To My Dearest and Realest Housewives,
Thank you for being there for me during this turbulent time in our country. Pre-pandemic, I used to love to get together with a large group of my girlfriends. Brunch, after-work drinks, dinners, you name it—I was there. But when the pandemic made hanging out with the girlies unsafe for my immunocompromised self, I turned to you, The Real Housewives, to fill the void of my missing girl squad, and you did not disappoint. Not only did you keep me entertained, but you satiated my need to socialize—quite possibly forever. Thank you for your service.
Listen, before I discovered your life-changing franchise, I actually missed going to brunch with my gal pals, but now thanks to Ramona and LuAnn, I know that brunch is code for blackmail and should be avoided at all costs. The same goes for cocktail parties and all vacations. I never want to see my friends again.
Watching you fight with each other incessantly didn’t make me feel less alone, but it did make me appreciate my loneliness. Sure, I might have been completely by myself, but at least no one was yelling at me or calling me a “prostitution whore” in front of Andy Cohen. Once I found you, I no longer cared that I couldn’t experience my own life in present day New York. Turns out, watching you wreak havoc in the before times was all I’d ever needed. I fell in love with you immediately, ya habibi.
Unable to see my own friends because my rare immune disorder made even outdoor hangs risky for me, there was something so healing about watching your friendships unravel right in front of my eyes. After going months without seeing a single friend, there’s something very cathartic about watching Ramona Singer berate Bethenny Frankel on the Brooklyn Bridge in a moment that was so peak 2008 that I didn’t even have anxiety about them not wearing masks. Ditto for when Kelly Bensimon told Bethenny, “I am up here and you are down here” when they met for cocktails in Manhattan. So this is what I’m missing? This is what female friendship looks like?? Thank God I’m quarantined with my brother then! He would never scream “Jovani” at me during my cabaret (mostly because he doesn’t know what either of those things are, but still). I love being a guy’s girl, it’s so fun and interesting and I don’t miss my girlfriends at all!
I used to think it was a red flag when a woman said “I’m not friends with other girls. They’re just way too much drama.” But now? I’ve seen the light. Girls really ARE too much drama. I mean, you throw a ravioli in someone’s face ONE TIME and suddenly you stop getting invited places? Grow up, drama queens. It wasn’t even my fault that I upstaged that charity event for a sick baby by bringing twenty Hell’s Angels as my plus-ones. I said I was sorry, what else do they want me to do? Actually donate to the cause? Whatever, I guess it’s true what they say, money really can’t buy you class.
So when my healthy, non-high-risk friends all got covid tests and safely rented a cabin in the Catskills together last summer, I was relieved not to be invited! I’ve seen season 6 of RHONY, okay? I saw how they treated Aviva, and I was not about to let my medical pump suffer the same fate as her prosthetic leg. Besides, I don’t even care that I wasn’t invited, I’m having way more fun watching my brother watch the Michael Jordan docuseries anyway! Have fun in the Bezerkshires, bitches! I don’t need your Scary Island energy in my life, I’ve got the back of my brother’s head to keep me company.
Now that I’m fully vaxxed and the pandemic is seemingly coming to a close, I’ve transitioned into a different state of fear. No longer am I afraid of Covid, now I’m scared of something much more insidious…women. Go to dinner with my friends??? Why? So they can accuse me of having a drinking problem? I don’t think so. Support my best friend’s charity event? What, and get ambushed with questions about my husband’s financial problems?? I don’t care that I “don’t have a husband,” you bitches have had it out for me since I threw those tiki torches in the Hamptons. Get over it already! They were barely on fire and what Ramona did to the Fish Room is way worse. So what, I “ruined your engagement party” because I said your fiancé was cheating on you, are you really still mad about that? And no, I do not want to attend your son’s christening, ok? It’s hard to have FOMO for a party that’s going to end in handcuffs.
Why would I ever choose to venture back out into a world of conflict when I could stay at home and finish bingeing RHONJ? Those ladies would never judge me for flipping a table and unlike some people in my life, they don’t mind a little hair pulling. Plus I’m pretty sure Joe is about to go to prison and I wouldn’t miss that for all the maskless parties in the world (that I’m totally invited to). Screw your brunches, I’d rather hang out with my real friends, The Housewives.
With Love From Your Biggest Anti-Socialite Fan,
After watching the Real Housewives for more than a decade, it feels like we know these women very well. From their love lives to their personality quirks, we see pretty much everything on camera. But aside from all the personal drama, one of my favorite things to see is where these women live. From gorgeous NYC apartments, to LA mansions, most of the Real Housewives live pretty fabulously. Maybe some of them don’t have as much money as they’d like you to believe, but they’re all doing okay.
But some of these women are doing a lot better than okay. A handful housewives really are loaded, and they have the second (and third) homes to prove it. I’m writing this from my very mediocre New York apartment, so I’m pretty impressed by anyone who owns even one house, and the thought of having multiple just blows me away. These are the Housewives with the most enviable vacation homes, and thankfully we have video tours to make you extra jealous.
