Bethenny Frankel Unveils Skinnygirl Shapewear Campaign

Whether we like it or not, Bethenny Frankel is on a mission to make Skinnygirl a full-blown lifestyle brand. After the crazy success of Skinnygirl Margaritas and, most recently, Skinnygirl Sangrias, the former Real Housewives of New York cast member turned reality breakout star turned millionaire mogul has decided that Skinnygirl should move from booze to body. Enter Skinnygirl Smoothers n’ Shapers.  

Per the release, Frankel’s new shapewear line is the "practical, affordable solution for women" and is coined as "the shapewear you actually want people to see." In other words, they’re fancy Spanx. To call to the line’s target consumer, Frankel has launched a "Real Woman" campaign, where she taps women of all shapes and sizes (her hair stylist, makeup artists and personal assistants) to model the collection. Catch the campaign’s official launch on Bravo’s Bethenny Ever After tonight and, if you’re so inclined, shop Skinnygirl Smoothers n’ Shapers here.

Evening Links: Blue Ivy Goes On Vacation, Justin Bieber Lends Song To ‘Bully’

● Three months old and Blue Ivy has already jetting town to spend the holiday weekend with her parents in St. Bart’s on a big ole’ yacht. [Rap-Up]

● Bravo’s Bethenny Frankel would like Mila Kunis to play the lead in the big-screen adaptation of her novel Skinnydipping. And as for everything else that goes into making a movie? She’ll figure that out later. [NYDN]

● Justin Bieber has graciously lent his song "Born to Be Somebody" to new Bully campaign. "My fans are always up for supporting a great cause," he explains. "I hope they see Bully with their friends and help start the conversation so we can end bullying." [MTV]

● Headed to the Hamptons this summer? Unfortunately for you, Coldplay’s drummer’s won the very last beach-parking permit, so you will have to plan accordingly. [NYDN]

● In order to pay back the IRS, Young Buck is selling all of his intellectual property, song composition and name included. So, uh, who’s buying? [Fuse]

● "Good luck dude, you are going to need it," is the best Kris Humphries can muster for Kanye West. [Radar]

Morning Links: T.I. Sent Back to Jail, Benni Cinkle Finally Has Her Own Video

● Yesterday T.I. was released from jail early, but then they sent him back after he showed up at the half-way house in a luxury bus. Apparently that’s not allowed. [NYDN] ● Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon got lunch together in L.A. so that they could talk about how Jake Gyllenhaal, their shared ex, is so “vain.” [Us] ● Whole Foods thinks that Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel’s SkinnyGirl Margaritas are toxic and are pulling the product from their shelves. [NYP]

● Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J doesn’t really think his collaboration with Jack White is so weird because they both wore costumes while doing it. “He put on his black hat and his black coat and we put on our makeup…And it wasn’t that different. He had our shtick and we had ours,” he says. [Village Voice] ● Cher took to twitter in support of her son Chaz, who has been the victim of attacks since since his casting in DWTS, tweeting that “It took guts 2 do it,” and that “Mothers don’t stop Getting angry with stupid bigots who (mess) with their children!” [Huff Post] ● Paz de la Huerta’s Agent Provocateur campaign finds the lady looking, as always, near-nude and mostly fabulous. [ONTD] ● Benni Cinkle, that awkward girl in pink from Rebecca Black’s “Friday” video, finally has a video to call her own. [ONTD]

Guilty Pleasures: Margaritas & ‘Real Housewives’

I love hating on The Real Housewives of New York. I’ve seen every episode. Even the reunion show. My viewing started off as an innocent diversion before spiraling quickly into a dark habit. I’d DVR the new episode and watch it fast so I could erase it before my boyfriend came over. My best friend, a reality show addict herself, advised me to get out before I got too deep. “I can handle it,” I told her. And myself. But I just couldn’t stop chasing that dragon. It’s too much fun disapproving of the Housewives’ extravagant lifestyles, marveling at the intricacy of their bitchiness. I like to play a game as I watch: who is the most spoiled? The stupidest? The relatively least-stupidest? I began wagers with myself, whether someone was going to finally bitch-slap Kelly Bensimon, or if anyone would call child services on Alex and Simon Van Kempen for endangering the lives of their children by turning their house into a construction zone. But despite my best loathing, I discovered a sensation strange for reality TV had begun to seep in. Fondness. I was starting to really root for Bethenny Frankel.

