Every great reality show needs a great reality star, and for Netflix’s Bling Empire, that great reality star is Anna Shay. For background, Anna is a Russian-Japanese heiress whose family made billions in “arms” and “weapons” and whose own job appears to be throwing parties, getting massages, and spending enormous amounts of money. The dream. Of all the eccentric rich people Bling Empire introduces us to, Anna manages to steal the show in the same effortless way she took her top off in front of Kevin. From the moment she pops on screen, Anna manages to be fascinating yet authentic. While some characters give you the sense they’re putting it on for the camera (hi, Christine), it’s hard to come away from the show feeling like Anna Shay is any different behind closed doors than she is on the show. Plus her dry Xanax-like delivery gives her one of the most unique voices in reality TV.
So how can we capture some of this magic for ourselves? How can we, mere mortals, be the Russian-Japanese arms heiresses we want to see in the world? After viewing (and re-viewing) season one of Bling Empire (with the help of my trusty pal Vape Pen), I’ve distilled Anna’s essence to five key components we can all incorporate into our daily lives to be more like the iconic Ms. Shay going forward.
1. Be Casually Sexual
How do I know so much about this 60-year-old heiress’ sex life? Seriously. How? Because she didn’t tell us. Anna’s sexual power lies in her discretion. She’s not that girl at the party who is constantly screaming about the polyamorous quad she met at her last dungeon party (no shade to that girl, but this is a child’s birthday party). She’s the girl who just happens to have an enormous penis pump in her shower and a book about anal on her bookshelf—if you want to be so uncouth as to dig your nose in her business and find them. Anna never once offers any information about her sex life on Bling Empire. She has no romantic interests (unless you count her French friend whose job it is to be her French friend). And yet you come away from season one thinking she is the most sexually satisfied of them all. Oh, and if you try to shame her for her kinky ways? Get f*cking ready, because Ms. Shay has no problem telling you not to talk to her, or her penis pump, ever again. You’ve been warned.
2. Keep Your Enemies Close (But Not Too Close)
Some people (my therapist) might say that if you don’t enjoy someone’s company, you should stop spending time with them. Not so. As Anna displays in her competitive frenemy-ship with Christine Chiu, the best way to handle someone you do not like is to invite them to everything and then f*ck with them when they get there. Throughout season one, Anna changes Christine’s seat at her dinner party over a necklace-related argument I still don’t fully understand, surprises Christine with sexy yoga when she thought they were just having lunch, and changes the time on her party invitation so that she shows up when everyone is leaving. Could Anna have just not invited Christine to these events? Of course. But what’s the point of having frenemies if not to mess with them? Just don’t be surprised when they get back at you by announcing to everyone at a party that you love anal.
3. Take Sh*t From No Man
Anna’s most endearing moments of the season come when she is attempting to guide Kelly through her deeply toxic relationship with Drew. Anna hears Drew yelling at Kelly over the phone, and from that moment on she never f*cks with Drew again. In fact, Anna is the driving force behind trying to get Kevin to pursue Kelly, in hopes of distracting her from Drew’s creepy ass. Anna also proves she’s a real b*tch by checking in with Kelly regarding the Andrew situation regularly, making her disapproval known, and circulating it within the friend group that he is bad news. You don’t have four wonderful marriages (and four wonderful divorces) without developing a pretty refined bullsh*t detector, just saying.
4. Smash Sh*t
This one is fairly self-explanatory. When we first meet Anna Shay, she is smashing the walls of her mansion with a hammer, for seemingly no reason, and no real explanation is provided. This is queen sh*t. Take notes and bow down.
5. Be Generous With Your Friends
And now to get real (not that telling you to smash sh*t wasn’t real). One of Anna’s most endearing qualities is how much she loves her friends. Sure, you have to pass her test of being chill while she undresses in front of you and gifts you thousands in designer goods, but once you’re in, you’re in. A trip to Paris for Kelly? No problem. Gucci for Kevin? Take your pick. Spa days, sexy yoga sessions, and five course dinner parties are all par for the course when you roll with Anna Shay. Now go forth and shower your friends with gifts (albeit less expensive ones). The Dollar Store sells face masks, right?
Sure, you might not be able to throw fancy galas like its your job (Is that her job? What is Anna Shay’s job?) but there’s no way we couldn’t all infuse a little more Anna eleganza into our lives. If all else fails, lower your voice a few registers and start acting like you took an Ambien approximately 30 minutes ago. The rest should just all fall into place from there.
Images: Giphy; Netflix (5)