Every season of RHONY gives us a little glimpse of life in the Hamptons, and if I had to choose one house, it would definitely be Bethenny’s. This five-bedroom house had an asking price of $3.2 million when she bought it back in 2015, and it’s easy to see why. Bethenny has great taste, there’s no denying it, except for the giant photo of a horse, which she says was the “first nice piece of art” she ever bought. I always forget Bethenny is a horse girl at heart. I especially love the kitchen, which is modern and chic, with some amazing red accents running throughout. As if this house isn’t nice enough, until earlier this year, Bethenny also owned a second “spare” house in the Hamptons, a historic former bed-and-breakfast, which she sold for nearly $2.3 million. Must be nice.
If we can’t have Bethenny’s house on RHONY, at least we can still have drunken weekends at Ramona’s. Ramona has owned her house in Southampton since the 90s, and keeping it was one of her major wins when she divorced Mario. I’m sure the house is worth millions, and last month, she rented it out for one month for $160,000. I’m sorry, but what do I have to do in life to have that kind of money? Ramona redid the house recently because she said the old decor felt “old and tired,” and her new kitchen has two dishwashers, because why not? She also has all Jill Zarin rugs, which I’m sure she bartered for. Aside from a basement that Luann insists smells like dog pee, the house looks great.
Camille Grammer comes and goes on RHOBH, but I’m constantly thinking about her gorgeous house in Hawaii. After she and Kelsey Grammer got divorced and sold their Hawaii home for a small sum of $11 million, Camille bought this place just for herself. The house is beautiful, but some of Camille’s decor touches are… eclectic. She starts her tour video leaning on a stone dragon, and she’s also obsessed with her giant gong. She also has the largest sectional couch I’ve ever seen, which has at least nine big cushions. Considering I was recently shopping for couches and could barely afford something used on Craiglist, I don’t want to know how much Camille’s couch cost.
Camille Grammer, Again
Don’t let anyone tell you that Camille Grammer isn’t living her best life. While she tragically lost her main Malibu home in the 2018 wildfires, she casually also owns a beach house in Malibu. She bought this house in 2016 for a cool $6.55 million, and was doing extensive renovations at the time of the fire. And now, she’s back to owning (at least) three homes, because she and her new husband David spent another $5.85 million on a house in LA’s bougie Brentwood neighborhood in 2019. Does Camille have the best real estate of any Bravolebrity? Perhaps. We haven’t really gotten to see the completed beach house renovations, but I’m sure it’s nice as hell, and hopefully there’s another big gong for her to hit.
A lot of people sleep on The Real Housewives of Dallas, but it can’t be denied that some of these women have serious money. In season 3, the ladies took a trip to Kameron Westcott’s home in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and it might be the most spectacular house on this list. Kam’s mother-in-law designed the house from the ground up in the early 2000s, so there’s no telling how much it cost, but nothing about it looks cheap. Kam say that all the wood in the house is from an old gold mine, which sounds haunted as f*ck. It’s tough to choose the most extra thing about this house, but I’ll go with the “Willy Wonka elevator” that has a glass ceiling. A close second place is the hot tub that you can literally ski right up to.
At this point, RHONY wouldn’t be RHONY without the annual trip to Dorinda Medley’s Berkshires home, Bluestone Manor. The house was her wedding gift from her late husband Richard (casual), and it cost $2.2 million back in 2005. Dorinda recently remodeled a lot of the interiors, and while most of the rooms l0ok elegant AF, there are still some quirky Dorinda touches that I can’t get over. Namely, a partially bejeweled taxidermy peacock. Dorinda says that for one phase of her life, bejeweled taxidermy was going to be her thing, but “nothing really ever came of it.” Hmm, can’t imagine why. Sadly, the new remodel means the infamous Fish Room no longer exists. Tragic, truly.
On Braunwyn’s first season of RHOC, we found out about her Love Shack, a special apartment “for debauchery” where she and her husband (and their friends) can get away from their seven (7!) kids. This isn’t technically a vacation home, but I can imagine that with that many kids, even getting away for a night feels like a vacation. Braunwyn describes the design aesthetic as “very romantic, a little bit dark… a very strong Asian influence that kind of reminded you of a Moroccan love den.” Um, can someone tell Braunwyn that Morocco is not in Asia? The apartment looks like if West Elm put out a Moulin Rouge! collection, and while it’s not my taste, I’m glad she can get away from all those kids.
I’m sure there are some other Housewives with beautiful second homes, and I would really appreciate if they let Bravo come film house tours ASAP. I will never turn down the opportunity to watch luxury videos that make me feel poor, so bring it on.
