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Welcome to 2011. We live in a weird world now. Teenagers can pay people to pen entire songs and film music videos for them. Whether or not they have talent to acquire fame and your hard-earned money is officially irrelevant. There have always been people famous for things that shouldn’t make someone famous. But because “The Real Housewives” is a successful reality TV franchise on Bravo, a lot of people are now familiar with ladies who are on TV because they are wealthy, wear jewel tones and jewels, and incite fights over, like, tablescapes. That’s just how it is: If you are loud enough and can cause enough fights (or, in reality television’s term of choice, “drama”), you, too, can become a “Bravolebrity,” or a maniacally self-important person whose own maniacal self-importance can translate into good ratings and the chance to turn the clock back on feminism by about 30 years.
If you’re Simon Van Kempen, you’re a hotelier turned social media guy, whose wife Alex is on the show “The Real Housewives of New York City”/ Brooklyn. You don’t mind wearing sequined rainbow shrugs or striped pants.
Also, If you’re Simon Van Kampen, you take a cue from your wife’s castmate, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, who recorded a “song” in which she “sang” about having class, which is a theme that runs through every “Housewives” franchise. The Countess took it seriously, thinking she was a real singer, which is unfortunate, not just because it perpetuates terrible things for terrible people (and further curbs our chance to discover musicians with actual talent), but because it made Simon think that he, too, could — and should — record a song.
That song is now a reality. It’s called “I Am Real,” and in it, Simon opines about “being a celebrity,” name-checks Twitter and uses catchphrases that haven’t even aired on the show yet do appear on his T-shirt. Simon sings, “I am real, I ain’t gonna change/I am real, I am who I am, and that’s the deal.” OK, we get it, dude. You’re doing you. Cool. However, exactly who is trying to “change” you? Why do you defending your authenticity? That’s something that Destiny’s Child did, like, 11 years ago. You don’t need to do that. Give your stripy pants back to Jamiroquai, and maybe… stop making songs.