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Portrait of a Housewife – Kim Richards

Posted by LynnNChicago on February 11, 2011


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Lynn N Chicago Portrait of a Housewife – Kim Richards

Mother of four ranging in age from 24 to 15, Kim Richards is the child star we all loved as kids. I always thought she had the most amazing voice, that raspy interesting voice that sounds like you need to clear your throat, Kim made it sound amazing.

From commercials to TV shows and movies, Kim was kept busy throughout her childhood working as an actress. While her sister Kyle did some acting as well, she never reached the same level of stardom that Kim reached. Kim is the perfect subject for an episode of “Where Are They Now” but alas, we found her, recruited by her sister Kyle, Kim has landed on a show that will ensure she never acts professionally again, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

There is no way to do a profile of Kim Richards without talking about her sister, Kyle Richards. Kyle was such a big part of the show and seems to have a strong influence on what Kim does and says. Kyle was responsible for many of the activities and events that Kim participated in and many of the real insights into Kim involved her sister Kyle.

From the beginning it seemed as though Kim didn’t want to be here, it seems as though she was encouraged maybe even, dare I say, “bullied” into being on the Real Housewives. Kim did not have a successful season. She had virtually no relationship with her fellow Housewives and she managed to make an enemy of Taylor Armstrong, a woman with no morals and a vicious nature. From the moment they first boarded the plane to San Francisco, Taylor took a dislike to Kim and failed to hide it. Taylor attempted to use the divide and conquer approach with the Richards sisters and Kyle allowed it to work as almost a double team on Kim.

Kyle said on several occasions that her sister Kim didn’t have her back yet the numerous times that Taylor attacked Kim, Kyle never had Kim’s back at all. While Kim told viewers that she refused to befriend Camille simply due to her feud with Kyle, Kyle not only befriended Kim’s nemesis Taylor, but Kyle took Taylor’s side against her sister.

Watching the episodes and seeing the way that Taylor treated Kim and attempted to manipulate Kyle should have sent both sisters running as far away from Taylor Armstrong as possible. Yet Kyle continued to remain at Taylor’s side even through the reunion, Kyle remained silent as Taylor attacked her sister over and over.

Kim’s shyness and her inability to relate to some of these other women immediately set off Taylor Armstrong and they butted heads from the day they met. It was difficult to watch Taylor attacking Kim as the majority of the time Kim failed to properly defend herself, her conflicts with Taylor were some of the more candid we’d see Kim all season. Most other times Kim seemed to check out of conversations, and even situations as if she wasn’t even there.

I think it’s safe to say that Kim Richards needs more confidence to be a Real Housewife. I think she is more of a private person than a Housewife is allowed to be on this show. Kim did not want to really let viewers into her life, whether it was because she was hiding a drinking problem or she simply felt uncomfortable with the whole process, it seemed evident from the beginning she didn’t want us invading her life.

Kim’s relationship with her sister was magnified and I’m sure we saw the worst of the worst as Kyle lost her patience with Kim on several occasions. But it wasn’t just when there was conflict that Kyle seemed to be very hard on her sister, Kyle was critical of Kim throughout the series.

Taylor’s birthday party was a good example of Kyle’s inappropriate comments, even before there was any arguing Kyle told viewers that her sister Kim was late again and it’s not her fault and she’s not her mommy. Is it just me or was that completely unnecessary? Did anyone blame Kyle for her sister’s absence? I suppose the producers could have been concerned since it was a season-end party and they wanted all of the Housewives in attendance but I highly doubt anyone blamed Kyle for Kim‘s tardiness.

Well before the season-end party Kyle had been making sarcastic comments and putting her sister down during almost every episode. The two sisters went grocery shopping and apparently even after shopping for years for her own family, Kim couldn’t seem to do that right. According to Kyle she chose the wrong type of butter, she pronounced “salsa” incorrectly and even put her purse in the cart the wrong way.

Even scenes shown between the sisters that should have been sweet and touching, Kyle managed to turn them into digs at Kim. Kyle spent an entire season explaining how she takes care of Kim and feels responsible for Kim.

Based on what we know about this family, and based on what Kim has revealed, she worked her entire childhood to support her family. Kim’s paychecks bought and paid for the family’s home, vehicles and kept them in a decedent lifestyle. From Kim’s perspective, she took care of her sister Kyle growing up and her income allowed Kyle to have the finer things in life.

The position that Kim is in now, it is clear that she is resentful that all of the money that she earned had been spent long before Kim was old enough to spend the money the way that she wanted to spend it. Child stars today are more protected as residual payments are arranged for today’s child actors. Laws put into place also ensure that parents are not allowed to spend all of their children’s earnings. Kim didn’t have the advantage of either of these protections.

It isn’t clear whether she continues to get any spousal support, child support or alimony. Kyle led us to believe that she and her husband are financially helping Kim each month to meet her responsibilities.

