Sunday, April 29, 2012

Are Teresa Giudice's Recent Actions PR Stunts or the Real Deal?

Teresa Giudice recently had a feature in In Touch Weekly in which she apologized for her actions on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. While some people think her apology is the real deal, others aren't as convinced. This blogger's opinion? Teresa's being's just really hard for her to admit that she's got some problems.

According to Reality Tea's recap of the news article, Teresa Giudice regrets her actions on RHONJ and wants to make things right with her cast members. She seems specifically focused on making things right with her family. I fully respect this and wish her the best.

The problem I have is that in the same article, she's quick to defend herself. In response to her brother Joe calling her fake, she says that he said that out of pressure and he doesn't really mean it. My question is, how is that relevant? That's a defense statement, not one of apology. There's nothing wrong with the fact that Joe thought she was fake. She doesn't have to sweep that under the rug. This is about moving forward, not changing the past.

Additionally, Teresa expressed her apologies via a public venue. This should be done in private, and once complete, the media would catch on because Teresa would be seen in public with Joe Gorga, Melissa Gorga, Jacqueline Laurita, etc.

Thirdly, I don't love that Teresa is crediting The Celebrity Apprentice for her transformation because she met real people with real problems. I don't believe this for a second, based on Teresa's performance on the Donald Trump-focused reality show. We saw in episode one that Teresa was mellowed out, quieter, and less quick-witted than usual. To me, it looks like she's highly medicated on antidepressants, which cut down her over-the-top personality, and while doing so, make her appear a bit dumber and less creative. (Antidepressants can do that, you know!)

Okay, so I just spend some time saying why Teresa did things wrong, yet I started the blog post saying I believe that she's sincere. What gives?

Let's take a trip back to psychology class and review the five stages of accepting death (and just about anything else we don't want to take in) and apply them to Teresa's actions.

Denial: Teresa spent the longest time denying Joe Giudice's infidelity, her family's money problems and just about everything else. She put on a happy face and moved on as if everything was perfect. Think back to the happy family photos, "everything's great!" statements and all of that other stuff that we all knew was BS.

Anger: This is the point where she begins to freak out and get mad at people. This is evident from the last season of RHONJ. She lashed out on people and said the backhanded stuff in her cookbook. She was angry. She was lashing out. She was misdirecting her anger.

Bargaining: This one's a bit harder to explain, but she did have moments where she tried to make things right, although it didn't work out. If any readers have good examples for this, please leave a comment on this post.

Depression: Judging from the fact that Teresa's clearly on a high dose of antidepressants on The Celebrity Apprentice, I'd say she reached the point where her anger turned to depression and she realized that she can't go on as she has been. I don't doubt for a second that The Celebrity Apprentice wasn't meant to be a PR stunt to improve her image, but I do think it gave her the time she needed to step away from her normal life, and although depressed, move towards healing. Why? Well, she was out of the unhealthy, dramatic environment of RHONJ filming and got to see life from another angle.

Acceptance: I don't think Celebrity Apprentice led to Teresa's acceptance of her personal situations and the subsequent apologies, but I do think it gave her the time she needed to deal with her life situation. Stepping outside of her life, that was previously completely focused on topics that were covered on RHONJ, gave her a moment to realize that things may be bad now, but they can get better...if she's willing to face the issues, work through them and issue apologies.

Okay, so, now Teresa's ready to admit that she was wrong and apologize, which is great. The problem is that she did it in a public forum. I know why she did, though...or at least I have a theory. Admitting she's wrong is nearly impossible for Teresa. And while going about it in such a huge way seems backwards for us average people, it's probably much easier for Teresa to handle things like this in the media than it is for her to just pick up a phone and make an apology. Now that she's opened the door to the public, her family members and former friends knew what was coming, so Teresa probably felt like she had somewhat of a security blanket. Plus, it's self preservation. If people don't forgive Teresa, she can say that she did apologize, and if people don't accept it, it reflects on them as well, not just her.

In closing, do I think Teresa is sorry? Absolutely. She knows that she lashed out and used bullying as a tactic to avoid her own problems. But with a husband accused of cheating and illegal activity, money problems and all of her secrets coming to the surface, Teresa finally realized that she needs to be somewhat transparent and admit the following: Okay, I get it. I was hiding stuff and I was wrong. I'm sorry.

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