmed to Entertainment Tonight that Briana chose not to be on RHOC Season 13 whatsoever. Regarding her daughter’s desire “to be done” with the show, the OG of the OC said, “It broke my heart.” As much as Gunvalson wished her daughter would continue to be a part of the series, she understood the decision. “She wanted to just have a break and be kind of incognito, keep the kids off camera,” she said. Shortly after Briana stepped away from RHOC, her mom followed suit: In January 2020, Gunvalson announced on Instagram that she would no longer be on the show.
Briana’s brother, Michael Wolfsmith, was also a fixture of RHOC when their mom was still whooping it up for the Bravo cameras. When it came time to figure out his career, he followed in Gunvalson’s footsteps — No, we don’t mean he became one of the original main cast members of a reality series. Wolfsmith is the Vice President at Gunvalson’s insurance company, Coto Insurance. Like his sister, he left Orange County, but he did not stray too far from his hometown. In 2017, Gunvalson shared on Instagram that Wolfsmith bought a place in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego.
The children of Chateau Shereé went off to college
Shereé Whitfield’s third-born was a little kid when her mom started on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but, as of this writing, she is a college-aged adult.The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum’s youngest, Kaleigh Whitfield, attends Howard University. When Kaleigh got into the college, Shereé went full proud mom and shouted about it from the rooftops, er, posted about it on Instagram. She congratulated her daughter, adding, “As a single mom it’s such an awesome and rewarding experience to watch my kids excel and reach for their dreams!”
Kaleigh is now a typical college student… and by “typical college student” we mean “a college student who used to be on reality TV but has moved on to a chapter of life that isn’t airing on Bravo.” It’s totally relatable. You know, in a not entirely relatable sort of way.
Meanwhile, Kaleigh’s two older siblings have thrown their hats into the entertainment world ring. Kaleigh’s brother, Kairo Whitfield, graduated from Morehouse College in May 2020, where he was a forward on the basketball team. On a 2020 episode of Watch What Happens Live, Shereé revealed to Andy Cohen that Kairo also dreams of musical stardom. In May 2020, he shared on Instagram that he would be dropping an EP titled Draft Day the following month. Tierra Fuller, Shereé’s eldest, was away at college way back when the show started, and now she currently has a podcast called A Little Kiss and Tell.
A Manzo kid now has a kid
Lauren Manzo Scalia was 21 when the first season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey premiered, so she was not technically a child, but that does not mean she (or her brothers, for that matter) do not count as reality TV kids. Hey, as Caroline Manzo wrote for Momtastic in 2013, “they will be my babies forever and always.”
Albie Manzo and Chris Manzo have basically remained in the entertainment biz on some level since RHONJ and Manzo’d with Children (for starters, they have a podcast called Dear Albie where “Chris digs up old advice column questions that they try to answer”), but Lauren is leading a more “normal” life as a small business owner. The mother of one runs Full-blown Blow-Out & Beauty Lounge, aka the salon formerly known as Cafface.
As “normal” as her life may be now, there is that whole thing where she was on reality TV with her family for a good chunk of time, and unfortunately, she, like so many other reality TV personalities, is still targeted by trolls. In April 2020, People pointed out that Lauren announced on Instagram Stories that she would no longer be sharing pictures of her daughter Markie, because of some users’ comments were “absolutely insane” and “mean.” She also suggested her more outspoken followers learn “how to mind [their] f****** business.” Yikes.
Kristin Cavallari's Laguna Beach BFF left the limelight
Unlike many of her former co-stars, Laguna Beach roster member Jessica Smith Evans did not chase a career in the entertainment world or the fashion world after high school. Instead, she stepped away from the public eye to lead a “normal” life, and inevitably grew apart from the rest of the cast. On a 2017 episode of the Reality Life with Kate Casey podcast, Smith Evans said she did not want to be on Laguna Beach at all, but only signed the release forms because she wanted to be able to go to friends’ events whether or not the cameras were present. She also shared that she was “never thick as thieves” with the other people from the show, adding that they “didn’t connect anymore after high school.”
After her time on Laguna Beach, Smith Evans was, as Kristin Cavallari would say, dunzo with reality TV. In 2018, the person who was once in an iconic love triangle with Jason Wahler and Lauren Conrad wrote on her blog that following her time on Laguna Beach, she “ended up waitressing while putting [herself] through school to become a teacher.” She went on to say she actually ended up meeting her husband at the restaurant where she worked, and they now live in Texas with their four kids.