Images: PeopleTV, Bravo (5), DailyMailTV, E! News / YouTube
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which is solid social distancing) you’re aware that the world is currently coming to an end. Okay, that may be slightly dramatic, but sh*t is seriously going down. The COVID-19 virus has created a massive healthcare crisis on a global scale. All businesses not deemed essential have been shut down, hospitals are overrun with coronavirus cases, and for some reason your next-door neighbor has hoarded all of the toilet paper. In a time where uncertainty and panic have become everyday feelings, it’s important to maintain perspective and to acknowledge those who are working tirelessly on the frontlines, and the organizations that are dedicating all of their resources to helping those in need. Or, as Mr. Rogers said: look to the helpers. Which leads me to an extraordinary introduction: she’s an author, producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and let’s be frank(el), a literal queen. Bethenny Frankel hustles like nobody else: starting from serving up top notch skinny margs, to now saving the goddamn world, Frankel is a hero to happy hours and to those in need everywhere.
Frankel’s disaster relief initiative, BStrong, is founded on the mission of providing real time emergency assistance to people in crisis. They have partnered with the Global Empowerment Mission (GEM) in order to distribute face masks and protective gear to hospitals and medical workers. I spoke exclusively with Bethenny Frankel to hear more on how she is navigating aid efforts in midst of the pandemic and what you at home can do to help.
BStrong and GEM
At the start of the pandemic, Frankel’s BStrong and the GEM team began working around the clock to assemble “corona kits”, primarily aimed at prevention, consisting of tote bags with protective gear, hydration kits, Vitamin C for immunity building, and medical information. In response to the recent overwhelming shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), BStrong and GEM have since pivoted to providing masks, gowns, and additional protective gear to healthcare workers. Frankel shared an update on BStrong and GEM’s current relief efforts, telling us that, “We are currently distributing protective life saving gear to hospitals and state governments nationwide. In addition to the aid, we have distributed to important large hospitals in high risk cities, our current goal is to distribute to 100 hospitals nationwide who cannot afford to help themselves. We now distribute to between 10 and 15 hospitals a day.” While their approach may have changed, their mission is still the same: to deliver essential supplies to those who desperately need them.
Frankel is no stranger to dealing with large scale disasters. She has been in the trenches providing aid to those affected by the fires in Australia and the hurricanes in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico. The coronavirus, however, has challenged Frankel to adapt and shift her strategy in regards to responding to a healthcare crisis on a global scale. Frankel describes what it’s like to be an essential resource and providing aid during a pandemic. “This is a very cutthroat, time-sensitive, and intense process like I’ve never seen,” says Frankel, “Hoarding, gouging, stealing, and interception make this a very challenging mission, but we are trained for this. We have inspectors, lawyers, operations and logistics experts, and we cut through the red tape and move quicker than anyone can. We have already made significant progress and have moved an excess of 15 million dollars on necessary aid.”
Bethenny Frankel goes on to say that, “This is different from any other crisis, because the whole world and governments are on fire and are all fighting for their lives. It’s a war.” She’s not wrong; governments have been fighting over resources like they’re the last pack of toilet paper in the entire world, clashing over who’s going to receive coveted supplies and who’s left to get strategic with a bandana. BStrong’s partnership with GEM is working to make sure that doesn’t happen to our healthcare workers who are on the front lines of this crisis.
How To Help
Without proper funds, organizations like BStrong and GEM aren’t able to provide the crucial goods to the people and trades that desperately need them. That’s why Betches has launched the Good Influence Fund for Corona Relief. The Good Influence Fund works to connect people to worthy causes that have proven that they can mobilize quickly to address the range of challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to BStrong and GEM, The Good Influence Fund is recognizing World Central Kitchen, One Fair Wage, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Donations are divided equally between the four organizations to support their vital work.
Donations are essential in a time like this. Bethenny Frankel stresses that, “Funding has never been more important.” She goes on to say that, “We are sourcing and paying for tens of millions of dollars in protective equipment, and need to move instantly.” There is no time to waste, and every second and every penny truly does make a difference. Frankel says, “We need large donations. People spreading the word does a tremendous amount of good, and the small donations add up to thousands daily. We transact in the millions every few days.” Feeling inspired yet? You can donate to Betches’ Good Influence fund, or directly to BStrong and GEM by clicking here.
Frankel continues to preach that, “100% goes to the effort, which is refreshing in a time where major charities keep a significant percentage, and people have no idea specifically where money goes.” Frankel appeals to donors, saying that, “We show them the return on their humanitarian investment. We don’t hoard money and have ten million dollars sitting around for every disaster; so the more we do this, the greater trust we establish for ourselves, for wealthy donors, and for the influencers that get heavily involved.” Celebs like Amy Schumer, Billy Joel, Katie Couric, Ellen DeGeneres, Nina Dobrev, Shaun White, Mindy Kaling, and even Vanessa Hudgens have all pledged their support and donated to BStrong and GEM.
Right now @Bethenny is securing #millionsofmasks and supplies for various hospitals across the US. Join me in donating to help these medical professionals/literal lifesavers on the front lines: https://t.co/qccAJdlpsF
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) March 26, 2020
Funding isn’t the only way that you can support relief efforts from home. Frankel says that it is a pivotal time to use social media for good, emphasizing that, “Social media has helped #bstrong to save thousands of lives and aid people who have lost everything.” She continues, “We are totally transparent and I show our missions in real time on my Instagram.” It’s like they always say: sharing is caring. Frankel calls us all to action, urging everyone at home to, “Please encourage those who you look up to and who can afford it to keep donating. Please keep spreading our message and communicate exactly what we are doing.” You don’t have to be a billionaire to do your part. An Insta story is free, use your social media for good and post about initiatives and organizations that are out there doing valuable work. I’m not saying you have to skip your next selfie, but maybe throw in a hashtag and a link to a worthy cause while you’re at it!
