I am no fool. I realize that Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules is not the best vehicle for important conversations. The reality TV cast members get almost everything wrong when it comes to hot button topics—body shaming, addiction, feminism, gender and sexual identity, etc. But they do touch on a lot of these things…frequently—James was fired from Sur for calling Katie fat; Lala has become sober; and there was an entire transphobic storyline involving Billie, who is trans, not being invited to girls’ night. So, yes, while the stars of Vanderpump Rules may not be the best ambassadors for speaking on these issues, it is a popular show that does cover this stuff, even if only by happenstance.
And that’s why I’m particularly loving Scheana Shay right now. In only two episodes of season eight, Scheana has not only already ingratiated herself with new members of the cast by hooking up and flirting hard with them (i.e. great drama for the viewer), but she’s also mentioned her frozen eggs, divorce and biological time clock countless times. To her castmates, she’s simply mortifying. “Telling a 27-year-old boy that you went off birth control is like yelling ‘fire’ in a movie theater. Do you think everyone's gonna see the ending of that movie?” new cast member Dayna (dating one of the men Scheana hooked up with) says in a testimonial. With the editing, you can tell that producers assume viewers are experiencing maximum schadenfreude as well because how “pathetic” to talk about an important failed relationship, fertility and your body while also trying to date.
What Scheana’s going through is very, very real. She’s not the same 20-something who started on the show eight seasons ago. She’s 34. Any woman who’s brushed the sides of 30 knows that the world likes to paint it all downhill from here. I was once carded at 27 years old by a bouncer who told me I “looked good for my age.”
At the same time, there is also a very real race against time when it comes to fertility. Any woman who’s contemplated children after 30 knows this. A pregnancy after 35 is considered geriatric. The language is harsh, and there’s no parallel for men. But, again, it’s a medical term because it’s real.