They are twentysomething, have a pampered glamorous lifestyle, |move in elite social circles and are the new trust fund generation. But is life one big party for Roxy Sowlaty, one of the stars in E!’s new reality series, Rich Kids |of Beverly Hills, and her friends? Debashine Thangevelo found out…
THERE are people in this world who believe money can buy you happiness and others who believe it can’t. Hence the dividing line between the haves and have-nots’ camps is drawn.
Paris Hilton has always been the global poster girl of spoilt-rotten-rich. But she isn’t the only one.
In fact, Beverly Hills and Bel Air are breeding grounds for those born with a silver spoon in their mouths, à la Willow and Jaden Smith.
However, not all of them are stars on TV or in the music industry.
In fact, Roxy Sowlaty and her friends were just doing what they normally do when they were talent-scouted to be on E!’s reality series, Rich Kids of Beverly Hills.
Quite a chatty and easygoing person, Sowlaty shares, “I have grown up with these ‘kids’ on the show for years. Ever since second grade, Morgan (Stewart) has been my best friend in the entire world. I have known Dorothy (Wang) since my freshman year at college. We are all so close and the show kind of happened very organically through that.”
Giving her thoughts on TV and the surge in reality TV, she says, “To be honest, I don’t watch much TV at all. I never intended to do a reality show at all – I agreed to do this one because it is based on two of my best friends. Also, given the title of the show, I knew it would track our progression and growth in this challenging period of our life, where we are figuring out our next step. And if the show isn’t what it intended to be, there was not really much of a loss – I would have grown a thick skin and would have an interesting story to tell.”
Looking at the overall experience of doing the series, Sowlaty, an interior designer, reflects, “Honestly, it has been an incredibly growing experience – I have gotten to know my friends on a different level. On TV, you often get the juiciest fights, silliest moments and so on – there are obviously many more sides to each of us than you see. So I can’t get upset about someone’s opinion on what they see in those 30 minutes of me. That took a lot of soul searching and learning who I was. It is a wonderful lesson to go out in life with now, which I’m very grateful for.”
When she agreed to the show, there was one no-go area for the guys – they didn’t want their past raised in the series to help maintain the privacy of friends and family.
“Generally, we are all open books and don’t have much to hide,” she notes.
On the toffee-nosed tag of the “kids of Beverly Hills”, Sowlaty defends: “This was the environment I was born and raised into. Every friend of mine has the same amount of money, maybe a little less maybe a little bit more than I have.
“It is our norm. But just because you have more money, your life is more colourful or your car is nicer, doesn’t mean you still don’t go through the same emotions, trials and tribulations and heartache.
“In being exposed to more financial backing, it is much harder to earn your own money. I have to produce fives times the amount of a normal person out of college to be able to meet the life my parents have given me. So there is much more pressure,” she says.
Interestingly, during the shoot of this show, Sowlaty’s parents cut her off.
On how she copes, she says, “The first few months were really, really tough. I had to get my s**t together (excuse my language). But the moment I started making money, it felt good. I couldn’t be happier and more grateful to my parents for doing it because I felt like an adult for the first time.”
Of course, the shopping trips were sending her credit cards into cardiac arrest, so to speak. She is a tad more frugal with her spending.
She laughs, “My most recent lavish purchases have been more for clients than for me per se. But last week, I bought a really beautiful Chanel bag that I’m really happy with. It’s my gift to myself.”
Extremely generous, especially to those she loves, Sowlaty would like to, aside from being an interior designer, make her own furniture.
She says, “I love to have fun, I’m totally quirky. I have the biggest dreams and I don’t believe in limits: financially or career wise.”
Looks like she is well on her way to getting her dream– even with Mummy and Daddy cutting her off. And, just so you know, acting/TV is not on her future agenda.
“I just want to be Roxy – not anybody else,” she says, rather dogmatically.
• Rich Kids of Beverly Hills airs on E! (DStv channel 124) on Sundays at 10pm.