North Shore Native, Former 'Complete Dork' Stars in Bravo TV Show

Julia Allison puts her love life on display for Bravo's “Miss Advised.”

North shore native Julia Allison had written about relationships for Time Out New York and Cosmo, but had decided she was done with what she described as “the Carrie Bradshaw portion of my life” when Bravo asked her to be on a show about relationship experts.

She turned them down, but they kept asking, so she eventually agreed, not expecting the concept to go anywhere. Instead Miss Advised was picked up in June 2011, and she became one of three single women showing the world the inner workings of her own romantic history.

“I was delving into one of the most painful areas of my life, which was my personal relationships,” said Allison, who grew up in Winnetka. “It certainly wasn’t easy, but I came out on the other side quite transformed.”

Throughout the show, Allison consulted less conventional experts on romance, including a tarot reader and a witch, to try to find the root cause of her inability to have a healthy relationship. As odd as it was, she said the process was successful.

She said she’s also gotten feedback from people who knew her then, including apology letters from three of her tormentors at Wilmette Junior High.

“I found through the course of this show that my propensity towards pleasing people and my desire to have people love me had morphed into a virulent strain of low self esteem,” Allison said. “I would get into relationships that weren’t quite right for me because I believed that I didn’t deserve any better.”

That revelation got her a lot of attention from viewers who saw their own struggles reflected in Allison’s experience.

“I think a lot of women have the same problem,” she said. “We go after men who play into our insecurities and make us feel the way that we secretly feel about ourselves.”

Allison got her start writing opinion columns every week during her senior year of .

“I talked about really important things in life, like how to find the perfect prom dress,” she said. “It was my first foray into journalism and it stuck.”

She said she’s also gotten feedback from people who knew her then, including apology letters from three of her tormentors at Wilmette Junior High.

“I was teased mercilessly in junior high because I was a complete dork,” she said. “Glasses, braces, the works.”

Her parents haven’t shown much interest in the show, but her brother, who is getting his PhD in physics at MIT and is married to a fellow New Trier grad, is a devoted fan.

“They could not be any further from the world of reality television, but they watch every single episode,” she said.

Allison is hoping Miss Advised will have a second season, but won’t know until fall. Until then, she is keeping busy covering Fashion Week for NBC New York, writing a fictionalized account of her life and a nonfiction memoir in the vein if Eat Pray Love. She’s also spending time with her new boyfriend, who she met shortly after the show wrapped.

“I am madly in love with him,” she said. “When I had completely given up on finding prince charming, he walked into my life.”


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