Q&A: Real Housewife of Toronto Roxy Earle on broken friendships, fat-shaming and the secrets of the show
Every week, we interview one of the Real Housewives of Toronto about the latest episode and life after the show. This week, the young, vivacious Roxy Earle
How did you become one of Toronto’s first Housewives?
The casting directors look for women who fit their criteria for what it takes to be a Housewife. I was recommended by various women in the city, so they found me and I said yes. It was quite a long process, between the time that they asked me and when the show got greenlit, because it had to go through the ranks of Bravo, and everyone has to support the cast that gets chosen.
Take us through an average day in the life of Roxy.
My husband, Raghu, and I wake up in the morning and take my two stepsons to school. Then I work out with my trainer at the Rosedale Club. When I get home, I take my dog, Lola, out. I have been working on a brand called Luxurious Roxy, so I am spending time working on that. And there’s some pampering. We usually go out for dinner as a family. I’m out in Yorkville a lot. It’s very different now that I’m a Housewife.
Do you mean you get recognized a lot?
Yeah. I live right in the heart of Yorkville, so every time I leave the house with Lola, people stop me, no matter what. It’s really exciting for them.
The deterioration of your friendship with Kara Alloway has been one of the main plot lines this season. What was your relationship like before you started filming?
We had known each other a few years from the charity world and seeing each other at events. When we both found out we were going to be on Housewives, our friendship grew, but then it quickly fell apart.
Did she really know it was your birthday on the night of her Muskoka dinner party?
Yeah, she really did. She sent me an email—I wish it were shown on the show—that said, “I’m no longer going to be hosting your birthday party. I will be throwing an alternate event on the night of your birthday. I hope you’re fine celebrating your birthday some other day.” I’d never ask anyone to throw a birthday party for me, but for her to so blatantly disregard it was very disrespectful.
You had an awkward moment on the show this week. When you were at Kara’s shopping party, all of the dresses that designer Mikael D brought were in sample sizes, and you couldn’t try any on. What was it like to re-watch that scene?
It was very emotional for me because it’s something I have experienced my whole life. I went to the pop-up shopping event because Kara said there would be things that would fit me. I love the designer and I wanted to support a good cause, and then I got there and I was humiliated. It’s size-ism, discrimination based on the way someone looks. It’s the world telling me, “You might love fashion, but fashion doesn’t always love you back.” The morning after the show aired, I reached out to the people that follow me on social media and asked them to share their stories with the hashtag #MySizeRox. We got thousands and thousands of responses. There is a community of women that watch this show that could really, really relate. And it was hard for all of us.
Your Instagram account has been getting a lot of attention from fans who are excited to see you posing in photos wearing a bathing suit, curves and all. Tell us about that reaction.
All sorts of people have told me that, by watching me on the show and seeing me own my curves and rock my size, they now feel they can do that as well. The most powerful messages I receive are from women who have experienced body and self-esteem issues. They feel inspired and represented.
When you agreed to be on the show, knowing that you don’t have the figure of a conventional Housewife, did you expect that to be a big part of the feedback you would get?
I knew it would be a part of my message, because I understand the world I live in, but I never expected such a positive reaction. I was more prepared for negative attention and for people to fat-shame me. Instead, they’ve been refreshed and said beautiful things and started a conversation that’s been incredibly inspirational to me.
Where are you at with the rest of the Housewives cast now?
I talk to Joan and Ann pretty regularly, and Jana and Grego, too. We’re all friends. We are experiencing something together. It’s almost like a strange sorority.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.