I enjoyed the way Bethenny ridiculed and criticized the other women. I liked that she was self-employed and looking for love. It was embarrassing to have to admit to myself that my addiction wasn’t only fueled solely by hate. In episode 11, Bethenny went on a blind date at Philippe and ordered a Skinnygirl Margarita, a drink that she’s (of course) trademarked and will soon be (of course) selling in stores and online. Although her date didn’t pan out, the cocktail created a buzz and has helped propel Frankel’s profile. Her margarita is tart and strong. She mentions in her (of course) instructional video that you can add a splash of lemonade, although her store-bought version will get its sweetness with agave nectar. Next up is Frankel’s own reality show about her experience planning her upcoming wedding to boyfriend Jason Hoppy. It looks like I’ll have all the excuse I need for another season of surreptitious DVR’ing and stiff cocktails.

Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl™ Margarita on the Rocks ● 2 oz of clear premium tequila (count 1, 2 while you pour, no need for measuring) ● tiny splash of orange liqueur ● juice of 4 fresh lime wedges Combine all ingredients over a glass of ice and garnish with a lime wedge. Makes one serving.

Skinny Margarita Remixed ● 1.5 oz premium tequila ● 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice ● 1/2 oz Rose’s sweet lime juice ● splash orange juice ● salt for the rim Rub lime wedge on rim of a highball glass, then dip the glass in salt. Combine tequila, lime juice, orange juice, and the sweetened lime juice in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake well, pour gently into glass.

Links: Evan Rachel Wood Romances Webhead, Adam Lambert + Kris Allen

● Cameron Diaz doesn’t want children because according to her the world has enough children and who needs one more? Take that, Octo-mom! [PopCrunch] ● Cher’s daughter Chastity Bono has revealed that shortly after her 40th birthday in March, she began gender reassignment treatment to become a man. [People] ● Evan Rachel Wood will be filling Kirsten Dunst’s shoes as Mary Jane in the Spider-Man musical, with music by Bono and The Edge. [ContactMusic]

● Adam Lambert talks about his man-crush for American Idol winner Kris Allen in the new Rolling Stone, while Kris Allen thinks his crush is “hilarious” and is “flattered” by the attention. [MTV] ● Mommie Dearest alert! A clip of Kate Gosselin has emerged of her denying one of her eight children water, while she drinks it openly in front of her. [Youtube] ● It’s Real Housewives overload: Bravo favorites Bethenny Frankel, NeNe Leakes, and Tamra Barney will be filling in for Kathie Lee Gifford while she’s on vacation. [BroadcastingCable]

‘Real Housewives’ & ‘Gossip Girl’ Cast Spring for the Cure

One should never turn down an open bar for a good cause. On Friday, fixtures on the New York social scene turned out to the Chelsea Art Museum to celebrate Spring for a Cure, a philanthropic event benefiting the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation. Gossip Girl cast members Connor Paolo and Yin Chang fraternized with host and Real Housewife of New York City Bethenny Frankel and cancer survivor Joey Smith (who delivered a moving speech about his battle with the disease). We didn’t only talk to attendees with their own TV shows, but check out conversations with Bethenny and Yin after the jump.

Bethenny talked to us about her new book, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting, and shared some words of wisdom of making it in the Big Apple and surviving the dating scene:

Is the book a huge success? The book was launched six weeks ago, and it’s been on the New York Times bestseller list every week. Skinny Girl Margaritas, mentioned in the book, are launching in June in stores. I’ve already finished the second book, so I have three more to do for the moment. The second book will also be in the weight loss section, but it’s more recipes, and more of a cookbook. I thought about the way that you go into your closet and you think that you have nothing to wear, and this is what to do in your refrigerator and your pantry and how to build a kitchen, like you build a wardrobe. Most recipe books give your unrealistic recipes like coq au vin, or something that you’ll never want to cook. It’s really healthy, classic recipes, like lasagna, baked ziti, turkey for Thanksgiving. There are really basic steps, and they’re really accessible so anyone could do it.

What’s one piece of advice you could give to young, working women in the big city? You don’t have to know what your destination is as long as you keep moving forward. So you’re on the road, and it’s about the journey, not the destination. I didn’t know that this was going to be my life, by any stretch of the imagination. It all evolved, and I’m still in the journey.

What’s going on with you personally? I’ve been dating a lot. If I only focused as much on my personal life as I do on my professional life, I would be in love and have a child. It took awhile for me to get to a point where I was independent, and I couldn’t pay my rent two years ago. Now that’s all taken care of, I need to focus on my personal life. I have my press tour now, and I’m still traveling around the country for the book and the Skinny Girl Margaritas, so once one thing stops, the next thing picks up. The one thing I’m hoping for is to try to find some balance and perspective.

One piece of advice about dating in New York? The least interested party always wins. You have to be able to walk away from the deal. In business, you always have to be able to walk away from the deal, and it’s the same thing with dating in New York. And then you win.

