We’ve known for weeks that Season 17 of The Real Housewives of Orange County was going to feature some busted wigs.
This week’s episode showed us the context.
But before Wednesday night’s RHOC actually aired, Shannon Beador revealed that her whole ensemble was mocking one of Gina Kirschenheiter’s former looks.
Mean-spirited? Yes. But Gina noted that Shannon was mocking a “dark and scary” time in her life. When she was a struggling single mom just trying to keep her family afloat.
On Instagram, Shannon Beador posted these side-by-side photos of her over-the-top wig look and an older screenshot of Gina.
“Hope you enjoy my IMMATATION of Gina on tonight’s #RHOC…” she teased in the caption.
If she was making a joke by spelling imitation as “Immatation,” we’re afraid that we’re missing the reference.
These days, Gina has a much more polished look. That is not at all uncommon for Real Housewives.
She has, from when she first joined the show, been conscious of how she is less affluent than most of her castmates.
But there was an extra sting to Shannon’s dig. And Gina addressed as much, reposting the same comparison photos that Shannon shared and commenting on them.
“This is me,” Gina’s Instagram caption began on Wednesday night. She continued: “This is me at a time that was dark. That was scary.”
The RHOC star admitted: “The pain in my life at that time was real and the way I looked was a reflection of that time.”
Gina addressed: “To anyone out there that is struggling to keep themselves and their children afloat and can’t seem to find time for a blowout … don’t feel bad about that! You are doing the best you can!”
“Remember there is light at the end of the darkness!” Gina encouraged. “You will get there.” True!
“And when you do,” she continued, “remember there will always be people that try and bring you back there to remind you of your worst times, your darkest days.”
So Gina counseled folks to “keep it in perspective.”
“Usually it’s people who are in more pain than you are,” Gina pointed out.
“Try and empathize,” she counseled, “but don’t allow yourself to become someone else’s doormat.”
Gina continued her advice: “Reclaim these moments. Don’t let anyone take them from you.”
“I am a f–king warrior. I went through the worst of the worst,” Gina remarked. She is referring to harrowing events involving her ex, Matt Kirschenheiter.
“I shared my heartache and pain and navigated through all of it,” she added. “With no light and no map and came out on top.”
Gina added: “I look back at these photos and I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of how far I have come.”
Continuing her affirmations, Gina wrote: “I am proud that I have found happiness, that my children are thriving, and my family is fully intact.”
“Thank you so much to everyone who supports me and champions my successes,” she expressed.
Gina contrasted: “instead of reminding me of my painful past and missteps.”
“I am so thankful to be where I am today,” Gina proclaimed.
“And,” she emphasized, “wish nothing but the same for those still struggling!!!”
Gina concluded with a glowing: “Love you all!!!”
Castmate Emily Simpson, who joined when Gina did and thus shares a special bond with her, spoke up in the comments.
“You are the strongest person I know!” she praised.
“And navigating through the darkness while still keeping your kids healthy, safe, and knowing they were loved is truly exceptional and exemplary,” Emily affirmed.
Perhaps Shannon wasn’t thinking of Gina’s struggles and hardships.
Some fans have pointed out that Shannon seems to have a double standard when it comes to making fun or discussing others.
Others have countered by saying that Shannon’s cringe wig wasn’t that deep, and that Gina could have ignored it. Perhaps — but should she have?