Real Housewife Cary Deuber on Being Real on Reality TV


Real Housewife of Dallas, Cary Deuber may seem a picture perfect television personality, but she's not afraid to be real. In fact, the refreshingly honest beauty, who is also a registered nurse, describes herself as the "anti-reality" star, and shows surprising candor for someone who lives her life in the spotlight.

Known for being equal parts outspoken and laid back, SWAAY spoke to Deuber about her passion for medicine, what it's like working with her husband (also her business partner), and the reality behind reality show life.

“I think I'm the only one of original cast who's never been on TV before," says Deuber, a self-proclaimed workaholic, who chatted with us while on her work break for the interview. “It seems everyone has been on some kind of show, or they were a cheerleader or in the entertainment industry, and I had not."

Despite being surprised with the offer to star on the show (via a Bravo representative who contacted her on social media), Deuber says that she has embraced the platform, and rather than getting tied up in the drama, is focused on creating a meaningful experience.

“It's not every day Bravo comes knocking your door with cameras," says the mom of three (Deuber has one daughter with her husband Mark, a plastic surgeon, as well as two stepsons).

“I went through the process and so far it's been a good experience. Reality TV for me is empowering, but it depends on what you do with it. For me, it's to help other women." -Cary Deuber

When it comes to filming, Deuber says she's actually quite comfortable around the cameras, as is her spirited daughter, Zuri. “The camera guys tell you when they are going to come to your house, so you know they are going to be there," she says. “Now I'm used to it. Zuri loves it because she has people to play with. “

And, for those wondering if the show is in any way pre-written, Deuber says think again. “I wish it was scripted; it's not," laughs Deuber. "I have to be clever and witty on demand, but I'm exhausted because I'm a mom. I'm not an actress, even though a a lot of the ladies are."

And about those ladies, who have been known to create some cat fights in Dallas, Deuber says she is trying to navigate the drama without getting too caught up.

“It can be stressful when someone screams at you," says Deuber. “A lot of it is jealousy, because someone gets to do this or that [on camera], and I really don't have time for that. I guess I'm in a way the anti-reality reality star and I'll probably get fired for being too down to earth. Am I supposed to start acting like a nasty bitch because a lot of other people do? That's just not me. I've dated a lot of celebrities and professional athletes and can tell you that they weren't assholes. You don't have to be one just because you're famous."

Deuber, who was raised on the east coast, works alongside Mark at the Dallas Plastic Surgery Practice, and in her 20-year career has lead multiple medical missions abroad, helping operate on on cleft lips and palates through an organization called ConnectMed International. “I use my platform for good, which is the opportunity and the silver lining," she says.

"When I started [filming] I said 'it can't be harder than operating on people,' but in reality some of it can be. Dealing with different personalities and girls that don't like you and you might not like either was a real learning curve for me. I've learned how to have thicker skin, and learned who my real friends are."

The Baylor undergrad, who studied vascular and trauma surgery, says she “loves operating" and is, unsurprisingly a sewing aficionado. Working with her husband, she says is mostly a positive experience, but ultimately it “depends on the day," Deuber adds with a laugh. “We've been married for eight years and have worked together a long time, so we are just in the groove. You will see the progression through the season. Honestly, working with him is great and I get to see my best friend at work, which simplifies the process for our patients."

In terms of the growing trend of injectables and cosmetic procedures-of which Deuber is an outspoken fan-she says women should remember that even just a little change can make a big difference in terms of a woman's confidence.

“It can be so empowering for women," says Deuber, who gets regular Botox and actually injects her own lips with fillers for a plumper looking pout. “As a woman the pressure is high. You want to look good, and not just for men, it's for yourself. Just a little bit of Botox can be a game changer. As you get older you lose fat in the face and just a little bit of filler can make you look natural. It's important to take care of yourself because we are living longer than we used to."

Regarding her new-found fame, Deuber, who describes herself as casual and yoga-obsessed, remains nonplussed. “I don't feel like I'm famous," she says.

“People recognize me," she says, continuing - "but most don't come up to me. I'm pretty incognito; my hair is usually in a bun, with nothing on my face and my glasses on, and I think that's empowering."

In terms of what sets Dallas apart from the other Real Housewives filming locales, which are filled with table flipping, wine throwing and other dramatic escapades, Deuber, who was born in Connecticut and lived in Ohio previously, says her adopted city is all about individuality, which translates perfectly to the small screen.

Cary Deuber

“I'm a melting pot type of person," says Deuber. “I like to convey that everyone here is different. Everyone has their own personality, and makes their own contribution to the show. Even the people that I don't get along with, I'm glad they are on the show, because it's relatable."


A Modern Day Witch Hunt: How Caster Semenya's Gender Became A Hot Topic In The Media

Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.

Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.

That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.

Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.

Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.

Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.

With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.

The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.

Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.

As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.

Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.