Despite our attempts, Yin Chang (who plays Blair Waldorf’s underling Nelly Yuki on Gossip Girl) kept her lips sealed on the arsenal of GG gossip:

What qualities do you share with the adorable Nelly Yuki? When I was in middle school, I looked like Nelly Yuki. I had braces and glasses in eighth grade. Nelly is meant to show that you can still be cool and stylish and have glasses. There are those stereotypes about if you have glasses, you’re a nerd. Thanks to Gossip Girl and costume designer Eric Damon, he made the nerd look in. There are a lot of people now with big glasses.

Tell us about your favorite outfit on the show. We just finished filming the finale and the prom episode, and I love my prom dress. It’s apricot dress. Leighton Meister wears this beautiful one-of-a-kind black gown that I just loved. I also love the schoolgirl outfits, and how he adds color subtly.

Do you hang out with the cast? We hang out and go to parties together … we get ready at each other’s places. We have an amazing cast and an amazing crew, and we’re all like a second family.

Who’s the cutest boy on Gossip Girl? They’re all cute. I can’t choose. Penn is very sweet, as is Chase. He has this macho attitude, but he’s very sweet inside. Connor is so wonderful, and he’s the youngest guy. He’s cute in that little kid way. But I guess I look at all of them like brothers.

How do you deal with Blair the Viper? Leighton is an amazing actress, and as soon as they call cut, boom, all the jokes start. There’s no animosity whatsoever.

Do we ever find out the identity of Gossip Girl? That’s a little surprise in the season finale, but I can’t tell you if we do or we don’t yet.

Anyone you hope will make a cameo on the show? I’d love to have Sigourney Weaver on the show. She’s such a solid actress.

Links: Lindsay Lohan in Hell, Gary Oldman on ‘Iron Man II’ Set

● Lindsay Lohan is in “hell.” She’s broke and alone thanks to her meal ticket Sam Ronson dumping her. What is Lohan to do? Run to Us Weekly and tell them all about it, of course. She tells the mag that life has become a version of Mean Girls. [US] ● Michael Caine is looking forward to a third installment of Batman — that is, if the 76-year-old makes it that long. [ComicBook] ● No Doubt’s cover of Adam Ant’s “Stand and Deliver” has leaked, and their interpretation is … interesting. They are set to perform the track on the Gossip Girl finale as a bridge to the GG 80s spin-off show. [Youtube]

● Gary Oldman was spotted on the set of Iron Man II; was he just visiting, or does he have a role in the new film? Villains are out, as Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell have that covered. What could Oldman be playing? Father to Tony Stark perhaps? [IESB] ● Madonna does the charitable thing by donating around a half-million dollars to Italian earthquake relief efforts. [People] ● Although Real Housewives of New York Bethenny Frankel and Kelly Bensimon were seen posing for photos together at Bravo’s A-List Awards, they would like you to know they are still not friends. [E!]

Links: Katy Perry’s Secret to Love, Angelina Jolie as Bond Girl

● Could there be a Flight Of The Conchords movie? Rhys Darby, who plays Murray, says the idea is floating around, but the story would have to be right. The band finally makes it big? [YahooUK] ● Kevin Smith talks about the dark side of the Internet and breaking his addiction to listening to online haters. [Youtube] ● Katy Perry thinks she has the secret to everlasting love — long-distance relationships. ‘Cause nothing stops you from cheating like being 3,000 miles away. [Showbizspy]

● Martin Sheen has revealed that he once forgot who his ex-daughter-in-law Paula Abdul was. Abdul approached Sheen at a function, and the actor walked right past. It’s okay; nobody remembers that Paula was married to Emilio Estevez either. [Starpluse] ● Angelina Jolie is yet another name rumored for the next James Bond film, but Jolie won’t be a Bond girl — rather, she wants a recurring role. [WorstPreviews] ● Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel claims she can make Oprah skinny again — this time for good — by using Frankel’s new book Naturally Thin. [US]

Dishing with Bethenny Frankel of ‘Real Housewives’

“There are rules!” warns Bethenny Frankel, as a waitress approaches our booth at the downstairs bar of Bandit’s, just across the street from her Park City home-away-from-home, Harry O’s, where her ChefDance dinner parties have been the top event in town for four years running. In case I forgot, we’re in Mormon country. “You have to order something to eat if you get a cocktail in a restaurant,” she explains.

We avoid the extra calories and settle on tea and a club soda with lime for her — fitting selections as we’re sitting down to talk about her new book, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Skinny Girl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting, her ChefDance rivals, and the oil-and-water drama on the upcoming season of Bravo’s addictive guilty pleasure, The Real Housewives of New York City.

