The newly crowned queen of the red carpet — her first foray into awards-show interviewing for the TV Guide Network, at last year's Emmys, was a grand success — is no stranger to the demands of being a star. She gives her take on our Body Talk special series by telling TVGuide.com what she thinks of the J. Love bikini pics, why it's tougher being a young star now than ever before and what she really thinks of plastic surgery.
TVGuide.com: Do you think there's too much pressure on stars to look a certain way?
Lisa Rinna: There is an absolute pressure; the way the Internet is now, with YouTube and the fact that everywhere you go, there are video cameras... no matter what, you're going to get it. I think there's more pressure than there's ever been in keeping your nose clean and going about your business in a way that is attractive. Especially for those young girls who [the cameras] follow all the time so they can't even make a wrong turn. It is really an awful time to be a celebrity; 20 years ago, when Harry [Hamlin, Rinna's husband] was doing L.A. Law, people just didn't care as much. Now there's such a focus on them; it's tough.
TVGuide.com: What did you think of the Jennifer Love Hewitt bikini story, and about her reaction?
Rinna: It's so unfortunate that TMZ would take a shot of her like that and put it on the website and say what they did. It's plain old mean-spirited. I mean, if they shot any of our asses up close with a telephoto lens, who knows what they would look like! My feeling is, if they were to do that and just write positive things, wouldn't that be nice? But I guess I'm living in a dream world. I just think it's mean. How would you feel? It's like, "Could we just completely ruin her life?" Just imagine how she felt. I think she was very brave and courageous to come out and say what she did. But I still think, as I do with the Tyra Banks [bathing suit] situation, that it has to hurt your feelings, to have someone go, "Oh, you're fat, you're this, you're that." I mean, shut up! If you're going to take pictures, at least do these girls a favor and don't print a picture that's really gross. It's been done to me before and it doesn't feel good.
TVGuide.com: There have also been a few young stars in the past couple of years who are looking dangerously thin.
Rinna: And now don't we know why — everyone's like, "Oh, my gosh, how could they be going through this?" Well, hello, when we totally rip somebody apart who's a normal size and plaster her butt for the world to see.... Of course these girls have eating disorders. We've all created it. It makes perfect sense. It's a vicious cycle, and it's too bad.
TVGuide.com: Do stars feel they have to lose their pregnancy weight immediately after having a child?
Rinna: I felt the pressure, absolutely, for both children. If you're in this business, unfortunately, because of the scrutiny [you can't avoid it]. Now it's even worse than when I had my girls, nine and six years ago. You can't even have an ounce of fat on you without someone calling you fat. The irony is, if they call Jennifer Love Hewitt fat, then come on....
TVGuide.com: So what about aging? Are older actresses unfairly excluded for roles unless they manage to stay young-looking?
Rinna: It's a proven fact, a well-known fact. Maybe that's just the way this business is and if we can just gracefully accept that and move on and do other things in our lives, that's the way to look at it. It's not a business for older people so much.
TVGuide.com: Do men in Hollywood face the same pressures as women?
Rinna: They do, but men are much more accepted, because when men age they're more "distinguished-looking." [Laughs] It's a little tiny bit easier, but I think they face the same issues. In this world, you have to be young, gorgeous and thin. And once that stops, you have to reinvent yourself. It can't be about your looks after a while, because they're going to go. I see myself working in this business for a long, long time. Having clothing stores all over the country [there are two branches of her Belle Gray store in Southern California] and being able to sell things on QVC or whatever. We're opening in Vegas, so hopefully that'll be our branching out into other parts of the country. I think you can become a Suzanne Somers-type businesswoman and make hundreds of millions of dollars without necessarily acting any more.
TVGuide.com: As for plastic surgery... is it pretty much assumed that women in Hollywood will get certain things done?
Rinna: You have to if you're going to work in this business for a certain amount of time; you just don't see older women with a bunch of wrinkles on television. It's not aesthetically as attractive to look at. If you don't fit the norm, you're not going to work. If you want to work, unfortunately, that's part of the program. It's like, do we sign up for the paparazzi or people to follow us and take pictures of us? No, but guess what? That's part of the gig. Whatever you want to do personally is absolutely 100 percent what you should do. But if I'm really honest, if you want to work in this town in your fifties, people have plastic surgery, that's what they do!
TVGuide.com: What about those younger women who think it's necessary in order to get ahead?
Rinna: I think that is a little much; it would be better if they didn't have to do that. [Although] some young people who have had plastic surgery look great; it's helped their self-esteem. It's transformed them. I think it's great that Ashley Tisdale came clean with it — she just said, "Look, I had a nose job; I had a deviated septum, I feel good about it.... " What's smart about that is, now no one can say anything. I think it's all a personal thing.
TVGuide.com: How does the Hollywood beauty ideal affect regular people?
Rinna: I think regular people are [having plastic surgery] as much as or more than celebrities. When I go to my dermatologist's office, I don't see any celebrities in there; I see all regular people, and it's packed. I think the celebrities and the magazines have helped create it, but now it's a big business. I wish I was a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist in this town! You can stave off plastic surgery for a long, long time now by having really good skin. You don't have to get a face-lift — I like to say I just like to keep myself looking fresh! I like to look good for my husband more than I do for my work. You have to really stay on your toes if you're going to be married to somebody for a long time. There are many things you can do, dress-wise, makeup-wise, to keep yourself looking fresh. It doesn't have to be plastic surgery. It's a mind-set.
More in the Body Talk series:
• 50ish (and Up) and Fabulous!
• Photo gallery: Is 50 the New 30?
• Nip/Tuck Isn't Just a TV Show
• Photo gallery: Nip/Tuck Isn't Just a TV Show
• The Skinny on Hollywood's Unreal Ideal
• Photo gallery: The Skinny on Hollywood's Unreal Ideal
• TVGuide.com's Top 20 Beauty Scandals and Stories of 2007
• Photo gallery: Top 10 Hollywood Beauty Scandals & Stories of 2007
• Photo gallery: Top 10 TV Beauty Scandals & Stories of 2007
• Special Preview and Polls
For more on Lisa Rinna, visit our Online Video Guide.
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