And tune in TONIGHT 4/7 on Instagram, where Betches will be going live in our first-ever Instathon to raise money for the Good Influence Fund For Corona Relief and spread awareness. Starting at 6pm, we’ll have live DJ sets, celeb interviews, games, and more, featuring DJ James Kennedy, Colton Underwood, and many more special guests—all while raising money for corona relief.
Bottom line: I encourage everyone to donate financially if you can, or to help spread awareness through your social media channels, or hell, be an overachiever and do both! Do it for your loved ones, do it for the brave healthcare workers, and most importantly, do it because Bethenny Frankel told you to. DLBD, Don’t Let Bethenny Down!
For more information on BStrong and GEM or to donate to The Good Influence Fund please visit: https://www.bethenny.com/bstrong-disaster-relief/ & https://www.globalempowermentmission.org/covid-19 and https://secure.actblue.com/donate/betches
Photo credit: Sasha Maslov
Just weeks ago, a grown woman was caught on film having a meltdown while on the job. She yelled at her boss, suggested that she was the reason for his success, and publicly shamed a coworker with same-sex proclivities, saying, “We don’t do that” and “Turn it down!” In any other functional workplace, this behavior would get a person immediately fired, but in Real Housewives land it gets you ratings and a promotion. Of course, this isn’t the first time Vicki Gunvalson has gone off the rails, but it is the first time it has felt like a palpable line had been crossed. After her entitled and delusional outbursts at The Real Housewives of Orange County season 14 reunion, it became clear that she had fallen prey to some classic Real Housewife pre-retirement symptoms, suffered by many fellow Housewives, past and present. Read on for the signs a Real Housewife should leave the party.
1. Not Fully Participating in Filming and Reunions
There are always going to be parts of our jobs that we don’t like, for example, having to interact with other human beings partnering with coworkers on group projects. However, we’re paid to fully execute our responsibilities, and a Housewife’s duties are no different. This means showing up to all filming obligations, regardless of whether you feel like it or are getting along with your fellow castmates. Unfortunately, Lisa Vanderpump didn’t seem to understand this concept throughout season 9 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, when she just decided to stop filming midway through and chicken out on the reunion because she wasn’t getting along with the other women. It’s no wonder she was fired won’t return for the upcoming season. NeNe Leakes is also currently suffering from a similar delusion on this season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She’s barely been a presence and is leaving the heavy lifting to “friends of” like Marlo Hampton. It’s like asking an intern to bear your entire workload. Aspirational, but not how it actually works. If the Bravo execs have any sense, they’ll give Ms. Leakes her walking papers.
2. Forgetting The Show Is An Ensemble Effort
It’s natural that in any season there are going to be fan favorites and breakout stars. But Housewives get into trouble when they start believing their own hype and convincing themselves that they are the stars of their shows and their fellow castmates are merely supporting players. Vicki demonstrated this over and over again on the season 14 reunion, constantly making references to “my show” and saying “Get her off my show!” in reference to Braunwyn. Teresa Giudice is also guilty of using similar language on multiple occasions. What both Vicki and Teresa fail to realize is that they are on a show that thrives—nay, depends—on the interactions between cast members. Unless you’re Bethenny Frankel, you’re not compelling enough to carry your own show. Suck it up and know your role before you find yourself out of a job.
3. Crossing Moral And/Or Legal Boundaries
As Housewife fans, we live for drama, but when that drama derives from behavior that is immoral or downright illegal, it becomes hard to stand by the Housewife in question. We can never forget Vicki’s entanglement with real-life Dirty John Brooks Ayers, who spent the bulk of season 10 perpetrating a cancer scam, and although she was fully aware of this claimed to know nothing about it, she lost a lot of her luster with fans and the storyline was widely considered a low point for the series. Behavior that goes even further and ventures into criminal territory will get you fired, as Phaedra Parks learned after the revelation during the season 9 Atlanta reunion that Phaedra spread defamatory rumors claiming Kandi and Todd wanted to drug Porsha in order to take advantage of her. Attorney Phaedra should have known better than anyone that no one wants to deal with lawyers.
4. Being Inauthentic
We’ve all deduced by now that “reality” television is hardly real in the way, say, documentary footage or live news reporting is real. Plots need to be fleshed out, and at times that leads to storylines that can come off a bit contrived. However, when a Housewife herself is inauthentic, it’s a deal-breaker, and a telltale sign that she has no business being on the show. Tamra Judge on Orange County is a perfect current example. A woman who was once a pot-stirring firecracker prone to taking her top off is now, over a decade later, a pot-stirring firecracker prone to taking her top off. Only now it’s no longer novel and comes off as a desperate attempt to stay relevant on a show that is evolving without her. Another party guilty of inauthenticity of a different type is Dorit Kemsley on Beverly Hills. Forgetting about her put-on accent, Dorit’s refusal to air any of her real-life controversies makes her one of the phoniest Housewives we’ve ever had. It’s unclear what she brings to the show, other than a piggish husband and a penchant for over-the-top, label-displaying fashion she can’t actually afford. Yawn.
