Bravo TV, Psychology, public figures, Reality TV

#SouthernCharm: Bashing Ashley Isn’t My Thing

There’s something I’ve been wanting to address for a while about Southern Charm. Yes, Ashley Jacobs is the villain of the season and she’s done some godawful things that have been captured on camera, but when it comes to her dramatic weight loss, her past escapades, or the rumors about her being an escort, I’m not going overboard in the discussions.

I feel that Ashley has approached Kathryn Dennis all wrong and I feel indignant about her scathing commentary on Kathryn as a mom, but I’m not going to respond by dredging up every salaciously “slutty” (please note, I use quotation marks) photo from her college years, or mocking her boob transformation. I understand the notion of “people who put themselves on reality TV are fair game,” but I feel these tactics are not only somewhat ludicrous and overboard, but also…besides the point. I can drag Ashley for telling Kathryn she’s nothing but an egg donor, but I wouldn’t feel good about myself ragging on the appearance of her hair texture in response, or hopping on her Instagram page to suggest she eats a hamburger.

Some of the “Trashley” posts seem a bit too much to me, targeting someone who – in my opinion – appears to be suffering physically and psychologically from doing this stressful show (she wasn’t paid either). And look, I’ve certainly lambasted reality stars in the past (I didn’t even pause after one reality star called me a “pussy” three times in a phone call and felt anything was deserved after that) and I’m not telling YOU not to do it. You all have free will and are afforded free speech, but I personally am trying to keep my commentary about Ashley linked to what we see on television and will call her out for rantings about others when cameras aren’t rolling.

I feel terrible for Luzanne Otte, a private woman who got dragged into the Ashley and Thomas story and I wrote about that, but I tried not to go too much further in saying anything disparaging beyond what was exhibited. I also did write a post about how the cast suspects some random Twitter accounts belong to Ashley as that’s been a major topic of discussion on social media prompting the hashtag #HiAshley. I try to address things that are happening in real time, but without getting carried too far away.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, in a few episodes, Ashley will make the offhanded remark to Shep Rose “Would you date me?” (Meaning: because things are rocky with TRav, are there hypothetical scenarios and options so she won’t have to leave the Charleston area.) This is not something that is said in earnest necessarily, but it’s a comment that is sure to lead to tons of Ashley bashing on social media. There’s no way this is an incorrect prediction. I can see that the stress is already taking a toll on this woman. Is she desperate? Perhaps. Misguided? Possibly. Evil? I’m not so sure.

I think Ashley may one day have the hindsight to say she behaved badly on television. I think that we see her clinging to this relationship with Thomas Ravenel for one reason of another. Whether it’s money or fame, as people have concluded, I sense she is incredibly stressed out. Her alarming weight loss signals to me that she’s trying to maintain control over a situation that she feels, frustratingly, she has little control of.

I can’t help feeling some sympathy as I rage-watch her on TV and sometimes want to slap her for what she’s said to KD. This is the reason why I won’t tweet out the gifs and caricatures mocking her, or resort to name calling on Twitter. Something about it doesn’t sit right with me intuitively, but as a reality TV anthropologist, I’ll snark and weigh in on what’s said on the show.

I’ll feel a lot better about writing this post if/when we see a reflective Ashley, one who looks upon this past season and her time with TRav and realizes where she went wrong, when she spoke out of turn, and who she hurt while trying to protect herself.

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24 thoughts on “#SouthernCharm: Bashing Ashley Isn’t My Thing

  1. Samantha says:

    That’s all well and good but the thing of utmost importance is what Ashley has said about the two innocent children involved who have become collateral damage while she basks in her 15 minutes of fame that aren’t going so great. She could stop it all by making her social media accounts private and issuing public and private apologies to the children’s mother. Until that happens, she’s fair game.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa says:

    Everyone has said bad things under stress. I get where your going with this. It made for good reality tv. Personally Thomas is not worth the stress. He is like the wind, blowing in every direction when someone guides him. It’s a sad situation .