Are Kim’s issues a result of being a child actress and the way that she was raised? Kyle told viewers that at 13-years old she drove herself to the studio for her acting jobs. While both Kim and Kyle were careful not to say anything too negative about their mother, if what we know about Mama Richards is true, she certainly could have been a better mother. These girls seemed to be responsible for supporting the family yet didn’t get a whole lot of support from their mother. Kim definitely resents her sister for the freedom she had as a child. While Kim went to work every day working to support the family, Kyle enjoyed her friends and went to school like all of the other kids.

Kyle doesn’t seem to understand what her sister had been through and how resentful she feels about their childhood. Kim told us that she bought Kyle her first car, bought the family home and always “took care” of Kyle. As a child, Kyle wouldn’t have been involved or even care about the family finances, Kyle seems to think Kim had the better end of the deal because she became a bigger star through her acting while Kyle wasn’t nearly as successful.

Yet Kyle told viewers several times that her mother, before she died, asked Kyle to watch over Kim. Could that be a mother’s guilt knowing that she had put way too much responsibility on Kim’s shoulders at such a young age. Did Kyle’s mother know when she asked Kyle to look out for Kim that she hadn’t done a proper job of preparing Kim to live her life and nurture relationships and raise children? Simply based on what we’ve seen, Kim and Kyle’s mother certainly left a whole lot of damage behind when she passed away. She left two daughters who are incapable of seeing what the other has been through and how the other feels. Kyle resents Kim because she became a bigger star and because she now feels responsible for Kim. Kim resents Kyle because she feels that she worked her entire childhood while Kyle was able to enjoy school and time with friends, and every dime that she earned is gone.

As adults, Kyle tells us that she “takes care” of Kim, whether it is financially or emotionally it seems as though Kyle is paying one way or another for the financial support that Kim gave Kyle as children. Kyle tried to dispute the fact that Kim worked to support their family, Kyle told us at the reunion that her father was very successful and that he bought their family home, she added that the burden wasn’t totally on Kim’s shoulders because she worked as a child actress as well. Neither sister can see the other’s point of view or empathize with the other.

We’ll never really know everything that these two sisters have been through together but Kyle revealed herself to be a bit of a hard-ass during filming. I imagine that it is difficult for Kim to deal with her sister when she seems to be so unforgiving and harsh, we’ve seen Kyle holding a grudge with Camille Grammer, imagine how much history and how much baggage the sisters carry.

Kim wrote only three blogs during the airing of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she mentioned that she‘s not a “computer person” but her blogs were always supportive of her sister, knowing the way that the season ended, Kim continued to include her love for Kyle in every blog.

Rumors are running wild that Kim Richards will not be returning to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for a second season. I think it is the majority of her fans hope that Kim does return, she has gained a lot of support and has a lot of renewed fans as well as new fans. Many viewers feel for Kim and want her to be successful, as Kim announced that she was hoping for acting roles, many people hope the same for Kim.

I would love nothing more than to see Kim return for another season and stand up for herself, not allow her sister to treat her as a victim and not allow Taylor Armstrong to continue to bully her. If there is a bully anywhere in the Housewives franchise, it is Taylor Armstrong! The way that Taylor ripped into Kim at the reunion was completely uncalled for. Telling Kim she needed to learn some manners, get your story straight and wanting to bring up Kim’s “state of mind” not once but twice all while Kyle sat silently as her apparent “Friend” Taylor ripped apart her own sister.

I am sure that Kim is not perfect, I’m sure Kim has her faults and I do understand why Kyle gets frustrated. Regardless of what their mother said to Kyle before she died, Kyle has no right to throw that in Kim’s face on a regular basis.

Kim didn’t build much of a relationship with the other housewives although Adrienne did seem to take a liking to Kim and supported Kim when she could. Camille and Kim may have been friendly if Kim hadn’t agreed to keep her distance to honor her sister Kyle. Kim managed to insult Lisa at Taylor’s birthday party, even while immediately taking back her comment to Lisa, I doubt Lisa has much affection for Kim. Taylor Armstrong spent the season harassing Kim and hopefully Kim won’t put herself in the position to allow Taylor to continue her bullying.

I don’t view Kim as a victim, I believe that she is vulnerable and that Taylor took complete advantage of that. I believe that Kyle is a strong and over-bearing sister who has absolutely no patience with the type of person Kim has turned out to be. Kim is a gentle soul who doesn’t like conflict and adores her children. I think that Kyle would like Kim to be stronger and stand up for herself but just as no one will change Kyle, Kim cannot change who she is, Kyle is going to have to learn to love her sister just as she is.

We’ve only had a brief glimpse into Kim Richards life and I hope that we continue to be allowed into her life and that the show makes her a stronger person. I get the impression that Kim doesn’t spend a lot of time on the internet and possibly hasn’t seen all of the supportive comments on her blog, posts on other blogs and articles or supportive tweets that she receives. I hope that Kim takes Andy Cohen’s advice and clicks around Bravotv.com to see just how many people adore her!

As one of Bravo’s most popular housewives shows, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills just wouldn’t be the same without Kim Richards.

