There are few people on this planet I could watch grill anchovies. Ina (pronounced Ein-ya to rhyme with divine-ya) Garten is one of them. If she’s cooking, I’m infatuated with whatever is in her hands. I once watched her puree peaches for nearly an hour, even though I have little personal interest in stone fruit.
As the Barefoot Contessa, I think Ina is one of the most beautiful people on the planet. Yet, Ina isn’t exactly runway model material. She’s overweight. She’s freckled. And her 67 year old face is far from ageless.
But, I still find her to be incredibly attractive. (My husband agrees, and he’s usually more the Kate Middleton type.) Ina is a real woman with sparkly eyes, perfectly pink cheeks and a clean, wide smile. She’s well manicured, well preserved, and well dressed.
In a day and age when women are botoxing and blinging, Ina is rarely seen in much more than a button down shirt and lip gloss. Her hair is simple and shoulder-length. And her jewelry is minimal. When she cooks, she doesn’t even wear her wedding ring. (Excuse me, Trisha Yearwood… is that an boiling onion stuck to your ring finger? Oh wait, that’s just your engagement diamond. Don’t drop it in the beef stew.)
Yes, Ina Garten is fabulous. She’s the opposite of a Real Housewife, and yet, she’s the ultimate “real” housewife. She loves her husband. (Oh, Jeffrey, we love you too!) She loves grating cheese. And she seems to really, really love her job.
There are other women whom I think are beautiful, even though they never grace the cover of Vogue: Daphne Oz, Tamron Hall, and Damaris Phillips. All three of these women seem approachable, realistic, and a bit softer than some of the other overprocessed celebrities. While Daphne is the daughter of Dr. Oz (who I find irritating), she is a Princeton graduate and a blushing new-mom on The Chew. Tamron is a pixie-haired beauty whose giggle is contagious, even when I’m on the other side of the The Today Show television screen. And Damaris is the Food Network queen who seems like she’d be game for a few Budweisers at a dive bar.
Yet, Ina is still my #1 girl crush. She makes me want to drink lemonade at her kitchen counter while we gossip about her day over potato croquettes. She makes me want to wear less makeup and more bangs. And she makes me want to learn how to properly prepare anchovies. Anchovies! Clearly, the woman is nothing less than divine.