Q&A: Bethenny Frankel

We get the skinny on the Skinnygirl herself.

Bethenny FrankelShe’s the queen of reality TV on Bravo. She’s a New York Times best-selling author. She’s a self-made brand that includes everything from her signature drink, Skinnygirl Margarita, to workout DVDs. She’s a wife and a mother of a baby girl. And she’s coming soon to a city near you—Jan. 21 at the Merriam Theater, to be exact. We caught up with Bethenny Frankel on the first day of her Skinnygirl Night Out Tour to see what everyone’s favorite Skinnygirl has in store for her Philadelphia fans.

MLT: Congratulations on kicking off your Skinnygirl Night Out Tour!
Thank you so much. I’m on the Skinnygirl bus right now heading to Lowell, Mass. I need to start going through what I’m actually going to talk about since it’s my first show. I can’t wait to get to Philadelphia on Jan. 21. I really like Philadelphia; I think it’s a nice city. There are so many great restaurants. I’m so excited. It should be a really fun show.

MLT: What can women (and those loyal male fans) expect from the show?
Honesty, it’s just like my book signings. I talk a little about gossip, my life, and what’s going on with me. I’ll talk a lot about food, weight, body image, and how we’re too extreme. I’ll also talk a lot about my book, Naturally Thin, because that book basically helped thousands of women truly unleash their skinny girl and not really be obsessed about dieting. And, of course, I’m going to talk about A Place of Yes, which is my third book coming out in March. The book is basically about how to get where you want to be in life regardless of what it is that you’re looking for. I think that people who come to the show will find a lot of what they hear to be really valuable.

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MLT: Can the audience ask questions?
Absolutely. That interaction will be the best part of doing this tour.

MLT: I’m sure you’re preparing for a lot of questions about your participation in The Real Housewives of New York City. Will you answer them?
I’ve found that most people are coming to my show because they want to really learn something. You can read gossip in the magazines—and there will be a little bit of that—but I feel that people want to learn something about how to be successful, how to not obsess over diet and exercise, and just focus on being healthy or basically how to do it all.

MLT: A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life is coming out in March. Can you give us a preview of some of these rules?
Absolutely. One of my favorites is “Break the Chain.” This rule has to do with leaving everything in the past behind you. You don’t have to continue the life you had. You don’t have to be who your parents thought you should be—or be the same type of parents your parents were. This is your life, your time. You get to write your future.

Another is “Going for Yours.” You need to take care of yourself first and really know who you are. You have to decide what you want before you can really be in a relationship with others or before you can give something to someone else in a relationship.

MLT: Your bio on Amazon.com says you still live in New York with your dog, Cookie. A lot has changed since that bio blurb was written. How have you handled all of the change in your life over the past two years?
I have to say, I’ve matured a lot in the last year because I had no choice. I have a lot more responsibilities, my business has grown, my family—it’s not just my dog and me. I have a husband and a baby. It’s a whole new chapter in my life, and I love it.

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MLT: Next month, the second season of your spin-off reality show, Bethenny Ever After, debuts. What aspect of your career do you enjoy the most: taping your show, writing books, the speaking engagements, or working on your Skinnygirl brand?
I’d say being an author, because I like being able to have a conversation with my fans through my writing. Appearing at book signings and speaking engagements are really high up there, too, because I get to connect and see who my fans are. A lot about what I talk about and what I do is what they want.

MLT: A few years ago, when you started on Real Housewives, did you ever think you’d be where you are now?
I didn’t think I’d be to this level. I don’t think I ever could have imagined it.

MLT: You’re the only “Housewife” in the entire franchise who has a brand of this magnitude. What do you attribute to that success?
I had a platform and ideas, and I stood for what I believed in, even before I started on Real Housewives. I’d say 99.999 percent of the housewives go on [the show] just because they want to capture their personal lives. This brand was established beforehand; television just gave me a real big boost and a platform to market it.

MLT: How was your experience on Skating with the Stars?
It was excruciating. It was very difficult and very challenging.

MLT: So, if they ask you to do an upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars, are you saying “yes” or “no”?
I absolutely do not want to do Dancing with the Stars.

MLT: What’s next for you?
I’m doing a lot of what I want to do now. My TV show is great. Skinnygirl Margarita is a very big success. I’m really excited about this tour. Right now, I’m going to 12 cities, but we keep adding cities, so I’m not really sure how long I’ll be touring. I have other ventures, whether it’s the shapewear or skincare products. I want to solve women’s problems. It’s a brand that adheres to one line, and everything is completely cohesive. I have another TV project that I’m also working on. So, more of the same things, but a lot of new things are coming up, too.

For tickets to the event, visit kimmelcenter.org.


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