Dear Elizabeth Berkley, why did you do “Showgirls” and other things we need to know


Elizabeth Berkley is back in the spotlight. I don’t know how exactly this all happened — all I know is that I went to bed one night and the next day I woke up to find out that Berkley will be guest starring opposite Jennifer Beals in the final season of The L Word; then after another night’s rest, I woke up to find that she has signed on to get her own reality show on MTV based on the self-esteem workshops for teen girls that Berkley has developed.

That’s right: Elizabeth Berkley is an adviser to young women everywhere. Should we be nervous?

Amy Bailey, the Vice President of Development at MTV, said Berkley approached them with the idea for the reality series. Bailey said, “She does these workshops around the country with teen girls and gets them to really open up about their issues, like self-esteem and body issues. We had been looking for a program that tackled the same issues, so it seemed like a perfect match.”

Personally, I would never have matched Berkley to assisting teen girls with esteem issues. Perhaps it’s her infamous role as a stripper in the movie Showgirls that has tainted any girl-power belief I ever had in her. It may also be that Berkley doesn’t have any of the — oh what are the words — “qualifications,” “degrees,” or “formal training” on giving advice to young women. But what she does have is an adorably pink website aptly titled Ask Elizabeth. If any of you readers are curious about what it would be like to get advice on girl issues like: eating right, BOYS, or what moisturizing cream works best for Berkley’s skin, then you may want to check out her website and set it to your favorites, immediately.

Once you’ve dialed up her website, a tiny fairy-sized Berkley (complete with wings, magic wand and miniskirt) greets you and will guide you through a journey of various esteem videos staring Berkley herself.

The concept behind Berkley’s website is certainly an admirable one. I applaud her efforts and do love that she is reaching out to empower young women. Perhaps it will just take some getting used to. With this new exposure on The L Word and now her upcoming reality show, Berkley may eliminate the bad memory of her ill-famed role as the Showgirls exotic dancer and reinvent the spirit of her ’90s feminist character from Saved By The Bell, Jessie Spano. (Who better to give advice to that small niche of girls trapped by the lure of caffeine pills?)

MTV is hoping to film the pilot for her new series this fall. Will you be tuning in?

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