5. Avoiding Drama
Just like part of the job is showing up to filming at the appointed times, another integral part of being a Housewife is getting into it with other Housewives. Yet, year after year, there are always several women who complain that they “don’t want any drama” and refuse to go toe-to-toe with the others. In fact, aside from Puppygate, the entire cast of Beverly Hills built a whole season around this ethos, leaving us with one of the most boring seasons of the show we’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something). Even Namaste Teresa is a shell of the table-flipping, prostitution-whore-calling woman she once was, staying out of the fray and letting other people like Danielle Staub do her bidding. One might say this is growth and one might be right, but we all know dignity and maturity have no place on reality television. If I wanted to watch respectful and thoughtful people politely interact with one another, I’d put on The Great British Bake Off. Pick a lane, people!
It will be interesting to see what Bravo does with its OGs, who are some of the worst offenders when it comes to this list. While there’s something comforting about keeping around those who have been there from the beginning, getting rid of the women who aren’t pulling their weight keeps the others on their toes, especially those who lack the self-awareness to course-correct like Lisa Rinna, who does her best despite her drama-eschewing castmates. What other signs are there that a Housewife needs to go and who do you think needs to get off our screens? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Paul Morigi/Getty Images; Giphy (4); Tenor (1)
Just two days ago we all had to come to terms with the harsh reality that Bethenny Frankel will not be returning for season 12 of The Real Housewives of New York, and today, the business mogul took to Twitter to announce she was married? I need a vacation, it’s all too damn much. How much do you think we can handle Bethenny, my therapist is out of town!
Bethenny, who’s appeared on the first three seasons of RHONY as well as the most recent five, has become a real life business tycoon and arguably one of the most successful women to come out of a Housewives franchise. We’ve all come to know and love her as the straight shooter who says things most people only dream about saying.
After a long Instagram post explaining her reasons for leaving the show, fans took a deep breath and prepared to move on to a Frankel-less season 12, but before we could even pull ourselves together she decided to drop another bomb on us when this morning she tweeted a nice farewell to the remaining housewives while somehow burying the lede that she very well may have gotten married!?
To my NY hwives: GO GET EM! I had to go since I’m the only one that is actually married…that’s how crazy this ride is. You are all amazing, beautiful and strong. Spread your wings and fly! Xoxo @ramonasinger @CountessLuann @TinsleyMortimer @SonjatMorgan @dorindamedley
— Bethenny Frankel (@Bethenny) August 23, 2019
Bethenny has never been one to be overly sappy, but like…can a bitch get an explanation!? Can we get some photos!? A little video!? I would even settle for a goddamn Boomerang! Bethenny has had a rough year, when her on-again/off-again boyfriend Dennis Shields died suddenly from an overdose last August, and with a major scare herself when she went unconscious and nearly died after having a severe allergic reaction to fish. She’s been no stranger to turmoil, separating from her husband Jason Hoppy in 2013 and often mentioning her abusive, tumultuous childhood throughout her time on RHONY. Fans rejoiced when in December she began posting Instagram photos of her and apparent new boyfriend Paul Bernon on vacation together and said during the RHONY Season 11 reunion that Paul was the man who found and saved her life after the allergy incident.
While the tweet definitely alludes to the fact that she’s married, it seems it just may be an exaggeration. In a statement to ET, Bethenny’s ex-husband’s lawyers said that Bethenny and Jason’s divorce hasn’t been finalized, although they haven’t been together in six years. What is happening!?
The couple were assumed to be legally divorced in 2016 when Jason’s lawyers confirmed with ET that everything had been finalized and he was excited to move on with his life…but apparently not? Also what is the connection with Jason’s lawyers and ET!? In January 2017, he was arrested for harassment and for making threats to Bethenny, but ultimately pleaded out and the case was dropped. Bethenny sued for full custody of their now 9-year-old daughter shortly after. Now, however, his lawyers are saying the two haven’t legally divorced and I’m not a f*cking attorney so like what is going on?
Regardless, Bethenny seems very happy with her new beau, often posting photos of themselves with sappy captions like “I like me better when I’m with you,” which normally would make me roll my eyes to hard I’d vomit but we all know Bethenny deserves happiness! We’re all rooting for you! For now though it seems they’re not legally married, but perhaps just figuratively married like your friends that get in serious relationships and never want to go out anymore.
Images: Giphy (4); bethenny / Twitter
HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Coming to you LIVE from my hotel room. The reigning queen (and my personal idol) is leaving The Real Housewives of New York City. Bethenny Frankel. We have seen her on RHONY since it first aired 2008, then she left to do her own spinoff and talk show for a few years, only to triumphantly return to us in 2016. But this time, her leaving feels final. And personally, I need some time to process this news.