How does this year’s ChefDance compare to years past? Has the profile risen after your stint on Real Housewives? It usually is 10 nights, but this year because I have a book coming out and my TV show, it’s only 5 nights. The concept is the same. Each night is a different celebrity chef. It’s a 4-course meal with 250 guests, and everyone is a VIP. Well, not everyone. You’ll have Paul Allen or Paris Hilton sitting next to a ski lift operator. This is the hottest ticket in Sundance by far. We had to turn away Slash. Last night, Andy McDowell and Cuba Gooding Jr. stopped by. And Woody Harrelson just stopped by. We’ve had Robert Redford, which is unusual because he’s not into Sundance for what it’s become. Eddie Murphy celebrated his Oscar nomination. Sharon Stone had a party with Tom Arnold on the same night that Mischa Barton celebrated her birthday. Kerry Simon was there from Rock n’ Roll Chef.

Give us the skinny on your book. It’s a no-nonsense, no-BS book that talks to every person. If Oprah and Britney can’t keep their weight down, how is a person at a Wal-Mart checkout supposed to do it? It’s ten rules, such as: Your diet’s a bank account so eat like the way you invest. If you decide to invest in a piece of chocolate cake for breakfast — it’s not good, it’s not bad, it’s just that at lunch you account for that. In every situation, there’s a tool to use. If you’re at a Superbowl party, the tool to use is the “taste everything, eat nothing” rule. And it’s not that you shouldn’t drink, but it’s about what you should drink.

What should you drink? The Skinny Girl Margarita. It’s clear tequila, four limes, and a tiny splash of citrus. It’s going to be in stores in May. I did a deal with the people who built Skyy Vodka. Why should we take your advice? Well, I’m a natural food chef, I went to school for it. I was always the girl who would eat the steamed vegetables and would deprive myself and then eat everything in sight. So the more intelligent that we become, the stupider we become with dieting. The book is so stupid that it’s smart.

Real Housewives is back on the air on February 17. What can we expect this year? It’s a lot of drama. It’s not like Orange County and Atlanta drama, because we’re all seemingly a little more intelligent. We’re just really different from them. I don’t see myself going to someone’s house and slapping them, or having some bitch fight. It’s still five women, so you’re still going to have a lot of cattiness, but it’s just in a different package. You can’t write this stuff — it happens.

What’s the deal with the couple from Brooklyn? Alex and Simon? They’re like aliens — amazing to watch. But to their credit, they’re the only ones on the show who never said a bad thing about anyone else.

What’s the juiciest drama this season? I have a definite person that rubs me the wrong way. I have a moment with oil and water. I also have an argument with Jill, which is really unusual, because Jill and I are like family. I have it out with her. And I’m single this season. So that’s news. I’m sure a lot of people will have things to say about the fact that I’m 38, and I don’t have a child yet, and all I’m doing is working, and I’m probably too tough to have a relationship, and all that stuff. Which might be true.

Is that all stuff that you’re afraid people are going to say? Or people are already saying? I’m not really afraid. I don’t really give a crap about any of those things, ever. I am like, “Go big or go home.” This season, everyone knows who we are, so you don’t have to catch them up. It’s just like — GO. And it’s also double the episodes. So it was 6 last time and now it’s 12. You get a lot more bang for your buck this time.

How did the show change your life in New York? I was very nervous to do the show, and I kept turning it down for two months, and they kept coming after me. I mean, I could understand why because I understood what they saw in me as a person who is battling career and love. And you need that one, sort of, extra Sarah Jessica Parker character to identify with. Doing it, everything just exploded for me. It was the best thing that happened to me in my entire life. Do you see a spinoff show? I’ve been approached by a couple people about a couple of different shows. I can’t really talk about it. There is something in the works.

What’s the best part of being on the show? Being able to be totally yourself and honest and realizing that really is the best way to be. People that don’t come off well are people who try to manufacture who they are on TV. Or they get upset because they are not self-aware. They think it’s in the editing or they think, “That’s not me.” The viewer is really intelligent, so don’t underestimate that.

It’s real and it’s you. It’s like being on a blind date. You sit down on a blind date, and in five minutes, you pretty much have a good idea about who the other person is. People want to say, ‘Well that’s not my life, I do other things.” Of course that’s not everything. I drank 19 margaritas when I broke up with my ex-boyfriend, on someone’s boat. And I don’t normally do that, but I did it that time, and that’s true.

What’s the worst part about being on the show? That’s it’s totally toxic. Resting and doing yoga is not interesting to anyone. Things that sell are things that are dramatic. It’s literally like having a flashlight right on you when you’re crying or down, but you sign up for this.