Are Fans Overreacting to Jen Shah’s Prison Barbie Moment?


Jen Shah is causing controversy yet again, although in a more obscure way than usual. The former star of The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City decided to participate in a Barbie-themed photo shoot, which rubbed some fans the wrong way.

At the beginning of 2023, Jen was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. The former RHOSLC star pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and her case received a ton of coverage. Jen began her sentence in February 2023, which was later reduced by one year. The former Real Housewives star is now set to be released in August 2028.

Jen’s recent photo shoot caused mixed reactions from fans. Some felt that Jen’s actions were inappropriate, while others did not mind it at all. But who is right?

Some Fans Took Offense To Jen’s Photo Shoot


People recently shared an update from Jen on their Instagram account. The photo shows Jen and a fellow inmate posing for the camera in their Barbie inspired fits. Jen is sporting a khaki shirt and matching shorts with a high ponytail, while her fellow inmate is decked out in hot pink. The post indicates that the two women were participating in a “Barbie-Themed Prison Pageant.”

Instagram users in the comments were quick to roast Jen, and they had a number of issues with the situation. Many people felt that the concept was disrespectful, as the women were in prison for a reason. Others mocked the “prison party,” and joked that they didn’t know people behind bars were allowed to have fun.

Some users even compared Jen to infamous Vanderpump Rules star Tom Sandoval. They took issue with the fact that Tom was villainized for cheating but that it was ok for Jen to have a photo shoot in prison. A lot of people think that people in prison should sit in their cells 24/7, although this is more outdated than some may realize.

Others Didn’t Mind It At All

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On the other hand, some fans did not take issue with Jen’s prison shoot at all. Several Instagram users joked that Jen was acting how they would if they were in prison. Others felt that the photo shoot was a good idea and could help give the women a break from the stress of being behind bars.

Being that we are in 2024, prison life is now much different than it was several decades ago. When people think of prison, they often think of the small dark cells they see in movies. This is usually no longer the case—in the United States, at least.

Rehabilitative prisons are becoming more and more common, where prisoners are encouraged to make the most of their time there. At times, prisoners may even participate in education or work certain jobs. Prisoners also usually have the option of having recreational time during the day, such as working out or playing cards with fellow inmates. The Barbie-themed prison shoot seems to fall into this category, and gave the women some needed down time.

Fans Criticizing Jen’s Barbie Shoot Are Unreasonable

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At the end of the day, fans going out of their way to criticize Jen for having a little fun in prison are unreasonable. There’s no question that Jen doesn’t have the best moral compass in the world, but she also isn’t serving time for the most evil of crimes. Fraud is definitely bad, but it is not of the same caliber as serious criminal offenses like kidnapping or murder.

Jen ultimately pleaded guilty, and took accountability for her actions. While she has a lot of work to do, being behind bars has certainly given her some time for self reflection. It seems like Jen has remorse for her actions, and wants to do better. It’s ridiculous for people to be so infuriated by her deciding to take a few photos for fun, especially after she has been in prison for almost a year.

Anyone who watched the Barbie movie knows that the whole point was to uplift ALL women. Yes, this includes women like Jen who are in prison. Jen is certainly paying the price for her actions, although this does not mean that she should have to be miserable every day for the next few years.