When we first met Bethenny back in 2008 she was considered by some cast members “the underdog.” She wasn’t married, didn’t have children, and was out here trying to make something of herself. She came in hot with her one-liners, and quickly befriended Jill Zarin. But Bethenny was a force from the jump. She doesn’t take sh*t, period. And when she had an opinion, we heard it. She was a breath of fresh air, and the no bulls*t Greek chorus of the show.
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I wanted to take a moment to write a personal note to you. I am so grateful to you for sticking with me through everything. You started this journey with me in my tiny apartment in my late 30s, wondering what would happen to me. I was broke, single, had no family and no idea what the future held. I had big dreams and I never stopped, but I honestly didn’t know if I would ever get here. You helped me to get there. I would read your letters and messages and grow from your struggles. You would give me your honest opinion about my products and projects and helpful advice about divorce, relationships, motherhood, miscarriages, health, and surviving the death of a loved one and almost my own. You have shared your ideas with me and I have been inspired by and learned from you. I am fortunate to have created a business and career that some people only dream of. I had a beautiful baby girl who is now 9 years old, and she has changed me as a human being. I was able to give back and help people all over the world who have been hit with the worst of unforeseen circumstances, which we will all continue together. GO for it. Whatever it is. Reach for your dreams in life and love and make the impossible happen, because it can happen and it WILL happen. Come from a place of yes and it’s yours for the taking. Thank you so much for your love and support. And stay tuned, you haven’t seen the last of me. There are many amazing things to come. I love you all and am so lucky to have you in my life! PS: New York City is still my playground. . ♥️xo♥️ . B
Throughout her tenure on the show we have seen her ups and downs—her pregnancy, the breakdown of her marriage to he who shall not be named, and finding HUGE success with her company SkinnyGirl. (Which btw, she sold for a record-breaking $100 million dollars.) Mind you, when she started RHONY she has said she only had $8,000 to her name. Business. Woman. Goals.
Variety broke this devastating news, and at first I thought, this is untrue, she wouldn’t do this to us. But then it read “it’s time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership…”. *cue jaw drop* As Luann de Lesseps once said, “How could you do this to me, question mark”. RHONY is truly an ensemble cast. They have perfected the art of reality television, and I personally don’t know what it is going to be like without her. Bethenny then confirmed her departure in an Instagram post, which you can find above.
Some of you may ask—why are you taking this news so hard? Why are you sitting in your hotel room and pondering life’s existence? Well, if you must know (going to get deep for a minute), honestly, because Bethenny is more than just a housewife to me. She is someone I look up to and admire. Someone I relate to in the most chaotic ways. Maybe it’s because we are both Scorpios, but she is a complex female character and moves through life unapologetically. Personally, I think the most interesting thing about Bethenny is that she is self aware in a way we rarely see in life or on The Real Housewives. She is hyper-cognizant of how she comes across, and even in her most manic states, she recognizes that. Bethenny never deflects her behavior onto someone else, and that is something I will definitely miss. Also, her ability to go from 0 to 100 in a matter of minutes is great TV. Her old BFF Carole Radziwill once said “she’s either wound tighter than a top, or crying”. That sums her up perfectly.
What makes her exit different than Vicki Gunvalson’s recent demotion on RHOC is that Bethenny left at her peak. Last season was a great season for Bethenny, and we got to see a softer side to the tough B. She was still trying to cope with the loss of her longtime on-and-off boyfriend/best friend Dennis. Still, every single week she delivered iconic lines, snarky confessionals, and humility. Vicki, on the other hand, was demoted because RHOC has been struggling the last few seasons. (That’s a conversation for another time though.)
I will finish this up by saying what every celebrity public relations firm advises their clients to say after a break up: “I wish her nothing but the best and I enjoyed our time together. Please respect my privacy at this time”. But also don’t, because I just looked up how to get cookies delivered to me so I can eat my feelings. I am reeling.
Images: Shutterstock; bethennyfrankel, betches / Instagram
It’s nothing new for celebrities to endorse products in exchange for large amounts of money. From the earliest days of radio, print, and TV advertising, famous people have done sponsorships with literally every product imaginable. But in the past few years, the rise of social media, particularly Instagram, has given way to a new model of celebrity endorsements. Now, anyone with more than a few thousand followers is considered an influencer, and their posts are up for grabs to the highest bidder. Naturally, people who are already famous are especially appealing to brands, and even many of the biggest names aren’t above a little #Spon here and there.
But not all sponsored posts are created equal. Whether the brands they’re shilling for are dumb, the posts are cringeworthy, or the deals just don’t make sense, here are some celebrities who could definitely cool it with the paid partnerships.
