Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Mom Kendra Refreshingly Real

Kendra Wilkinson Basket, the former Girl Next Door and wife to Hank Bassett, gave birth to baby Hank IV just last December.

In less than two years, she has gone from partying playgirl to not-so-blushing bride, moved to a new city with her NFL husband when he was picked up by another team (and went on to the Superbowl), and given birth to her first child.

And in the brand-new season of her show, Kendra, premiering tonight at 10 PM on E!, we see this young woman dealing with the very real problems all new Moms face: trying to recapture "couple time" with her husband, juggling exhaustion and hormones, and, of course, losing the baby weight.

I actually find it refreshing that Kendra's life has taken this turn. She is incredibly open and, in this new role, more relatable than she ever was before.

I was able to preview tonight's episode, and I don't want to spoil any of it for you, but I think anyone who has ever given birth will understand and empathize what Kendra is going through, from trying to "seduce" her husband in a sauna suit that is supposed to help her sweat off the pounds, to worrying about losing the baby weight--a common concern for new Moms that is only amplified by her role in the celebrity spotlight and her sexy past.

Kendra clearly misses her pre-baby body. She was petite before pregancy and gained, reportedly, over 50 pounds during her pregnancy (huge on her tiny frame). Not only does she worry about being attractive to her husband, Kendra is obviously panicky about upcoming camera shoots. And her body consciousness goes even further: she has even mentioned publicly that she is considering breast reduction surgery.

In short, she is a far cry these days from the former party girl that hung out at the Playboy mansion.

And yet she is just as infectious, with her distinctive laugh and ribald humor, as she ever was.

Viv's take: In the new season of her show, Kendra, debuting tonight, we see a dimension added to what was once an arguably two-dimensional, shallow life. There's genuine love and tenderness between Kendra and and her husband, Hank--their bond is obviously strong--and it's clear she dotes on her child. Instead of just looking forward to the next party, Kendra is learning to accept herself for who she is and make a life for her new family. Recommended watching for all the new Moms especially--you WILL relate!

I received a preview copy of the premiere of Kendra's second season to facilitate this review.

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