2005, 1.00, at Salvation Army, Glendale

First Impression: Is that navel Photoshopped?

Second Impression: Nobody’s navel is that oval.

According to the back cover, “these exercises will help you shrink, shrink, shrink your waistline.” So… three times? That just sounds unnecessary, and dangerous. I’m sure your waistline is perfectly beautiful as it is, Gentle Reader.

Mari Winsor hosts this video with her signature style of authoritative awkwardness. Behind her, a painted backdrop layered with fake windows almost makes me believe we are looking out over the cliffs of Malibu. This was shot in North Hollywood, right?

All of her backup instructors are in solid black athletic gear. After the workout they will rendezvous with the rest of the Sexy Catburgling Gang. Seductively, they will pry open a socalite’s front door, crack open her safe, and pile on her jewels. Then they will slink out and make their escape, all the while maintaining perfect Pilates alignment.

Two of the female helpers are in cute capris and dainty yoga crop tops. The one male assistant looks the most comfortable, in a tank top and appropriate bottoms, stretchy but not so tight that it shows off his Baryshnikov.

The costumer chose to swathe the third female trainer in full length bell bottom pants and a long-sleeved, high necked black t-shirt. Actually, she’s dressed like a puppeteer! Maybe, right after the Sexy Catburgling, she has to run to the theatre to rehearse her Bunraku thesis project exploring the relationship between movement and thought.   Of course, I think this is very cool; however, compared to the other trainers in this video she looks overheated and uncomfortable.

This workout also introduces me to a Pilates technique heretofore unknown to me, which Mari Winsor calls, “tweeze your buttocks.” She commands us to Tweeze Our Buttocks many times throughout the session. At some point, she changes her rhetoric from Tweeze Your Buttocks to Squeeze Your Tushie. She repeats this new phrase again and again, much to my chagrin.

As I have written before, “tushie” is a word I cannot bear, as it evokes something that needs to be wiped. Thankfully, the DVD is only 22 minutes long, and at its conclusion I can clear my mind of all tushies, wiped and unwiped.

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