1. Selena Gomez
Until she was usurped by Ariana Grande earlier this year, Selena Gomez enjoyed a lengthy reign as the most-followed woman on Instagram. I like Selena a lot, but I really have never understood why her Instagram is such a phenomenon. She has long-term deals with brands like Coach and Puma, which are totally respectable, but she’s super unreliable about posting non-spons0red content. She’ll go full weeks without posting at all, only to drop like, three ads in a row.
Selena’s most recent album came out in 2015, so at this point Instagram ads might be her biggest source of revenue. As of last year, she was reportedly charging $800,000 for a single post, so I guess there’s not much incentive to record new music when you can just take a selfie in a bikini and make almost a million dollars. Still, it doesn’t make her very exciting to follow.
2. Kim Kardashian
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Guess who’s trying to be the family favorite… SUSHI!!!! Do your pets compete for attention when there’s a new ?? in the house?? Maybe she’s living a secret life?? What are your pets doing when you’re not at home? Tag @secretlifeofpets with your pets secret style. #ad #TheSecretLifeofPets2
This could really go for all of the Kardashians, but I’m choosing to focus on Kimberly today. As we all know, the Kardashians have built their massive empire without any major talent, so it’s not surprising that they turn to product endorsements to rake in the big bucks. I don’t have an issue with this, and it would be weird if the Kardashians suddenly stopped all their little businesses and projects. What’s strange, though, is when Kim or one of her sisters randomly posts an ad that really has nothing to do with anything else.
When Kim posts about her makeup, or her fragrances, or her sunglasses collaboration, that makes sense. But an ad for The Secret Life of Pets 2 that features her dog photoshopped into her outfit? I’m entertained, but I really don’t get the business strategy. I guess a check is a check, but I feel like at this point Kim could just say no to random stuff that doesn’t line up with her brand directly.
3. Sophie Turner
We all love Sophie Turner. She’s been a standout on Game of Thrones for years, and recently she’s really come into her own as a star with an amazing personality. She’s staring in the new X-Men movie, and she’s married to a Jonas Brother. Life is good. Which is why I don’t really get her recent endorsements for Wella, a hair color company. She seems like she’s on the way to a pretty awesome movie career, so this just feels unnecessary. It is kind of funny because both of her famous characters both have red hair, while in real life she’s super blonde. Idk, I just want more videos of her chugging wine at sporting events.
4. Bethenny Frankel
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Eating healthy is SO important to me. My health is a major priority. As a natural foods chef, I’ve built a career around health & wellness products which is why I LOVE being a #teamipartner and using @teamiblends! They just released their Greens powder, a unique blend of 16 superfood veggies. It’s perfect for those who want and need more greens in their diets (NOBODY eats 5-13 cups!) It’s so easy to incorporate into my busy lifestyle as a working mother, it has significantly improved my digestion, and I feel SO good and notice a difference! Use your favorite milk, ice, fruit, something sweet & blend until smooth & delicious! Get creative!!! I highly recommend you try it out. Im so excited to offer you 20% off using code BETHENNY at www.teamiblends.com. . . . #thankyouteami #xoteami #teamiworkmakesthedreamiwork #ad
This one really rubs me the wrong way. Reality stars are probably the number-one demographic for posting sponsored content on Instagram, so that’s not the issue here. But Bethenny Frankel is in a level above most of her Bravo costars. Back in 2011, Bethenny sold her Skinnygirl Cocktail company for an estimated $100 million, and she’s made plenty of money since then on her other Skinnygirl brands, not to mention the Real Housewives paycheck she gets every year. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t need the money.
But the bigger issue here is the product she’s advertising. Teami is a brand of detox tea that’s a favorite of lots of Bachelor and Vanderpump Rules cast members, but I don’t get why Bethenny has anything to do with them. She’s marketing herself as a natural foods chef, which is something I don’t think I’ve heard her say since about 201o. Because of her background in food, people are probably more likely to trust what she has to say, but this is definitely just a caption that Bethenny copy-pasted from the email Teami sent her. I’m thoroughly unimpressed.
5. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez isn’t a major offender here, but I still have some questions. Lately, she’s been marketing her collaboration with athletic wear brand Niyama Sol. At least it’s her own line, but it’s still a little random. J.Lo stays constantly busy, with movies, concert tours, and TV gigs, so I feel like the yoga pants don’t need to be a top priority.
But even more questionable to me is JLo’s new line of sunglasses with Quay Australia. It’s pronounced “key,” because letters don’t make sense, but you probably know the brand from their multitude of partnerships with Bachelor contestants and other thirsty creatures of Instagram. I feel like JLo could’ve aimed a lot higher if she wanted a sunglasses deal. The woman has a net worth of $400 million, but I guess good for her for selling sports bras and sunglasses now.
