Meghan King Edmonds & 6 Other Young 'Real Housewives' Who Proved Age Is Nothing But A Number In Reality TV Land

Most of the Real Housewives look young — good genes, Restylane injections, and a privileged life will do that to you. But the majority of the show's cast are in their 40s and 50s, which makes sense considering how the series tends to favor women who have both married well and have had interesting life experiences. When you have someone like Tamra Judge (47) documenting her brutal custody battle and Teresa Giudice (43, but with the soul of a 11-year-old) flipping tables and landing herself in prison, it's difficult to imagine how a younger person who, presumably, carries less baggage is going to fit in with the other Real Housewives ladies.

When I look at someone like Real Housewives of Miami's Joanna Krupa, I think, but of course. Producers put the 36-year-old model on the show to drive Lisa Hochstein (who is also really young but carries herself like she's 50) crazy. Other times, you meet someone like RHOC's Meghan King Edmonds (30), who seems like a square peg at first, but turns out to be a valuable cast member with a heart of gold and a greater sense of responsibility and family loyalty than some women who are twice her age.

The presence of a younger Housewife every now and then can either shake things up in a positive way or drive the other women positively mad. Here are seven young Housewives whose youth has either affected their story on the show in some way or surprised viewers.

1. Meghan King Edmonds

A lot of people assumed the tall, 30-year-old blonde was little but a trophy wife for baseball player Jim Edmonds, who is 15 years her senior. Though she isn't Vicki Gunvalson's favorite person in the world, even she and the other Housewives have to admit that Meghan is a caring stepmother to Jim's four children, has stepped up to support them even more after the death of Jim's ex LeAnn Edmonds Horton, and that she works for her money — she's the sales director at Sweat Cosmetics.

2. Joanna Krupa

Perhaps because of her youth and beauty, Joanna Krupa gained a reputation as the Housewife who sleeps around, even though there was no substantial evidence proving this was true — and how does one measure such a thing, anyway? For the most part, Joanna's age worked against her because the others, particularly Brandi Glanville (who wasn't even on the same show) had a field day tearing her apart over rumors that she slept with Yolanda Foster's ex Mohamed Hadid while they were still married. Watching Joanna, you realize that she could use a few more birthdays to learn the art of remaining calm, cool, and collected in the face of ongoing drama.

3. Lydia McLaughlin

The great thing about being a 34-year-old retired member of the Real Housewives of Orange County cast is that you're so young, you can pretty much chalk up the experience to temporary insanity. Lydia McLaughlin, who is now an author and fashion blogger, told Christian Post she felt a spiritual calling to do the show and help foster peace among the women (good luck with that), but that she also knew God wanted her off the show after just one season. Lydia's youthful energy and positivity was a breath of fresh air for the women and her absence is felt.

4. Melissa Gorga

At 36, Melissa Gorga's main purpose on The Real Housewives of New Jersey seems to be reminding Teresa Giudice that her own life is so much less complicated, charmed, and carefree. Melissa is so unburdened that she even finds time to launch a singing career, because designing jewelry and writing a book isn't enough. She's the kind of woman you desperately want to see age, in the hopes that it will help her calm the hell down and force her to focus on one damn thing.

5. Lisa Hochstein

The 32-year-old Miami Housewife appeared in Playboy, is married to a plastic surgeon, and allowed viewers to watch her public struggle to get pregnant (she and her husband, Lenny, eventually had a gorgeous baby boy via surrogate). Her only sin was allowing Joanna Krupa to get under her skin with her claims that she was on drugs and that she drank too much to be able to become pregnant. (For the record, Lisa responded to Joanna's claims telling Reality Tea, "What a joke!") As far as her youth is concerned, it appeared to be of no consequence on the show — Lisa was an old soul.

6. Kim Zolciak

The former Real Housewives of Atlanta star is 37. She looks young, but something about her always made me think she was at least a decade older. For someone who isn't even 40 yet, there were so many wigs, so many feuds with NeNe Leakes and even her own parents, so much drama. But you also have to hand it to Kim, she is a doting mom to six children and keeps trying to better her own situation. You can't expect much more from any person of any age.

7. Gretchen Rossi

Rossi, 36, should serve as a cautionary tale for young women everywhere: the wrong man can bring you down big-time, so choose wisely. Like Kim Zolciak, Gretchen has always seemed older, and the fact that she was engaged to Jeff Beitzel, who died of leukemia, has a lot to do with it. But Gretchen lost a lot of her fans when she proposed to Slade and appeared to be too wrapped up in him to see the reality of her situation. Because her storyline failed to evolve — which isn't something you'd expect from a younger Housewife — Rossi was reportedly fired from the Real Housewives of Orange County .

Moral of the story: youth can sometimes work against you as a Real Housewife. If you're considering contacting Bravo and asking producers to put you on the show, you might want to wait until you've reached your Lisa Vanderpump peak — who, at 54, runs rings around all the girls.

Image: Meghankedmonds/Instagram