There is an order to a Stassi Schroeder Vanderpump Rules argument. Especially when it is the head Witch Of WeHo’s much-hyped birthday. Stassi will feel confronted. She will begin yelling. The other person will begin yelling. Stassi will yell so loudly the other person eventually gives up or an explosion occurs. Someone will flee.
Yet, that’s not what happened during Stassi’s 30th birthday, which was captured in Monday night’s “Ice Queens.” A lot of that change is owed to Raquel Leviss, girlfriend to James Kennedy and model who can surprisingly hold her own against one of the episode’s titular ice queens. During the confrontation, Stassi tapped Raquel's head and began to ask, “Are you s…” Before the veteran Bravolebrity host could finish, Raquel immediately shot back, “Don’t fucking say I’m stupid in the head. I’m not.” High-volume hostility over.
In that one scene, we learned Raquel will shut down anyone who calls her “dumb” or “stupid” or “slow” — and for good reason if you take the time to get to know the Topanga Canyon Mall opening’s host.
James’ Bambi-eyed paramour has been followed by the “dumb” narrative since she entered the Pump Rules fray in season 5. But, the intensity around the name-calling began to hit critical mass with season 7, as Kristen Doute became fixated on making James’ alleged cheating a leading topic of conversation. As Raquel has avoided and ignored the rumors more intensely, so have the indictments of her intelligence. When the college grad is not present for the mean comments, the Vanderpump cast crafts some of their most creative and memorable insults (see: “I think the mouse falls off the wheels sometimes upstairs,” from Jax Taylor).
When Raquel is present for these slights, however, she directly refutes them, often showcasing the most backbone we've seen from her in seasons. That’s because those the model actually has a learning disability and is genuinely hurt every time someone attacks her for it, whether they realize the full ramifications of their words or not.
After previous Vanderpump Rules episode “Lisa’s Dilema” aired, Raquel took to Instagram to explain her side of the “dumb” controversy story. During the installment, Lala Kent asks Raquel “what else” she should call her other than “dumb,” considering Raquel's avoidance of the ever growing pile of evidence proving James' infidelity.
“Tonight’s episode was an emotional one for me. Using the word dumb to describe why I choose to stay with James is completely inappropriate,” Raquel wrote on Instagram, revealing she wasn’t diagnosed with ADD until college. “Learning was always difficult for me and not passing my ice cream multiplication test was one of the earliest challenges I faced. However I am NOT stupid.”
This where Raquel began one of her new defenses of James: that calling someone “stupid” is equally as rude as attacking their looks. “Words like STUPID and DUMB are just as offensive as the word FAT. Some other adjectives that more accurately describe the situation are patience, understanding, empathetic, and forgiving,” she added. Raquel has continued that stance on Twitter, asking why Jax was given a pass for calling her “dumb as rocks” while James was eviscerated and lost his job. Some fans probably agree both men’s comments are awful and deserving of harsh consequences.
While many viewers will likely disagree with Raquel’s continuously permissive attitude around her boyfriend’s bad behavior, the least we can do is stop disparaging her intelligence for it.