Why ‘RHONY’ Alum Bethenny Frankel Predicts A Rise in Reality TV and Influencer Stars

Bethenny Frankel became a famous face during her time as a cast member on Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of New York. Announcing her departure from the reality show in August, Frankel is now focusing on creating new programming with media mogul Mark Burnett as well as her philanthropic efforts through her BStrong foundation.

With the coronavirus crisis putting a halt to businesses nationwide including production of scripted films and televisions shows, Frankel is predicting that viewers are going to see a surge of reality stars and influencers.

Fox anchor Maria Bartiromo interviews Bethenny Frankel
Bethenny Frankel | John Lamparski/Getty Images

Bravo TV alum shifts her use of social media

Frankel has been tirelessly working to raise funds and bring aid through her BStrong foundation to those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. With her focus on helping others during the pandemic, the Real Housewives alum revealed that she has little time to worry about her appearance.

“I’m just posting the truth of what’s going on, because I’ve never done more television interviews with a ponytail and barely brushed teeth before,” Frankel told W Magazine, commenting that the health crisis is prompting the masses to take stock of their priorities. “I think this is a global reset and everyone I know personally who I respect and care about, cares about the right things and they’re realizing what’s important.”

Frankel’s current mission has inspired her reevaluate her own use of reality television and social media. “I am the first one to say that I have been in reality TV in a superficial way,” she admitted. “I’ve never loved social media. I love social media for relief work, because it’s a switchboard, and it’s how I learn how people are living and dying, and getting solutions.”

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MISSION 6: . A: THANK YOU to The Verstandig Family Foundation @grantverstandig4 for their donation of $1.3 million to: $500,000 to state of AZhealth dept. $150,000 to state of IN health dept. $500,000 to MedStar Health $200,000 to Inova Health *The above 2 consist of 200+ hospitals, clinics & health care facilities in MD, DC, & VA . B: 2,000 KN95 masks, 2,000 surgical masks, & 500 biohazard hazmat water resistant full body protective suits are delivered or en route to Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital . C: 500 biohazard hazmat water resistant full body protective suits en route to NY Presbyterian Hospital & NYU Langone Hospital . D: 500 N95 masks, 1,000 KN95 masks, 2,000 surgical masks, & 500 hazmat water resistant full body protective suits are en route to Greenwich Anesthesia Associates, Upstate University Hospital, Brigham Women's Hospital, Westchester Medical Center, St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital, & SouthSide Hospital . * #BStrong distributes aid according to the specific crisis and allocated by state proportionally to the country. Severity & necessity differs by state & shifts. . We shift accordingly. Within facilities, we allocate aid according to positions. 3M masks might be for an ER MD & an office or cafeteria worker might need an FDA surgical mask. . This provides more aid with a purpose & covers more ground. . We’ve 2x exceeded our goal of 100+facilities & our goal of $16 million in aid distribution in 15+states. Our new goal is $50 million in aid to healthcare workers, firefighters, police officers & frontline warriors throughout the US. . Please donate & support #BStrong & @globalempowermentmission by clicking the link in my bio. #thisisacrisis #COVID19 #Coronavirus

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Bethenny Frankel sees reality boom

Recently speaking to Yahoo! Finance, the Skinnygirl founder commented on the influx of scripted shows usually being the norm in entertainment.

“More recently, scripted television has completely exploded,” Frankel said. “There’s so much content, I need an assistant just to tell me what shows I should be watching.”

Yet with the global pandemic shutting down major studios, the former RHONY star sees the Hollywood halt as a golden opportunity for wannabe reality stars and influencers who don’t need to depend on big-time producers to create content or provide funding.

“I think now [amid coronavirus], it’s the unscripted shows—run-and-gun types of shows that can just pick up a camera, do things at home,” Frankel explained. “That’s why cooking is so huge right now, because people can just get their ingredients together, pick up a camera, and provide great content. I think it’s going to be a very interesting shift that will last for a long time, based on people being at home.”

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This is what I look like most days. It’s not filtered. It’s not lit well. & right now, for the worst time in many lifetimes, for many people, life isn’t filtered. . Unemployment is at record numbers. People are holding signs saying, “will work for food,” domestic violence is up, people are losing their jobs at every economic level, the poor are getting poorer. People’s emotional states are in jeopardy, mental illness is exacerbated. It’s truly a catastrophic crisis inducing fear and anxiety and trauma. Will there be a silver lining? Is this a global reset? If so, from what & where to? . Will our world be as superficial and materialistic as it was before this wake up call? If we’re not surrounded by people who feel that this is a change in the world, then we may choose to surround ourselves with new people. . I’ve played my part in this process as much as anyone. . I long for the day when we took a photo, developed the film, and prayed for the best. It was authentic. It was us. It represented the truth and not false reality where it’s more important to show people how good our lives are than for them to actually be good. . I’ve lived during a time when turning a camera on ourselves for everyone to “look over here,” “look how great I look in a bikini” would be a narcissistic preposterous action. & I get it, this is me too. . The way I am happiest and most comfortable 90 percent of my time is not posting where, what & when I’m supposed to be posting, because it’s good for “my brand” & will get likes. This has become a “don’t hate the player, hate the game” scenario. & maybe I am a little tired of the game when watching people suffer with real world problems. . Maybe there is a world beyond fake filters, fake photos, fake lighting, fake eyelashes, fake hair, fake curves and body parts, fake contouring, fake lives & fake people. Maybe this experience will take us closer to that place. . I’ve lived on “reality tv” for over a decade, & that wasn’t reality. What people are facing right now, that’s reality, & it isn’t pretty. . If there is one thing Coronavirus has reminded us of is what is real and what is important because everything else is just filler. . #thisisme

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Golden opportunity for aspiring influencers

With Credit Suisse forecasting that “traditional media will consider reducing the number of episodes in a series, canceling projects that would become too expensive… or reducing production quality (fewer locations and actors, smaller special effects budget, and so on),” Frankel’s prediction may be right on the money.

The former reality star sees the slowdown in scripted show business as an open door for aspiring influencers, especially with the plethora of online options to create content such as the latest mega popular app TikTok.

“I do think it will be, in many ways, a level playing field,” Frankel said. “People can find their way in now, because it’s a whole new world order. People who had no place in the playing field can get in.”

Despite the new opportunities, Frankel also advises those wanting to launch a reality career to be prepared to work hard. “Let’s see who really can run in this environment, not in the Instagram filter, look-how-cute-I-look, gross world we live in,” she said. “It’s going to be, Who works hard? Who works their ass off? That’s who’s going to be successful.”

For more information on Frankel’s relief efforts, visit the Bstrong foundation website.