Until Next Time….

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10 Responses to “Portrait of a Housewife – Kim Richards”

  1. Bryan said

    Nicely said!!!!, I do hope she comes back , it might actually be a cathartic , in it’s own strange way, also I liked the idea of the two sisters there. I wish Kyle would get her head out of her twat when it comes to Lips McGee, I only wish Kim could be the one to pull her sister head out of said backside.

    If they did bring in someone new, and Kim stayed I would hope maybe it would be another actress around her age or someone who like kim left the limelight for awhile, and now back they could bond someone who could also tell off Lips and send her running back to the dust bowl, just my wishful thinking.

  2. Dy said

    I really enjoyed reading this well written piece.

    I would like to see Kim come back also,but would totally understand if she didn’t. Kim has to do what is right for her,and it seems to me just from what I saw at the Reunion, she is doing just that.

  3. carrot said

    This was lovely.

    I really do think Kim has many fans, not only from her acting career, but also from BHHW. It’s not just a sympathy thing, Kim’s character formed better as the season went on. I know at first I was worried at how fragile she was, and expected a suicide attempt or 4 when it came to her daughter leaving the house. However, after that I noticed a change and really felt a connection with her.

    Bottom line, if she feels like she wants to come back, she has my support 150%.

  4. Dalai Mama said

    It would be nice for us to see Kim come back, but I suspect it would not be as nice for Kim herself. For all her experience working in front of the camera, she does not seem to be the type of person who can use the reality venue to her advantage, which the other HW’s do with varying levels of success. The presence of cameras seem to make her more reticent and more vulnerable. Someone like Taylor, a person who seems fueled by an obssessive need to establish herself as rich, powerful, and popular, manipulates her camera time relentlessly to establish her disdain for Kim, to belittle and humiliate Kim, and to smugly and snidely dismantle her at every opportunity.
    I think Kim’s best bet at getting Taylor and Kyle’s stilleto shoeprints off her back is to withdraw to private life. She and Kyle will continue to work on their stuff because they’re sisters. I’m betting dollars to doughnuts that if Kim is no longer a principal on the show, she will drop off Taylor’s radar and be allowed to live in peace. Taylor will go looking for a new person to assign the position of ‘bottom of the pecking order’. I suspect that Taylor will completely lose interest in putting Kim in her lowly place if she does not have the chance to do so on TeeVee, so that the whole world can marvel at her marvelous life, her bony frame, her bags of money, her selfless devotion to charity, and her general superiority in every regard. Taylor will self-destruct sooner or later, festooning all of 90210 with ribbons of silicon, filler and weave.

  5. Jelly...Peanut butter and Jelly....Jelly bean...whatever! said

    Very Well written. And Thank you.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly that Kim is not a victim.
    She appears to be a person who is easily thrown off balance by conflict.
    I would imagine that her childhood consisted of being told what to say, when to say it and where to stand.
    So learning the art of the argument probably was not part of her individuation.

    She seems like such a genuine and loving lady, and I hope the best for her. I would love to see her
    again, whether she chooses the Housewife gig( as a force “to be reckoned with”) or another acting position of her own choice.

    I hope she can appreciate the fan base she has established and use it to her advantage!!

  6. Thanks to all of you for your kind words. 🙂 and to @Imajustsaying for posting it, I love your site! xoxo

  7. Thanks for stopping by Lynn!! This really was a great post and can’t wait to see your take on Kyle!

  8. Bryan said

    It was a really good post, I don’t want to see “Prudence” fade back into the shadows like she has been all this time. I’m with Lynn and hope she will come back , but really be ready to come back.

  9. Dani said

    I think Kim is a product of her environment as we all are to some extent. I am not saying she is a victim but certainly she appears vulnerable at this stage in her life. Having said that, I don’t mean it in a negative light. I think she could do some character acting and be quite successful. She still has many fans out there. I want her to come back only if she really has her heart in it. Motherhood has obviously been very important part of her life. Now that she is nearing or is in empty nest syndrome, she will have more time to focus on her own needs.

    I hope her and Kyle resolve their differences and their relationship grows from their struggles instead of imploding. They both need each other for different reasons.

    Agree w/all the comments. People are giving good insight and it is a nicely written article too.

    Dalai M. – I too think Taylor will find another person to zone in on. She is already back peddling regaring Kim. Taylor is quoted as saying that she would have not been so hard on Kim if she was aware of her struggles. Not sure if she really meant that or was just trying to calm the backlash she has been getting. It may have most likely been a very self-serving comment.

  10. Fleur said

    Lynn, great article. Beautifully stated and the posts by the Glitteratti were terrific and insightful as always. I like Kim Richards and I really hope she comes back to the show. She seems the most real to me. I wish Adrienne Maloof would step in for Kim where Kyle has failed her. AM would make a powerful ally on the show and in real life. I think that she could give Kim some courage and self esteem plus the other Housewitches won’t mess with her.

    Thanks to IJS for sharing this one!

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