Indeed, Ms. Allison’s form of extreme openness has long manifested itself in both her outfits (each Time Out New York column came with a glam photoshoot) and in an ethos of sharing when it came to her personal life. One relationship, with Vimeo co-founder Jakob Lodwick, got its own website; the McCain moment was duly chronicled across social media. But Ms. Allison claims that her old brushes with fame saw her acting out a part. “I was still attempting to make a good impression. If you do that you will be devastated by their reactions. “
“I have such mixed feelings about it,” she said of the show. “It was a painful process for me… I feel more free now, though, because it’s like, ‘You’re going to see this shit anyway!’ So that is freeing.”
While Ms. Allison admits she felt somewhat “out of control” when dealing with Gawker, she was able to manage her image to an extent, via her blog. She chose what was out there. Bravo’s editors, who have ended the marriages of many a Real Housewife, are less forgiving.
Ms. Allison certainly seems aware of the pitfalls of ceding control, and also believes this time, this run at fame, will be different. “To be famous for no reason other than your ego is a fool’s game. If you want it for that reason, you will be miserable. It’s not of value in and of itself. It’s only of value if you do something like that. And I’m not saying ‘Go work for Charity Water!’ I hate fakeness. Maybe Charity Water is your thing. No bashing. It’s not mine. My thing is young women like me who had no self esteem.”
Ms. Rambin, Ms. Allison’s former NonSociety business partner, said that on a recent chance encounter in Austin at South by Southwest, she warned Ms. Allison about reality television. (Ms. Rambin appeared on the short-lived One Ocean View in 2006.) “Emotionally, it’s one of the worst things you can do. That’s what makes it really entertaining!”
PC Peterson, the young villain of Bravo’s departed reality series NYC Prep, told The Observer: “You have no control of the editing process. Any conversation taken out of context sounds ridiculous. You’re there to make yourself look bad. Regardless of what you attempt to do, play with the script, you won’t be able to make your own way.”
Ms. Allison, with her newly found openness and her cause of showing women how to be really, truly honest with themselves, doesn’t seem worried. Asked to compare herself to reality stars of past vintage, Ms. Allison conflated fiction with reality: “People bring up [Real Housewives of New York star] Bethenny [Frankel] for three reasons. She tends to be quite frank, she tends to be intelligent and funny, and an entrepreneur. Honestly I don’t think I’m any of them. I’m much more spiritual, and much raunchier, and I’m a total geek. I love tech guys. I just want to roll around in Silicon Valley. I’m some bizarre combination. It’s not reality television I relate to but a combination of Zooey Deschanel on New Girl combined with Lena Dunham.”
Doubling down on her return to the spotlight, she will be writing about each episode of Miss Advised as it airs, for Elle.com.
“I thought of it myself!” she enthused.