Stassi Schroeder is looking back on her reality TV days.
The "Vanderpump Rules" alum, 35, is the first guest to chat with Kristin Cavallari, 36, on her new "Let's Be Honest" podcast. The reality TV stars reflected on their tumultuous televised relationships and their chaotic on-screen drama on a podcast episode released on Tuesday titled, "So, You're Telling Me You Don't Miss Reality TV?"
Cavallari said Schroeder's 10-year journey — from being on "Vanderpump Rules" to where she is today — is "inspiring and incredible," adding that watching her on TV reminded her of herself on "Laguna Beach."
Responding to how she feels when she reflects on her time on "Vanderpump Rules," which premiered in 2013, Schroeder said she cringes and gets "second-hand embarrassment."
"I start sweating. The worst is when I have people who are just starting to watch it all over again and they think I'm still that person," Shroeder added. "I get DMs all the time from people being like, 'You don't deserve any good in your life.'"
The New Orleans-born television personality continued to say she has conflicting emotions when looking back at that time. On one hand, she knows she's "turning it on" and exaggerating her personality to make good television. But now that she has two children with husband Beau Clark, Schroeder said she'd be "horrified" if she ever saw one of her kids acting like she did on the show.
"I feel like we were so young and we can always fall back on the fact that we were making a TV show," Cavallari responded. "Unless you bring the excitement and the drama and the personality, there's no TV show."
While many reality TV fans have come to like Schroeder, she wasn't always perceived in a positive light. In the first season of "Vanderpump Rules," she was central to the drama at West Hollywood restaurant SUR, as her and co-worker Jax Taylor led a rollercoaster relationship that included lying, cheating and a messy breakup.
On the podcast, Schroeder said she's not the type of person who believes a couple will ultimately fail if they go on a reality TV show. While it may highlight a couple's weaknesses, she said it's sometimes like therapy, where it forces people in a relationship to address issues that might otherwise not be talked about.
"But if you're not right for each other, there is no way in h— you can make it through a reality show," Schroeder added. "Jax and I were the most toxic couple I feel like in the history of television, so I'm not going to blame the reality show on the demise of our relationship."
Schroeder continued to explain that while she'd play up a villainous character on reality TV that fans enjoyed watching, she has now become less unfiltered since becoming a parent. Despite that growth, she said some people now consider her boring, even though she's no longer the 25-year-old reality TV star on "Vanderpump Rules."
"There's something to be said for thinking before you speak just so you're not going around hurting everyone's feelings," she shared. "I feel like sometimes I'm disappointing people by not being as unfiltered, because that's what people know of me.
"You can't f—ing win. No matter what you do, you can't win."
Now, Schroeder said working with your partner — which she does in a weekly podcast with her husband called "The Good The Bad The Baby" — is difficult. While balancing the workflow with Clark can be challenging since they have different experiences working in media, Schroeder said she feels it bonds them as a couple.
"It puts us on the same team and we have something that we're both working for together," she said. "He's my best friend, I enjoy being around him. He's my favourite person to be around. ... It's really fun but it is still really hard and it does bleed into our relationship 100 per cent."
The couple got engaged in 2019 — with "Vanderpump Rules" cameras there to capture the moment — tied the knot the following year.
While it "took a minute," Schroeder told Cavallari she knew Clark was the right man because he was a huge cheerleader.
"He made me feel really good about myself and I felt like I could fully be myself," she said. "In every single relationship that I had been in before, I just felt like I couldn't fully be myself. Let's just say for example, something like being "too basic, too girly," I would have to change that part of me.
"I never have once felt that with Beau. Who I am, it's not just 'good enough' — he loves it."
A mom to a two-year-old daughter named Hartford and a newborn son named Messer, Schroeder said becoming a parent absolutely changed her life. Now, she's focused on what makes her happy and using her "superpower" to sit back and relish in her gratitude.
"When you have a kid, what is important changes, your priorities change and when your priorities change, that trickles down to everything in your life," she shared.
"When little, tangible things in your life like that change, it also just changes who you are."