Becoming an influencer: How a love for ‘Real Housewives’ turned into a career for this Detroiter

Meet Samantha Bush, of ‘Bravo Historian’ fame

Samantha Bush of @bravohistorian on Instagram. (Samantha Bush.)

Samantha Bush created the Instagram account @BravoHistorian on a whim, just looking for an outlet to share her opinions about all the ridiculous reality TV shows on the Bravo network.

Bush thought it would be a fun creative outlet, but little did she know that she would amass hundreds of thousands of followers -- and develop a career! -- becoming a social media influencer.

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You hear of people turning into influencers more and more these days, and while many try, only a few are cut out for it.

But it helps if you can find a niche subject to post memes about, just like Bush has done.

We chatted with the 29-year-old Detroit woman about her Instagram account, her experience putting her life out there on a public platform, and who her favorite “Real Housewife” is, of course.

This is an ongoing series highlighting ordinary folks who went from an average number of followers online to thousands -- or tens or hundreds of thousands. Is there an influencer you love, who we should chat with next? Email us your suggestions for this series!

Question: First of all, what made you start @BravoHistorian?

Answer: I started my account back in like, 2018, because I was just like, I need an outlet. ... I need to get my opinions out there. And I didn’t do it with any sort of an intention of getting a following or anything. I literally was just like, I want to scream into the void.

Q: Did you have a goal in mind when you started your account? Or did you ever imagine getting this many followers?

Bush: No, and I still don’t think about it. Like, I always forget my reach when I post stuff. I’m like, oh, 50,000 people watched my Instagram story. That’s really a weird thought. It’s mind-blowing sometimes.

Q: What has been the best part about starting your Instagram account?

Bush: So many things. I was working in a dental office, and I wasn’t really fulfilled or like, happy. And because I didn’t go to college, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do. I have so many interests, but I was like, ‘Where’s that really going to take me? What can you do with it?’

So the best thing for me that’s come out of this is, I do what I love every single day, and now, I get paid to write about ‘Housewives.’ I get to talk to them, I got to go on ‘Watch What Happens Live,’ and I literally bawled my eyes out. This account has changed my life. I was living in like, a really s---ty apartment up until recently. I just feel so good.

Q: Are there ever moment that are overwhelming? Like, the pressure to always be posting or having an opinion with the ‘Bravo-world’ news?

Bush: There are, I guess. I only post what I think I would want to see. So like, some days, I don’t want to post, and there are days when I go like, two days without making a post. But of course, like, I’ll be on an Instagram story or something. I think those are like, a lot more personal. But sometimes, it can be really overwhelming. Like, when the Jen Shah stuff was coming out, I remember I was like, ‘What is going on? Are the cameras rolling? And she’s being arrested? Like, what is happening?’ That was stressful, but it’s so fun.

Q: Have you ever had a really weird or strange fan encounter, like people sliding into the DMs or anything?

Bush: Nothing like, bad. That’s good. Really, like 99% of the time, people are really funny or like, they’re really nice to me. And I think because I’m not like, an influencer in the sense of like, I post about my life all the time -- I think that opens the door up for a lot of hate. So I applaud influencers that do that. I think it’s the hardest thing in the world.

Q: This is a more broad question, but I find it interesting at this year’s Met Gala that there were influencers at the event. What are your thoughts on this? Do you see it happening more, as influencers become more and more famous?

Bush: I’m going to get really deep for a second. There’s a part of me that’s like, it’s f---ing stupid you’re a TikToker at this event, but I think it’s very much internalized misogyny a little bit in all of us, because social media is such a female heavy industry, and it’s these women who are making so much money working. Like, Addison Rae is almost a Kardashian level of fame. It’s like, ‘Why aren’t we taking those people seriously?’ But then again, it’s like ‘Why am I taking you seriously? You literally do TikTok dances for a living.’ I feel so conflicted.

Q: Where do you see this account going in the future? I know you’re writing full-time for the entertainment site The Dipp and hosting a podcast now. What would be the dream?

Bush: Oh my god, a lot (laughs). People ask me this a lot, and I never have an answer, and I really should. I really, really enjoy writing, so like, I would love to do not just Bravo, but like, pop culture in general. I think that would be really cool. Like, I tweeted about the Kardashians and then Cosmo was like, ‘Will you write something on Kim for us?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do that.’ So just maybe more of what I’m doing now. Is that lame?

GMG: Of course not!

Bush: I don’t know. I feel kind of lame about that answer. I just like writing. I definitely love doing interviews of people, which I didn’t think I would.

Q: Do you ever feel like you can’t say what you’re really thinking about someone on a Bravo show, because you’ll have to interview them down the road one day?

Bush: I really made sure to never befriend them. There are a few Bravo stars that want to be friends with social media accounts, (but) it will change the narrative, or make you more ‘pro’ them on an issue. I make sure to not do that. Like, I don’t want to be your friend. I respect you, I like you on the show. That’s fine.

Q: If someone follows you and loves your account, who are some other Instagram accounts they should be following?

Bush: There are so many. There’s so many comedians that, I mean, they’re not similar to me. I’m not a comedian, but I just think that they’re really funny. Benito Skinner is really, really funny. Heather McMahan is really funny.

Q: I obviously have to ask, but do you have a favorite “Real Housewife?” Or even a top three?

Bush: This is like, the only answer I ever prepare (laughs). Dorinda Medley, I would die for her. I really like Karen Huger. I live and breath for Karen, and of course, Nene Leakes. Those are like, my perfect three.

Q: Okay, last thing: What do you love about living in Detroit?

Bush: Oh my god, I love so many things about living in Detroit. I love that it’s very unique. You can go to New York and you can go to Chicago and it’s like, a very similar energy. With Detroit, it’s like, a smaller big city, if that makes sense. It feels very intimate. I don’t know how to describe it. I love like, the little neighborhoods. I love that there’s like, the West Village. I like that there’s Midtown, New Center and the actual downtown. The food is so good. I love it all.

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

About the Author

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.

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