2002, 99 cents (in the original shrink wrapper!) at the American Way
Thrift Store, Burbank

First impression: Here’s Denise Austin a-gin. I love this crazy lady!

Second impression: Denise’s set decorator has chosen a color palette of delicate spring pastels accented with blond wood, lit to resemble the stage
of a megachurch.



In her mission to “make your lower half your better half,” Denise Austin often uses the phrase “nice tight tushie” as a sort of mantra. The word “tushie” makes my skin crawl the way other people cannot bear the words “panties” or “moist.” A tushie is something that needs to be wiped.

I will say that Denise Austin does seem very concerned about the state of my buns. “Your buttocks will be lifted, firm, rounded, sculpted, and shaped,” she intones in her whiskey voice. She describes my rear end the way Waffle House describes their omelettes.

Several times she mentions that a particular yoga pose will make me look great from behind. “If you don’t squeeze your buttocks,” she declares saucily, “no one else will.” Oh, my. I am alarmed, yet entertained. I am entranced, yet repulsed. I am like a moth to the Denise Austin flame.

Fortunately, this program is only 30 minutes long so this complicated mix of emotions doesn’t last forever. But what does remain are “those toned, tight yoga buns that you’ve always wanted.”

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