During the Real Housewives of New Yorkreunion show, Kelly Killoren Bensimon asked the other housewives to celebrate her for who she really is.
But celebrate what, exactly?
Her coherence? Compared to Bensimon, my 11-year-old daughter with ADD sounds like Mark Twain. My 14-year old daughter managed to stop salting her conversation with the word "like", but not Bensimon, who says, "Like, it's like . . ." to explain her "feelings," which she either doesn't have or can't express. Bensimon's speech about "systematic bullying" was clearly written for her by her publicity people. She had to memorize it for her PSA, and then struggled to take it from the top on the reunion show when other housewives interrupted her rote delivery. FYI: The correct phrase is "relational aggression," meaning adolescent gossiping, name-calling, backstabbing and exclusion -- aka, what Bensimon herself was guilty of.
Perhaps Bensimon would like women to celebrate her consistency. How she can wear fur, and support PETA. If PETA stands for anything, it's DON'T WEAR FUR. Or her belief that she's the "nice" one, when she calls others "freaks" and "creepy." Or how she can say, "I don't drink," while holding a beer. Or say, "I don't eat processed foods," while chewing on jellybeans. Or claim to be a great mother, and then go against her daughter's clearly stated preference against Mommy posing nude.
Maybe women should celebrate Bensimon's professional accomplishments, such as her jewelry line, which she didn't create or produce. Or her Bikini Book of stock photos she didn't take, and captions she probably didn't write. In the unlikely event that Bensimon did scratch out those captions with a crayon, we can't exactly raise a glass to celebrate her intellectual revelations, e.g., "White is difficult to wear." What of Bensimon's "photography" for Gotham? About as impressive as my snapshots of my cats.
What about Bensimon's relationships? Should those be cause for celebration? Well, her brief marriage to a man 24 years her senior, who got her a job and supported her, might not seem, on the surface, to be a union based on mutual love and respect. Her children? On the show, one of them refused to speak to her, and only scribbled nasty little notes. Her friends? Bensimon sure can pick 'em. Jill Zarin wins the ultimate relational aggressor sweepstakes and keeps a knife for backstabbing in a holster on her gold ostrich belt. LuAnn De Lesseps described Bensimon to her face as an impotent, incompetent bunny.
We can all give a rouse for Kelly Bensimon's astute political and cultural insights. Pause to choke and gag.
Her sense of style? Credit her personal shoppers, furriers and stylists.
Her cooking? Two words: Pancake mix.
Her hostess skills? Her graciousness as a guest? Unlike the other housewives, who throw events and parties that require organization and thought, Bensimon couldn't, hasn't, planned a picnic. To the other women's events, she arrives late, under/over dressed, makes a scene, storms out, and leaves early, rudely.
Clearly, there is only one thing anyone could ever celebrate about Kelly Bensimon: She is beautiful. The long legs she was born with could hardly be considered a personal accomplishment, though. We can and should celebrate her trainer, eyebrow waxer, makeup artist, plastic surgeon, cosmetic dentist, hair stylist and tanning bed technician.
What if Bensimon were average looking? Or unattractive? If not for her beauty, she'd be in a shelter for ranting, homeless middle aged crazy ladies right now, and not in a mansion in the Hamptons. And certainly not on our TV screens.
Her looks have opened every door she's ever walked through, once she figured out how to work the knob.
Speaking as a hard working mom who isn't rolling in freebies and free passes, or "branded," and would be horrified by the hubris of asking anyone to "celebrate" me for any reason, I find nothing worth cheering about Bensimon -- especially her plea to accept her just as she is.
So, sorry, Kelly, if you can read this post with your inflated lips moving. No fireworks and streamers for you.