Yesterday I decided to step out of my comfort zone and go to Beverly Hills. I typically take a series of complicated freeways and shortcuts to bypass when going any point West.
But I was given a month of free classes at this tony work out barre joint. You know it's uptown when they validate, the foyer is marble and frosted glass and the receptionist looks like Emma Stone.
I'm in decent shape so I thought, whatever. A few ballet kicks, a plie? Please. I wore my usual work out attire, old gym pants and a moth bitten T-shirt. Boy was I surprised.
After chatting with Emma Stone look-a-like, walking toward the studio, I saw rows of pictures; movie stars all over the walls. Not the cheesy signed ones, but actual photographs showing their off buff bodies. Apparently tons go through this place.
Reese Witherspoon must be an investor because she is featured prominently on a number of walls. Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johannson, Emmy Rossum, Denise Richards and Kathy Ireland (I can't tell the difference) Katherine Heigl, Paris Hilton, Megan Fox, all looking incredibly healthy, great. You get the idea.
There are only two workout rooms, it's that exclusive They can afford to do this because each class is $45.00 or $600.00 for the month.
The instructors are all model gorgeous, with crazy perfect figures. I will say they are kind. They came to my aid countless times to adjust my position in order to make the workout hurt even more.
"You're still doing this wrong. You must be from Hollywood." ^ ^ ^ ^
In all fairness, I did stand out given everyone wore designer LuLuemon outfits and were already in perfect shape. The age range is say 18 to well, I'm guessing 68. Because it's Beverly Hills and impossible to tell.
In my class that was a spattering of celebrities, all of their faces heavily made-up. Almost professionally. I was surrounded by 50 pounds of collagen. One woman had a full pound in her lips alone because they had a life of their own. I couldn't stop staring. I know that's rude, but as she was bouncing her boy sized frame around, those lips looked so heavy I would venture to say they added resistance to her workout.
Before the class began, the woman next to me was frightening. I say this with great compassion. She had the face of a 68 year old, but it was as though all of her lines had been magically erased. It was startling. And distracting. I wanted her wrinkles to be where they belonged.
I don't even know how that's done. Is there a magic surgical eraser out there? And why? Why erase your face when you look 68 anyway? I know she was going for the Joan Rivers look but what is that? ^^
I actually love Joan Rivers and don't care what she did or did not do. I just care that she is happy.
The Old Lady spoke and her entire upper face got involved, moving upward like a slab a cement being hoisted.
Old Lady: First time?
Old Lady: Mandy is a killer. I've been coming for years and it's still so hard.
Well maybe because your pushing 70 and should be taking walks on the damn beach!
Me: Look at that girl across the room. She's anorexic. I feel the need to save her.
Old Lady: Oh, my youngest is skinnier than her. Don't give a thought. So working off babyfat?
Me: Yeah. He's 21. But I also have 9-year old twins.
Old Lady: Oh, you had children later in life? New, younger husband? I understand.They always want their own. One way to keep them.
I was in another world.
Me: No. That wasn't the situation. A sister wife bore the girls. We're very modern.
She actually gasped. How dare she assume anything. Sometimes I'm taken off guard when someone over 50 can still be a bimbo, but they exist in Beverly Hills.
Now we are in full work out mode, squeezing our glutes so hard I almost vomited. The old lady didn't even break a sweat! I should mention she also was a size four and had huge diamond rocks on half her fingers.
Old Lady: You keep coming and you'll get back into a bikini rocking Ibiza in no time.
This was really happening.
Me: Well maybe you should embrace your face?
Old Lady: What?
Me: I'm about to do a face plant.
Old Lady: Ah. Just keep at it.
We were on the 200th leg lift. Both of my thighs were shaking. I was jello. My heart was giving out. My blood sugar was dropping. There are no clocks in the room. I hate Beverly Hills.
All the ladies were super serious,
not even sweating, positioned in front of mirrors so they could stare at themselves and admire their unblemished faces. I'm certain secret selfies were happening all around me.
I was a wreck. I had NO interest in seeing what I looked like.
Finally it ended.
Old Lady: You made it. Pretty soon you can throw away your fat pants.
Who asked you? I seriously wanted to deck her, but I felt so bad for her. This burn victim actually believed she looked hot. This look has become the norm in Beverly Hills. The no- line, flawless skin freak face, held in place with cheek, lip and chin implants. Throw in some downy feathers and blood transfusions. I sometimes get certain actresses mixed up when they use the same surgeon.
I'm not against minor cosmetic enhancing, but it's a slippery slope. These are all beautiful women in my opinion and maybe leave themselves alone. Aging gracefully is a good thing.
Walking toward my car, I noticed the old lady meeting up with her husband who did not have face work done and looked like my grandfather. I bet in her mind she comes off as the young trophy wife. How sad is that?
I will go again because it's free and frankly who doesn't want to tone up. But now I know what to expect. Maybe I'll wash my shirt before I go next time.
Rhonda Talbot on cardio barre and working out with the movie stars. Made it home. ^^^