Yes, it’s true, I am rushing to rescue a Real Housewives of New York star. Skinnygirl Bethenny Frankel recently posed for a PETA ad wearing nothing but a New York state of mind. And the whole cliché cycle we’ve recently come to expect (See: Demi) was set in motion: Star looks hot. Real women cry wolf. Star defends herself, denying major airbrushing. Population at large gangs up even more. Star releases “real” pictures proving how thin she actually is.
But for some reason, rather than be annoyed or irritated, I find myself sympathizing with Bethenny. Maybe it’s because she seems witty and sassy and real to me – her personality definitely holds more appeal than many of the other Housewives. Or maybe it’s just because I’m sick of all the “You were airbrushed! No I wasn’t! At least not the much!” drama. But I wish people would just back off. This woman has started building an empire based on her cooking (she’s a celeb natural foods chef), writing (Unleash Your Skinnygirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting debuted on The New York Times) and margarita-making (she’s known for her 100-calorie Skinnygirl Margarita, made with tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar.) Plus, up until recently, she’s never had a child. Is it really that hard to believe she has a sick body in real life? Her very livelihood is based on looking fit, firm and slim. I’m not saying it’s impossible she might have a touch of cellulite or wrinkles, but chances are, she just plain looks good under her clothes. And remember, reality TV contestants tend to be a self-selected bunch - I don’t think many women with bodily insecurities purposefully throw themselves into the limelight, especially for shows where their physique will be scrutinized by the public as they cavort in bikinis or skintight Herve Leger bandage wrap dresses.
To put an end to the “Was she or wasn’t she?” Photoshop scrutiny, Bethenny recently shared the unretouched pics from her PETA shoot with US Weekly – check them out here. Let’s face it, she looks damn good in that Before shot. Frankly, I’m more disturbed by how they inexplicably altered her face than I am by the minimal retouching done to her lower body. And they actually made her look a bit fuller in the waist, and a big smaller in the chest – not your typical airbrush maneuvers (unless you count reverse airbrushing.)
Even during the whole Demi Moore missing hip debacle, I was never hating on Demi herself. It’s not really her fault they magazine did a botch job with her cover. I think if people stepped back and assessed the current situation, they’d realize the anger is misdirected towards Bethenny, when who truly deserves our wrath is the media at large.