    Like

  3. Donna says:

    I see she retweeted your article with a thank you but I don’t think she actually read it because I don’t think she would have necessarily thanked you for it. I just wish she would enlighten us on what’s really going on. I think the general public would be a lot more supporting of her if she did

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  4. Carie Forlastro says:

    I do agree with people’s struggles and apparently it does seem that Ashley is going through some pretty stressful situations, however she doesn’t appear genuine and it all is self inflicted. Being paid to be on the show or not being paid shouldn’t even be brought up because as Ashley herself has said recently in quotes while episodes were airing and she was able to relive her behavior, see her behavior and acknowledge her behavior. I believe she said….all publicity is good publicity! People should not be torn down repeatedly yes but people should also learn from their own behaviors. This does not seem to be the case. Some people believe things will play out a certain way and sometimes they don’t think things all the way through to truly ask themselves what outcome they are trying to achieve. Also, what will I benefit from this, if all back fires. Some people just go full speed ahead with their eye on the prize plowing through anyone that comes in their way. To me I think Ashley thought she was the no. 1 and she would rule the roost. We all have to remember this is a couple who were only together a couple of months and this woman is in full marriage discussions, making demands and barking orders all over the place while being extremely disrespectful. Take being on TV out of the equation, they are a few months in and she is living the life, being courted like a princess and she is making that extremely clear for all of the world to see. You cannot blame that on editing. She was jealous and if they weren’t on TV and were in the same situation she would be feeling the exact same jealousy and react the very same way. Thomas gave her a reason to be jealous and that wasn’t Kathryns’s fault, Kathryn was doing the right thing all along (I know you agree with all of this) and Ashley blew her kid. She would still be a woman like a lot of woman going through this stress losing weight. Unfortunately she made a decision to go on a show and put herself out there and now there is this thing called social media and people are just mean but Ashley was one of those people and I think still is because she too continued after the fact. She is now getting her publicity and she said it…its better than none. She loves the expensive gifts and the relationship hasn’t been going on long enough for her to have ties that she cant cut off. She can pick up and go and focus on her sanity, get away from all of the scrutiny and take care of her health. Its really an easy fix. She’s a beautiful girl but I think there are a few more issues there that go a little deeper. We all have issues and everyone in this world can use a little work. Noone is perfect, however you cannot conduct yourself in a way and then go into the depression talks and inspirational quotes and bring on it’s all too much and I want even paid etc. This is an easy fix but Ashley has to fix it. The saddest thing is, there are children involved and it was very sad that Kathryn was young, mixed up and going through something so bad that it caused her to lose her kids Now she is so put together, classy, gorgeous and you can only rave about her but Ashley was behaving the way Kathryn used to act when she was young. Insecure and mixed up. It’s not good for the kids and it’s very toxic and that is what the most important topic should be. So kudos to Kathryn for keeping it about those babies and I hope Ashley takes a page out of Kathryn’s book and gets some help. The only person you can hold accountable is yourself and if you don’t, well then you just aren’t ready and that is when you find out if there really is anything genuine I’m there or was it all superficial.

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  5. Carrie says:

    That was beautifally and eloquently written. And I agree 100%. She has displayed some rotten behavior but that doesn’t mean she’s rotten from head to toe. At some point in our lives we have all had some cringe worthy behavior. She’s just been misfortuneate enough to have hers accessible for whole country to see.

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  6. Brenda Dodd says:

    You are spot on in my opinion!!
    I love everything everything in this article you are so right, I love it! thank you!everyone needs to read this.i could rant over Ashleys behaviour,I think what she’s said to KD is quite horrid, but she needs help

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jill says:

    Thank you for addressing the important factors in this case! As you mentioned, it is evident this young woman is struggling both physically and emotionally and this is apparent in her words and appearance. As someone who struggled with a severe eating disorder, I know the toll it takes when a person fails to properly nourish their body, particularly the burden placed on their emotional well being. She needs to free herself from this volatile situation and immediately seek medical and psychological assistance in order to repair the damage and ongoing counselling to keep herself in check. As well, I think she should move closer to her family and friends where she can access their love and support. Hopefully, she will gain usable knowledge from this experience and moving forward she finds the peace and happiness she deserves.

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  8. Tessa says:

    Agreed! It’s really all too much and I think she simply over prepared herself – when she could have left some feelings and thoughts at home. .. not realizing Katherine has pretty much already been put – in a term I hate “in her place” she has already served her sentence. Metaphorically and Literally…
    She could have easily won audiences, by not feeling so threatened . I also think they push these actors to do an extended version of what might kind of be what they’re feeling
    I adore Ashley… I know she has tried what she thought was the best, given the circumstances she’s a fun spirited girl … who comes from a place of protecting herself.. and not settling..
    She has always worked for a living / went through nursing school/ And honestly is the last of the girls on that show who is getting a free ride, considering the constant comments how Thomas never bought Katherine anything …Katherine was dressed to the nine’s constantly I’m pretty sure Thomas was responsible for dropping a big chunk of money in her account every month…. Katherine had never worked in the past -there was no way she could pay for rent for all the clothes she wore, before she was sponsored by a bunch of whoever’s in the television industry, not that I’m here to bash Katherine but it’s pretty funny how all of these girls and guys are why riding the white horse at others expenses, but they seem to want to point out
    Any gift bestowed upon Ashley
    And by the way Ashley is really funny and witty, maybe because I grew up with girls on the West Coast similar humor this position, I favor her but it is what it is, I’ve always liked Ashley and I have gotten a kick out of Thomas

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  9. Ruby says:

    I agree.. She got tired of them attacking her so she said the first thing that came out of her mouth.. We all have done that at one time.