The Grand Dame of Potomac's daughter is getting a master's degree
On the first season of The Real Housewives of Potomac, Karen Huger’s daughter, Rayvin Huger, graduated from high school. Oh, how time flies: In 2019, Karen shared on Instagram that Rayvin graduated from Penn State. And as of this writing? Rayvin is currently working toward her master’s degree at Fordham Gabelli School of Business.
Karen told Bravo in 2017 that sending her daughter to college “was a huge adjustment” but she “took it one day at a time.” She continued, “Gradually I began to view Rayvin’s college experience as an opportunity for our Mother/Daughter relationship to go to the next level. We are closer than ever and share a relationship that has deepened and is unbreakable.”
In addition to her awesome academic achievements, Rayvin’s résumé also happens to include “recorded a rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ with help of the great Macy Gray on an episode of The Real Housewives of Potomac.” Karen just so happens to be friends with Gray, and on Season 4, the Grammy Award winner met up with the RHOP star and her daughter at a recording studio to offer up words of music wisdom. Sometimes, you get to be a normal college kid. Other times, you get to hang out in a recording studio with Macy Gray. The experience of being a Real Housewives kid sure is a unique one.
An NYC Prep alum is in the real estate game
Following his time on NYC Prep, Sebastian Oppenheim did some work in the television industry, but he eventually pivoted away from it. As The Daily Dish noted in 2015, Oppenheim worked as a PA on Watch What Happens Live after he graduated from high school (and NYC Prep), and by all accounts, he seemed serious about making a living making television. He told The Daily Dish that he “produced [and] developed a pilot for a talk show concept revolving around the [idea] that food dissolves cultural walls and societal differences.”
Oppenheim also shared with The Daily Dish that he was in the process of obtaining a real estate license, and it seems safe to say that move worked out for him. According to his LinkedIn profile, he began working as an agent at CORE Real Estate in 2015. He is currently a regional director for rental company June Homes.
While Oppenheim no longer works in the wonderful world of unscripted programming, the same cannot be said for his significant other. Oppenheim and Food Network personality Skyler Bouchard got hitched in 2019. Okay, marrying someone who has a Food Network web series is not exactly the most relatable life move of all time, but hey, for a guy who used to be on a reality show, his professional life has gotten fairly “normal.”
Two Married to Medicine kids are getting into the world of medicine
Dr. Heavenly Kimes’ sons sure seem interested in slapping on the white coat. The Married to Medicine star told The Daily Dish in 2018 that she hopes her oldest, Damon Kimes Jr., will eventually take over Dr. Damon Kimes’ practice. He has already accomplished one of the major steps needed to get there: In June 2020, Dr. Heavenly shared on Instagram that Damon Jr. graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in psychology.
Damon Jr. has a younger brother who avoids Married to Medicine and is also on his way to getting into the medical world. In the aforementioned The Daily Dish interview, Dr. Heavenly said that her middle child Zachary Kimes “wants no part of this show” and is “not here for the cameras,” adding, “He’ll probably become a neurosurgeon or something.” When Zachary graduated from high school in 2019, Dr. Heavenly documented the moment on Instagram and wrote, “Headed to A University as a Pre-MED Major! He is [in] the process of getting his Real Estate License!”
It sounds like Dr. Heavenly’s high school-aged daughter, Alaura Kimes, is getting into show business rather than the family business. She’s already recorded and released a song and, as Dr. Heavenly pointed out on Instagram, she had a small role in 2019’s Little. As Dr. Heavenly explained to The Daily Dish in 2018, “She’s still doing her music. She’s more into acting, and she’s a cheerleader now.” Stay tuned.
This Real Housewives star's daughter turned her passion for art into a career
Ally Shapiro has been keeping quite busy ever since her mom, Jill Zarin, was a main cast member on The Real Housewives of New York City. In 2014, she graduated from Vanderbilt University, and, as Zarin told The Daily Dish, “she wasn’t really satisfied” with the jobs she landed after undergrad. Zarin suggested she go back to school and study something she was really interested in, and she ultimately felt that the art world was calling to her. In 2019, Zarin shared on Instagram that Shapiro went on to earn a master’s degree from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2019.
We would be remiss if we did not mention that one time Shapiro went on The Millionaire Matchmaker after she finished her undergrad degree. On Season 8 of Patti Stanger’s dating series, Zarin enlisted the help of the reality TV matchmaker to find someone for her daughter. Granted, getting set up on dates by reality television personalities Stanger and Zarin in front of a camera crew is not something many people can relate to, but as for getting set up on a date by a parent and/or a family friend in front of zero camera crews? That is definitely something that happens out in the “normal” world.
