Take Note, The Real L Word: Here's The 5 Greatest Reality TV Lesbians of All Time
As Showtime revamps The L Word as a reality series that follows the travails of six lesbians in day-to-day life (a la Real Housewives, except with fewer charges of prostitution whoring, we suspect/hope), it's time to reflect upon reality television's seminal lesbians.
Name: Jackie Warner (pictured above)
Show: Work Out
Ground Broken: Jackie's misadventures with girlfriends (which sometimes included hurled stemware) were played out in full, with Jackie routinely dispensing candid insight into her relationships.
Sex Appeal: Her perfect skin, taut abs, and all-business glare gave her the distinct air of a tough-as-nails doyenne worth her spandex.
Staying Power: Though Work Out isn't scheduled yet for a fourth season, Jackie has a new Bravo project in the can, Jackie's Gym Takeover. The show will follow in the footprints of Tabatha's Salon Takeover as Jackie overhauls a failing gym and imparts business instruction to the failing owners. We hope that doesn't mean her incredible shoulders will be shrouded in formal blazers.
Name: Kim Stolz
Show: America's Next Top Model, Cycle 5
Ground Broken: Lesbians are routinely criticized for bizarre things, but this was the first time we saw formalized scrutiny of a lesbian's "masculine appearance" from a panel of judges.
Sex Appeal: The girl is gorgeous. Given the conceit of each challenge, Kim could look like a tomboy or Barbara Feldon. She also kissed fellow contestant Sarah Rhoades in a limousine, perhaps in a determined effort to achieve fierceness.
Staying Power: Stolz, a fifth-place finisher, has forged a presence away from the modeling world. She's a correspondent for MTV News, writes occasionally for The Huffington Post, and helms a show on mtvU. Take that, Adrienne Curry!
Name: Genesis Moss
Show: The Real World: Boston
Ground Broken: Reality TV's confessional-centric grandfather The Real World had cast a lesbian housemate before-- namely Beth Anthony, the Los Angeles cast's mid-season replacement for Irene Berrera Kearns -- but Genesis Moss was the first to go a full season. We watched as her mother told her she believed Genesis was not a "true blue lesbian," and as she was brought to tears when castmate Kameelah explained to a child at a day care center that homophobia is not acceptable.
Sex Appeal: Though Genesis was beautiful, she was never played for her pin-up qualities. If anything, MTV confused lesbian viewers by making it appear as if she had a crush on her male drag star friend Adam.
Staying Power: Plenty of lesbians have since stopped being polite and started getting real (the Chicago season's Aneesa Ferreira and the second New York season's then-closeted Coral Smith spring to mind), but Genesis's approach to social issues was tempered and thoughtful.
Name: Ami Cusack
Show: Survivor: Vanuatu
Ground Broken: Ami Cusack and fellow cast member Scout Cloud Lee were the first openly lesbian/bi contestants to appear on Survivor, but Cusack was the head of the "womens alliance," which systematically booted male castaways one by one.
Sex Appeal: The then 31-year-old Cusack was certainly a looker, though an unflattering edit and the all-too-predictable label of "man-hater" hampered her fullest sexy-peddling potential.
Staying Power: For all of her machinations and attitude, Ami's character fades in comparison to other Survivor caricatures. Her cleavage, however, will live on in vivid memory.
Name: Dani Campbell
Show: A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila
Ground Broken: Tila Tequila is arguably the shadiest "celebreality" star (I'm ignoring your Paula Abdul thought bubble), though Dani managed to represent herself, her feelings, and her unapologetic boy haircut well. And she was a firefighter! The "strength" metaphors are busting out all over.
Sex Appeal: A perfect smile! She is rational and likable, a rare thing in the world of Tila.
Staying Power: She runs a t-shirt line, but more than that, she is living proof we can sit through a show about a squeaky alien with PR sorcery on her mind.