"I'd rather be a praying hypocrite than a non-praying socialite," says Alexis Bellino, newest cast member of Bravo's Real Housewives of Orange County reality TV juggernaut. Before she was quite so blond or buxom, Bellino hailed from Hannibal, where women are "plain," according to Bellino, because they don't wear a lot of makeup and "wear jeans and T-shirts." (Um, damn straight?) There are worse people in the world. There are worse people in Missouri. But few of them keep us staring like Bellino, who's morphed into the opposite of what eastern Missouri is all about. Where our region is down-to-earth and ready — if all too eager — to turn the lens inward and examine its flaws, Bellino is flighty, self-righteous and plastic. Claiming loyalty to God first, husband second and children third, she doles out marriage rules cribbed from chauvinistic '50s man-catching manuals, and for all her piety, she has no problem hurling judgment at castmates. She's baked in fake, while a Show-Me State girl should know something about being real.
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