“Beverly Hills Nannies” (and Mannies): A New Show but Mannies Are Familiar Sight at L.A. Private Schools

Mannies aren’t just on reality tv shows. They work for L.A. private school families in real-life. (Life & Style)

He works for a Real Housewife of BH. How much you want to be her kids go to private school? (In Touch)

I read with great fascination about a new show called “Beverly Hills Nannies.” I haven’t seen the show (the first episode aired July 11 on ABC Family), but I will try to catch at least one episode of this potentially addictive reality TV show. (Whether it can rival my favorite, Real Housewives of New York, is unlikely). “Mansions, private jets and sports cars are the norm for the stars of this new guilty-pleasure reality series…” (Life and Style, July 16, 2012).


The reason I’m intrigued by the show is that two of the five nannies are actually “mannies” or male nannies. But, these aren’t just TV reality show creations. You can see these mannies in real-life at many of L.A.’s elite private schools. They are a status symbol. There’s something about a manny pulling up in a Mercedes that shrieks “rich family.” They also function as “house managers” and “estate managers” and various other titles required when a family has a large staff to manage their home. I don’t know for sure, but I can virtually guarantee you that the kids on “Beverly Hills Nannies” attend private schools.


When I asked my husband, Barry, about the manny trend, he wanted to know, “Why the sudden appearance of “mannies”? When I was growing up, in a pre-Sandusky world, the appearance of a manny would have brought a visit from the SWAT team.”


There are a few families at The Willows who have mannies. And, I’ve seen several at Marlborough Summer School when I pick up my daughter. Porcha Dodson, Beyond The Brochure co-author, pointed out that in her experience at Curtis School, sometimes a manny is hired to handle a particularly difficult child. Similarly, a friend told me about a manny who worked for a very high-net worth family at The Center For Early Education whose kid was extremely challenging and would be escorted into school unwillingly every morning by the manny.


So, Its not just on reality-tv where this luxe lifestyle of the manny flourishes. Its at L.A.’s private schools, too.


Here’s a previous piece, “I Want My Manny: At Private Schools, Mannies a Status Symbol” by guest blogger Jenny Heitz. It’s laugh-out-loud funny.



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Christina Simon: Los Angeles, California, United States I'm the mom of two kids who attended The Willows School in Culver City and Viewpoint School in Calabasas. My daughter is a graduate of Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism ('23) and my son is a sophomore at UPenn/Wharton ('26). I live in Coldwater Canyon with my husband, Barry, and our dogs. Contact me at csimon2007@gmail.com

12 thoughts to ““Beverly Hills Nannies” (and Mannies): A New Show but Mannies Are Familiar Sight at L.A. Private Schools”

  1. We considered hiring a “manny” at one point, but for me it wasn’t at all about any kind of status. It was mostly because he seemed like an awesome, fun guy who I knew my son, in particular, would have adored. I assumed my husband wouldn’t approve of me spending my days with a tattooed musician (as this particular manny was), but what actually was the case was that my husband was very put off at the thought of his son spending all day (and potentially bonding with) another man. I found that fascinating, but I totally understood.

    I’ve actually seen the first episode of this show and, while I am sure I will watch it because I tend to watch this junk (LOL!), I can’t believe any of these families allowed themselves to be on this show. They come across as spoiled, obnoxious and only concerned about the facade. And most of the nannies seem the same way: more concerned about the big paycheck and the benefits of working for a rich family, than about the children they are supposed to be caring for. Addictive, yes. But also very depressing.

  2. I haven’t seen the show yet, but I’m curious about it. I know a family that hired a “manny” because the dad traveled a lot and the mom wanted a male role model for her boys (he was like a cute, fun big brother). Mannies can also fill the role of body guard for wealthy families.

  3. Sounds like a new way to have another status symbol in the already overly image conscious LA.

    It does make sense to have mannies for a particular purpose though – possibly a strong willed child that responds better to male authority figures, to provide a male influence in a home without one or to simply rough house with the kids.

    I had a regular, female nanny when my kids were younger and she was a true life saver. I credit her help with my ability to remain sane during extremely stressful child raising periods. My husband would agree. But, if it’s a manny you want, why not?

    1. I agree, Missy. And, if you’ve had a bad experience with a nanny like I did with our first one, you might be more inclined to try a manny!

  4. Haha! Sarah, we’ve got grannies at private school too. They just don’t stand out the same way mannies do! – Christina

  5. I actually have a friend who works as a ‘manny’ for a lesbian couple in Silverlake.

    The politics of the ‘manny’ are so fascinating to me. My friend is a white, handsome, stylish, uber-masculine 20-something year old who is also incredibly well-educated. You wouldn’t normally associate those qualities with the archetype of ‘the nanny.’ It makes me think about how caregiving (as a profession) is typically approached by our society, and how it is evolving.

    And there’s no way this show can rival the RHONYC. Crazy Ramona trumps everything.

  6. Its funny because it never occurred to me that there are mannies out there. I do understand the value of a male role model, especially for a challenging child/preteen. Thanks for the eye opener.

  7. I find it fascinating and odd that “mannies” are seen as a status symbol. I would think that a male caregiver would offer much more than mere status. A positive male role model goes a long way in any kid’s life, and for a lot of children out there, their male role models are lacking at home. And for all families, finding the right caregiver is a tough and serious task. Hopefully, choosing a nanny is about more than just gender.

  8. The worst behaved child at my son’s school got a manny recently and he shaped up almost overnight.

    Now, if his mother would return his father’s testes the little guy would stand a fighting chance.

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