Bustle's "Without This Woman" is a series of essays honoring the women who change — and challenge — us every day. Below, Amelia Hamlin reflects on how her mother, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Rinna, taught her to tune out the haters.
When I was younger, I hated having my mom as a mom. I hated my family in general for having different jobs than my friends’ parents. I remember there were times when the paparazzi was following my parents and I'd be like, "Why are there men with cameras?" I was so freaked out and all I wanted was to be in one of my friends' normal families. But now I realize that's not what I want at all. I have such exciting, out there, crazy, weird, different, quirky parents — and there's never a dull moment. I wouldn't trade them for the world.
I always knew my mom was kind of out there — she was the weird mom that would walk around in her underwear when my friends were over — but now that she’s on The Real Housewives, she’s Lisa Rinna on crack. She's created this persona that has been locked away her whole life. She's very unapologetically herself, which is also a huge lesson that she's taught me. Her differences are what make her a fan favorite on the show, so it's cool to see that.
I got to learn from her mistakes when it came to reading comments or listening to anyone that has anything negative to say.
Being on the show has also changed her attitude towards social media. I always saw her struggling with Twitter. It was a thing in the family to be like, “Mom, get off your phone!” She was like, “I'm reading this comment, I'm reading that comment," until she realized how unhealthy that was. I would say a few years into Housewives, she finally started to realize, "Okay, let's simmer down. I don't need to know what other people think about me." My dad played a big role in that; they’re best friends. His motto was just like, "What other people think about you is none of your business."
I got to learn from her mistakes when it came to reading comments or listening to anyone that has anything negative to say. At the end of the day, they’re just people talking to a screen, so how much significance does that really have?
Now, if I ever decide to read my comments, I hide my phone because I feel so guilty. I’ll hide my phone from my mom, my boyfriend, my sister, everyone. I'm like, "What am I doing? I know that this isn't right or what I should be doing." And if I see a mean comment that gets me down, I just remind myself, "Okay, what other people think about you is none of your business.” You know that term haters are motivators? I feel true haters do come with motivators and you have to remind yourself of that constantly.
But I'm also her baby, and right now we're having a little bit of a divide on that.
My mom and I are really open with each other. When I was younger, I was scared to share things with her. Now I'm an open book. She literally knows more about my life than my sister does. But I'm also her baby, and right now we're having a little bit of a divide on that. It’s hard as a mom to let your kid go and grow up. I can only imagine how that must feel for her. But at the same time, I've got to spread my wings and fly, and she doesn't really want that. Deep down she does, but she also just wants to protect me as much as she can. Still, she's coming to the realization that she can't really protect me anymore.
She worries about me because as she knows first hand, it's not always easy stepping into the spotlight. (Especially when you have judgment from other people.) But my mom has truly taught me how to keep my head up and just keep going — no matter the haters.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. As told to Samantha Leach.