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  10. Karen says:

    Yeah except she’s evil and a rabid trump supporter. There’s a compassion and a humaness missing from her that i don’t think can be learned or taught. Clearly she suffered some kind of trauma in her life to make her this way. However she is reprehensible and should be held responsible for all the abbhorrant things she has said

    Like

  11. Jamie says:

    Haha go look at her intsagram where she had a “gang of women” their words not mine who they attack if they say anything not positive. They openly admit that they will make your life hell until you say “sorry” to her they threaten to contact peoples employer and so much more. Ashley has liked comment where they just eviserate people yep no second chances here

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  12. Susan Legge says:

    Yep this is a fair article. As a mature woman who is not a fan of Ashley, I too don’t find it appropriate to comment negatively about her on any social media. I follow her because I am nosey not to bash her. It’s not my place to paint her in a negative light, she seems to have that covered. Let’s all hope that she grows from this experience as we have seen KD mature. I relate KD’s erratic behavior in her younger years and alcohol abuse to Ashley’s apparent weight loss. Both women have struggled to maintain control through dangerous and self destructive paths in dealing with TRav. One more thing they have in common. #notafraidtoleavemyname

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Belle says:

    I feel the same. I love to comment on the cringy snacks Ashley keeps feeding us (usually in text with real life friends) but that’s where it ends. I’ve read some crazy allegations in her IG comments – who knows if they’re true or not – and the level of devotion [obsession] some fans have is beyond. Wayyy beyond. Especially in light of Ashley’s alarming physical changes. Bullying someone who already appears tortured is at least as cruel as the things Ashley has said to Kathryn so that makes the self righteous fans no better than her. From what I’ve seen on the show, I don’t care for Ashley because I’ve always loved Kathryn. I do believe Ashley will regret her actions on the show one day when she’s a mom but we all make mistakes. Unfortunately for Ashley, hers were in front of a few million people.

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  14. Caeri Paige says:

    I know from experience just how terrified she is. I had somewhat of the same journey when I left SC to move to Houma Louisiana, of which the email to BRAVO was commissioned from, about T-rav). All I knew was the man that had captured my heart and engaged me with a black bread tie from the kitchen counter during Hurricane Isaac. I had to learn a different culture, multiples, in a very short period of time. But, as a reach to Ashley, keep your heart, mind, body and soul sanctified. Pray for the blessed, favored man God is preparing his bride for. I promise, that wave of warmth and comfort just washed over you. Enjoy the journey and memorialize your cleansed spirit in the Atlantic. It’s not your forever now. But will be in just the nick of time. That’s a dignified guarantee.

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  15. JaneS says:

    Totally agree with you. I think Ashley is stressed out and it’s understandable. I can only imagine that dating TRav isn’t “easy” throw in a tv crew and weekly broadcast of snapshots of your relationship, it’s a very difficult situation. I’m repeatedly astounded that the general public hold these individuals to such a high standard with total and complete lack of empathy and understanding. It saddens me

    Like

  16. Sue says:

    Very well said, I agree Ashley is her own worst enemy, doesn’t need gifs and name calling, ages hurt herself more than others could. It’s a pity she cannot humble herself, that would be liberating and give her emotional stability the balist is so desperately needs right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Deborah Allen says:

    Viewers get emotionally invested without remembering the shows were usually filmed months earlier so we do not know what, if anything, has changed. Arguments on social networks add to the confusion. People need to spend less time judging on snippets of this and that.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I agree with you ! At first I was bashing her cause she made me so mad. The way she treated Kathryn made me sick, but I’m not longer going to and I feel like ppl should just stop with the bullying, look if u want to post your opinion okay but there is no need to bash her weight or looks or any of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Christina Pi says:

    Everyone should read this article!! I totally feel 100% the same way! I posted basically the same thing on Twitter about all the Trashley comments and I got such hate from it. People tweeting me about how trashy she is. It’s super hateful and these people act like they know her personally. I just feel so bad for her. Yes she handled things wrong but it’s so easy for viewers to hate her to easily. I appreciated this read!

    Liked by 1 person

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