Reality tv star Bethenny Frankel says she would never pose nude for anything “tacky or trashy” like Penthouse or Playboy. Except she did.
“I’ve only posed naked for PETA and on my show,” Frankel, 39, tells Access Hollywood. “I have no problems with my body but I wouldn’t pose for anything trashy or tacky.”
Except that she did. Back in 1994, when Bethenny was an aspiring actress (like most reality stars are), she posed topless and did a tacky, trashy sex scene in the 1994 flop Hollywood Hills 90028. (see the cheesy screenshots at CelebSlam)
While a celeb posing nude is hardly earth-shattering, Bethenny has built her personal brand on being real and authentic.
In fact, she’s the first person to call out any of her fellow Housewives for lying, being publicity wh*res or acting pretentious.
Remember when she trashed Alex McCord in Seasons 1 and 2 for putting on airs and called McCord out for living in a then-dilapidated townhouse while spending thousands on a designer dress?
“I tell it like it is, and not how it should be,” Frankel has said repeatedly on The Real Housewives of New York City — the reality show that made her famous.
She always tells her co-stars to “own” their flaws and past mistakes (meaning, be a straight shooter and don’t lie about things or put on airs, like when she claimed she spoke French but couldn’t understand a word when a francophile tried to converse with her at the birthday party Simon van Kempen threw for Alex).
Her I’ve-never-posed-trashy-naked proclamation is just another hole in Bethenny’s carefully constructed persona as an everywoman that has won her millions of fans.
Another contradiction appears to lie in Frankel’s status as a fitness role model. While Bethenny has a slammin’ bikini body and lost 29 pounds just 21 days after giving birth to daughter Bryn in May, she became a best-selling diet book author by preaching that women didn’t have to diet to be “naturally thin.”
But Frankel confessed that she was anorexic and a food addict for much of her life, and was 20 pounds heavier until just a few years ago. Should women really be taking diet and fitness advice from someone who suffered from eating disorders until just recently?
Also, if Bethenny’s diet guidelines can teach anyone to be “naturally thin,” why is her 20-something assistant Julie Plake still overweight after working for Frankel for more than a year?
Frankel Writing Self-Help Book But Was Broke Two Years Ago
Meanwhile, Frankel is currently writing a self-help book called A Place of Yes, where she’ll purportedly dish advice on becoming personally and professionally successful and happy. Yet Bethenny has been called a pathological liar by her own mom (to whom she hasn’t spoken in over 10 years), and was estranged from her dad before he died in Nov. 2009. So what would Frankel’s advice on interpersonal relationships be?
In addition, Frankel — who’s building a mini-empire thanks to her best-selling diet book Naturally Thin and her spinoff reality show — confessed that just 2 years ago (before she became famous on the Real Housewives) she could barely afford to pay her rent.
Since most people have little chance (and many have no desire) to chronicle every detail of their personal lives on TV and exploit it for income, what would Bethenny’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs be?
Recently, Bethenny advised the cast of The Real Housewives of DC to keep their children off-camera so they don’t turn into hot messes like the New Jersey kids, but the focus of her entire reality show is her 5-month marriage to pharmaceutical sales rep-turned-reality star Jason Hoppy and 3-month-old daughter Bryn.
‘Don’t Expect Reality TV To Make You Rich and Famous’ (Oh Really??)
Frankel also advised the DC Housewives to “not take themselves too seriously because none of this is that serious. Be true to yourselves and don’t manufacture who you want to be on the show.”
She added: “It’s not fool’s gold — you don’t go on television to be rich, famous and successful . You have to have something to back it up.”
Yet Frankel parlayed her reality tv notoriety into an exercise DVD, a best-selling diet book and her own spinoff, and recently announced that she wants to host her own talk show. Would any of those ventures been successful had she not been on reality tv? As if.
As a point of reference, other reality stars who became New York Times best-sellers include New Jersey Housewife Teresa Giudice (who reportedly sold more books than Bethenny despite releasing hers a year after Frankel did) and The Hills star Lauren Conrad.
Maybe Bethenny should change the title of her upcoming self-help book to Do As I Say, Not As I Do.
Samantha Chang is the executive editor of TheImproper and a celebrity writer at Examiner.