Real Housewives of Orange County: The parallels between Tamra Judge and Braunwyn Windham-Burke

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY -- Episode 1402 -- Pictured: (l-r) Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Tamra Judge -- (Photo by: Phillip Faraone/Bravo)
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY -- Episode 1402 -- Pictured: (l-r) Braunwyn Windham-Burke, Tamra Judge -- (Photo by: Phillip Faraone/Bravo) /

The Real Housewives of Orange County stars, Tamra Judge and Braunwyn Windham-Burke, don’t look like they have much in common on the surface, but they do.

There are definitely some parallels between Real Housewives of Orange County stars Tamra Judge and Braunwyn Windham-Burke that Tamra probably won’t like (and definitely won’t recognize).

Braunwyn has been on the show for a few episodes now, but her mom, Dr. Deb Windham, has been heavily featured.  Braunwyn spoke about how she had some stable and nurturing people in her life, ones that were not her mom.

Tamra and her strained relationship with her children have always been part of her storyline.  “There’s definitely some guilt about raising Ryan at the age of 18.  He didn’t have a lot of structure,”  Tamra says.  We’ve seen Tamra cry that her daughter, Sidney Barnes, won’t speak to her and chose her father over her mother.  We’ve seen Tamra time and time again, posting photos of her daughter on social media and discussing her personal life on the show – which is part of why her daughter won’t speak with her anyway.  Unfortunately for Tamra, her children found stable people to be in their lives that were not her.

Braunwyn has been open about how she was raised in an unconventional way.  She’s told us how she spent a lot of time in bars when she was a child, a child young enough to be given a bottle by a bartender.  She’s talked about how her mom wanted to be a rockstar and that took precedence over being a mom. We’ve heard that Deb likes to go to Burning Man and do who knows what.

In the most recent episode, Braunwyn confronts Dr. Deb about allowing someone around the kids that Braunwyn does not approve of.  Instead of apologizing or trying to fix her mistake, Deb just stares at the ground in silence. Deb simply dropped Braunwyn’s children off (while she was babysitting them) at someone else’s house without a care in the world. She had something better to do! While Braunwyn is confronting her mom about this complete lack of responsibility, Deb is focusing on a bee nearby pollinating a flower. She stands in silence while her giant EGO necklace sparkles in the sun.

Here’s where the parallels are: Deb is just like Tamra.  Tamra takes no responsibility for the impact her behavior has had on her children.  She takes no responsibility for anything and has always put herself first. Tamra’s oldest son, Ryan, is completely out of control and an incredibly angry, hateful man.  Tamra’s daughter, Sidney, chose at a young age to cut herself off from her mom in order to protect herself.

Dr. Deb is just a full-grown Tamra. Braunwyn is just a full-grown Sidney or Ryan.  Deb was never looking out of the well-being of her children, she was simply fulfilling her rock star fantasy life because that’s what she wanted to do.  It’s interesting that production has given so much air time to both Deb and Ryan this season – like they wanted us to figure this out for ourselves.  When Tamra said to Deb, “I feel like I know you,” well, that’s because she is you – just all grown up.

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Braunwyn is the product of her mom’s selfish actions and shows us what can happen when your mom is only concerned with themselves. There’s nothing wrong with Braunwyn, she’s just sad her mom won’t ever grow up. She’s found ways to protect herself from her mom’s behavior – just like she’s going to find ways to protect herself from Tamra’s behavior.

The Real Housewives of Orange County is on Bravo at 9 PM every Tuesday.