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If I have learned anything from this site, it’s that Bethenny Frankel elicits very strong emotions from people.  You either love her or you hate her…or you’re some strange, atypical weirdo who is totally indifferent to her.  I fall into that last category.  She makes a mean margarita though, and I’d kill for her wardrobe (most of the time).

The Bravo star recently sat down with Self to give tips on everything under the sun.  Seriously.  She talks about sex, yoga, acid washed jeans (don’t wear ‘em!), and being rude to Clinique saleswomen the importance of having your make-up professionally done.  Of course, given that it’s a women’s health magazine, she also shares her healthy habits and dishes on her perceived marital breakdown.

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Of diet and exercise, Bethenny says, “I used to starve, then binge, and I was 25 pounds heavier. I tried every diet from Beverly Hills to South Beach. Any diet that says to limit eating watermelon but processed protein bars are good means we’ve become stupid. Now I eat what I crave and make sure I’m having a balanced variety.”  She asserts, “I’m not all caught up in my body anymore. How often am I strutting around naked? I exercise to get the kinks out, to feel healthy and to keep things not jiggly.”

“It’s definitely not about being the skinniest woman in the room,” Bethenny continues.  Ahem.  “That’s not as sexy as looking like Sofía Vergara, Christina Hendricks, Jennifer Hudson or anyone else who is rockin’ her curves. People are attracted to confidence.”

The cocktail maven is also quick to admit that sometimes life is better when the cameras aren’t rolling.  “I’m happiest when it’s just us, like when I’m on the floor with Jason and the baby, making a tent with blankets,” says Bethenny.  “Right now, I’m looking for some peace. I’m not really sure what I’m doing anymore with reality TV. I experienced a miscarriage on TV. I didn’t need that…Everything I do is to make a better life and future for Bryn.”

In the print version of the magazine, Bethenny reveals that it’s not always easy to watch every aspect of her marriage play out on television.  However, she feels that she owes it to her fans to show everything, warts and all, especially when relating to her husband Jason Hoppy.  Bethenny states, “We have had strains. We’ve had major fights.  When I signed on to do this show, I committed to myself and my fans to be totally honest. You cannot show people only the petals and not the thorns. It’s not fair to them.”

Of course, after the fighting comes the make-up sex, right?  Letting readers into the Hoppy/Frankel boudoir, Bethenny advises, “Like Nike says, Just Do It! Figure out the pattern that works for both of you. I’m tired at night, but I’m in a ‘place of yes’ in the morning if I wake up before Bryn does. Jason loves it anytime, any way he can get it, so he’s happy whenever.”

Adding yet another corner of the market to her resume, Bethenny’s first novel, Skinnydipping (what else?) will be hitting a bookstore near you on May 1st.  The Hollywood Reporter shares an exclusive preview of the book:

Skinnydipping follows the story of Faith Brightstone, an aspiring actress, who moves from New York to Hollywood with big dreams of making it as an actress. But her plans don’t pan out. The only role she lands is in a cheesy movie and she hates her job as the personal assistant to the wife of a big shot producer, so she moves back to New York.

Five years later, she is cast on a new reality show after a producer spots her at a fancy food trade show. Quickly, her blunt honesty and loud mouth get her in trouble with her castmates and Faith doesn’t care. The winner of the reality show gets her own show on a cable network and she’s hungry for fame. But as the contest nears an end, Faith meets the man of her dreams, forcing her to possibly choose between love and fame.

Sounds like a case of art imitating life, wouldn’t you say?  No doubt her fans will be excited to have another facet of Bethenny to enjoy, and with summer right around the corner, everyone needs a fun, easy beach read…or you could always wait for the movie.  Y’all know it’s coming!

COMMENTS ON BETHENNY’S ADVICE?  DO YOU REALLY THINK SHE’S SHOWING THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY OR IS HER MARRIAGE REALLY IN TROUBLE?  WILL YOU BE PACKING SKINNYDIPPING IN YOUR BEACH BAG?

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