6. Kristen Bell
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I’m so excited to help @AmericanExpress launch the newly refreshed #AmexBlueCashPreferred Card. #ad The Card is perfect for me because I’m rewarded for spending on some of my favorite things – food and tv shows! Seriously – you earn 6% Cash Back on select US streaming subscriptions (ahem, Veronica Mars on @hulu!) and 6% Cash Back at US supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases). So, I can make my favorite show inspired snacks, watch my fav shows AND earn Cash Back at the same time? Yes, please. Terms Apply. Click the link in my bio to learn more. #AmexAmbassador
Everyone loves Kristen Bell. She’s funny, she’s adorable, she seems super happy with her husband—what’s not to love! Oh, I found something. I don’t love this ad she posted for American Express. In general, I don’t feel like I need famous people to tell me what to do with my money. Just a hunch, but I feel like Kristen Bell and I have different needs when it comes to credit cards. Like, I have millions of dollars and am a movie star, but I’m sure Kristen is living paycheck to paycheck. Now, if this were an ad for the popcorn that she’s eating, I would be very interested.
Look, I get it, everyone loves easy money. But I miss the days when movie stars just did a car commercial every six months and called it a day. Leave the #spon to Bachelor rejects and girls with fashion blogs, okay?
Images: Shutterstock; selenagomez, kimkardashian, sophiet, bethennyfrankel, jlo, kristenanniebell / Instagram
One week after the baby shower heard ’round the world, Andy Cohen is officially a father. He announced that his son had arrived late Monday night with a sweet selfie on Instagram, which may or may not have made me cry. The baby is named Benjamin Allen Cohen, which a good, normal name that I can’t even try to make fun of. Good job, Andy! I’m mostly thankful that he announced the baby’s birth right away, so we don’t have to sit around and speculate about this for months. I have no doubt Andy will be a great dad, but I do have more questions about this baby’s 100+ thirsty aunts. Once Andy posted his photo, all the Real Housewives came out of the woodwork to out-congratulate each other. With the birth of Andy’s baby, we enter a new era of Real Housewife desperation. You know damn well that every single one of these ladies wants to be this baby’s godmother, even though Kelly Ripa probably already has that job locked up. But who had the best response? I’m not here to judge. Okay, you got me, that’s exactly what I’m here to do.
I think we can already assume that the Housewives who missed the baby shower won’t get to meet the baby anytime soon. Except maybe Bethenny, who has probably already made Benjamin a custom pair of Skinnygirl Jeans. She also posted an adorable photo of Andy with his dog, telling them to make room for one more.
And with that, Bethenny is back in the competition. As for who probably isn’t? Well, I doubt Lisa Vanderpump will be getting an invite to the Sip & See, seeing as she’s currently the only member of the Beverly Hills cast who hasn’t posted anything about the baby’s birth. I’m also particularly curious about what’s up with Tinsley Mortimer, who skipped the shower and hasn’t posted anything about the baby either. She’s the only current RHONY lady who hasn’t mentioned Benjamin. I’m going to keep an eye on this, because something doesn’t seem quite right.
But let’s get to who is in the running to be America’s next top auntie. Realistically, I think it’s going to be one of the OGs. Andy has always had a soft spot for his longest-running Housewives, and they all put in the work to throw that baby shower. I have a feeling Andy gets along best with NeNe Leakes and Kyle Richards. Think about it. Vicki is a Republican, Ramona is insane, and Teresa is…also insane. NeNe is definitely fun to have around, and she reposted Andy’s photo with a very sweet caption about how much joy she feels for him.
How weird, because reading this, I am also shaking and crying tears of joy?? How did she know?
Kyle also seems normal enough that I would trust her around my child, and she also reposted Andy’s photo with a cute caption. I will spare you guys from having to see the same picture a third time, but Kyle’s caption read, “How beautiful is this ? I’m so happy for you @bravoandy ?❤️ #babycohen #andysbaby” and then she reposted Andy’s entire caption, which is sort of an unnecessary move, but ok. Nene’s caption is definitely more emotional than Kyle’s, but one could also argue that it’s a little over-the-top.
The wild card in this equation, in my eyes, is Lisa Rinna. Lisa loooooves Andy, and no one could accuse her of not having a good time at his baby shower. She would be a hilarious, fun aunt, and I’m kind of bitter she’s not related to me. She’s not an OG like Kyle, but maybe if she gets Benjamin an awesome gift like one of these onesies, she’ll be allowed to hang out with them.
This caption just cements my love for Lisa Rinna:
She is an icon we do not deserve. Another duo coming out of left field to win Papa Andy’s affection are Brandi and Steph from Real Housewives of Dallas. While they’re relatively new to the Bravo-verse, they’ve been playing up their friendship with their new podcast, and they could give baby Benjamin double the love. They’ve both reposted the photo of Andy with Benjamin, but not all of their fellow Dallas castmates have done the same, so they’re proving their loyalty.
Even though Real Housewives of Dallas is arguably one of the worst in the franchise (don’t @ me), Steph’s caption is one of the best out of all the Housewives’. It’s sweet without being overly dramatic, but it still has nothing on Rinna’s caption if you ask me.
I’m very happy for Andy, but also very happy that now we get a never-ending cycle of Housewife thirst all over social media. Who will post a selfie with the baby first? Who will bring Andy the most elaborate gift on Watch What Happens Live? The possibilities are seriously endless, and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold.
Images: @bethennyfrankel / Instagram; @lisarinna / Instagram