2010, $3.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: Bethenny Frankel’s smile doesn’t make it all the way up to her eyes.

Second Impression: The back cover informs us that, “you are a true Skinnygirl when you feel your healthiest.”

I always thought “skinny” meant “unhealthy,” not a desirable physical attribute. I think the word is disgusting. The spelling and the sound conjure up an ugly image of nothing but skin and bones.

I’ve also had the term “Skinnygirl” hurled at me as an insult more times than I can count, and it is actually quite hurtful. I was in an improv group with a lady who had appeared in a LapBand commercial, and for months she would call me “Skinnygirl” whenever we were onstage together, regardless of the context of the scene. It did not feel nice. Then the director emailed me, accusing me of calling the other lady “fat” onstage. I explained that I would never do that because it’s mean, that the insults had actually been aimed at me, and that the note should be for the other lady. The director fired me from the improv group.

So yeah, sore subject. Also, I am not skinny. I generally browse through the Mediums.

As far as Bethenny Frankel’s exercise routine goes, it’s 40 minutes of yoga, followed by 10 minutes of strength training and a 5-minute optional Booty Blast of additional squats. She is wise to hire a professional trainer to explain everything to the home viewer, since she is a reality show personality/cocktail purveyor and not an exercise expert.

Bethenny frequently interrupts the trainer by interjecting unnecessary observations in a barking, abrasive tone. Maybe that’s what people like about her on that housewives show I’ve never seen. The trainer’s job is to smile and pretend that she’s amused when Bethenny announces, “I sound like Lady Vader over here.” “You’re always so good at breathing,” the trainer replies.

One thing I noticed right away, which gets my seal of approval, is that Bethenny and the trainer both have their hair pulled back into sensible ponytails, which is how real women actually wear their hair when they exercise. So many of these DVD’s promote this glammed-up image of women working out with perfectly curled and arranged hair, accessorized with a delicate necklace and tasteful earrings. Something else for us to feel inadequate about!


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