This RHOP alum's kids are following their passions
Charrisse Jackson-Jordan’s kids have both pursued exciting avenues. The former The Real Housewives of Potomac star’s daughter, Skylar Jordan, started at Spelman College in 2018, and according to her LinkedIn, she is studying biology and working as a student researcher. In November 2019, Skylar shared on Instagram that she attended the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Anaheim, where she presented her research. And Charrisse’s son, Jackson Jordan, is at Southern New Hampshire University, where he is a member of the basketball team. There’s a scientist in the family and a student athlete in the family? That is impressive stuff.
In September 2019, Charrisse opened up on Instagram about missing her kids while they are away at school. She wrote, “My kids are away at college and I’ve become so dependent on having them with me. This ’empty nest’ thing hasn’t been that great.” She went on to advise any other parents whose kids who have not yet moved out to “take advantage of every moment of time with your children. You can’t get it back. Time flies by too fast.” Well, consider the ol’ heartstrings dribbled on with a basketball and dissected with a scalpel from a biology lab kit.
Teresa Giudice's eldest began a new chapter
The Giudices have weathered their fair share of tempests over the last several years: Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice went to prison, Joe’s deportation appeal has been denied multiple times, Teresa’s parents died, and Teresa and Joe separated.
The last several years have also given The Real Housewives of New Jersey family at least one reason to celebrate. As Teresa shared on Instagram Stories (via The Daily Dish), Gia Giudice was accepted to multiple colleges. Teresa’s oldest child ultimately decided to head to Rutgers University in 2019.
It sounds like Gia plans on going to law school. In a May 2019 interview with Us Weekly, Joe Gorga said his niece “wants to be a lawyer,” adding, “Look what’s going on with her dad.” Teresa said something similar in a 2018 video for The Daily Dish. When telling the site about Gia’s college plans, she said, “She wants to get into the field of law. I’m happy that she wants to do that. Sometimes, things happen for a reason… Because of everything that Joe and I have been through, I think that’s the reason why she picked law, and I can’t wait to see what Gia becomes when she gets older.”
Kyle Richards's daughters got into the family business
Kyle Richards’s second oldest kid, Alexia Umansky, grew up on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in a family of actors and models, but she did not pursue fame. Instead, she took a role at The Agency, Mauricio Umansky’s real estate company. Alexia joined the Agency shortly after she graduated from Emerson College in 2018.
Alexia works alongside her dad and her older sister, Farrah Aldjufrie. Aldjufrie was in her early 20s when RHOBH began, and viewers saw her graduate from the University of Southern California in 2010 with a degree in psychology and a minor in business. She told The Daily Dish in 2016 that she was not interested in show business because she is “more a behind-the-scenes person and with real estate you can have a great life and have a fun, fun job and make a lot of money.”
As for Richards’s other two daughters? Sophia Umansky is currently studying at George Washington University, and according to her LinkedIn, she hopes to also get into real estate. And Portia Umansky, the youngest member of the Richards-Umansky family, only just finished elementary school in June 2020, so it will be a little while before she figures out a career path. That said, Kyle has expressed on RHOBH that Portia wants to become a makeup artist and/or YouTube influencer. Now, if the family could just figure out a way to combine YouTube beauty tutorials with selling houses!
This RHONY kid is now at an investment management firm
Ramona Singer’s daughter, Avery Singer, was in junior high when the first season of The Real Housewives of New York City premiered, and now she is a grown-up who, according to her LinkedIn, works as an analyst at Neuberger Berman. In 2017, she graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in economics and a minor in sociology.
Ahead of Avery’s college graduation, Ramona talked to The Daily Dish about her daughter’s next chapter. She said, “You know, it’s very interesting to see how Avery has evolved from the show. When she first started filming 10 years ago, she was 12 years old.” Time sure does fly when you are watching Bravo reality programs.
Though Avery is doing her own thing that is separate from RHONY, she occasionally mixes it up with her mom’s co-stars. In May 2020, Avery posted and commented on a few clips of Leah McSweeney’s drunken shenanigans featured in the episode titled “Hurricane Leah,” and as People noted, McSweeney did not take too kindly to the remarks. What’s that old saying? Oh, right: You can take the RHONY kid out of the Real Housewives universe, but you can’t take the Real Housewives-esque instinct for drama out of the RHONY kid, apparently.
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