Washington City Paper
Column: Cheap Seats
Exercise guru gets indecent exposure.
By Dave McKenna • April 20, 2007
Last week, Denise Austin co-hosted, along with Laura Bush, the annual Easter Egg Roll that drew hundreds of kids to the White House. That’s Austin’s element. The local exercise queen projects nothing but family and country and all-around health.
The good life has served Austin well: The Northern Virginian recently turned 50, yet she could pass for the daughter of somebody that age.
“I love what I do!” says Austin, as exclamatory and bubbly in civilian conversation as she is on the exercise mats.
Austin got her start working on the national workout show hosted by public fitness pioneer Jack LaLanne in 1981 and has now had her own programs on ESPN and the Lifetime Channel for 20 years. She has also sold 20 million exercise videos, good enough to get her inducted into the Video Hall of Fame.
“Right there with Jerry Bruckheimer and Steven Spielberg!” she says. “How great is that?”
And she’s not going to slow down: She’s just released two more DVDs: Denise Austin’s Boot Camp and Denise Austin’s Fat Burning Dance Mix.
The folks at the Idaho Potato Commission loved the aw-shucksy goodness she’s always projected so much that in 2004 they made her the group’s “healthy lifestyle spokesperson,” replacing an animated figure named Spuddy Buddy.
“She’s very wholesome, very well thought of, and a very credible person with our target audience, which is women 25 to 55,” says Frank Muir, president and CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission, which oversees the state’s $2.7 billion tuber industry.
But of late, another Austin persona has been developing on YouTube. She has no control over this new one.
In the Internet age, anything you’ve said or done can come back to be used against you, and it appears that all those years in leg warmers have caught up with Austin. Dozens of clips from Austin’s TV career have been posted on the site in recent months. Folks have cut up Austin’s healthy and wholesome routines into 30-second or so snippets and turned them into something, well, dirty.
Neither the posters nor, surmising solely from the barrage of published comments these clips have drawn, those who are viewing the posts give a rip about the fitness advice or life-coaching Austin has doled out to viewers over her 20-plus years as a body beautifier.
Forget the 25- to 55-year-old women the tuber marketers are going after. The YouTubers who are paying so much attention to Austin seem like an all-male group. There is plenty of discussion from posters and commenters about isolating specific muscles and body parts—just not the abs or lats or any of the tissues that Austin’s scripted workouts tend to zero in on.
This crowd focuses on what life would be like if she was, well, their personal Spuddy Buddy. And though there’s a level of meanness to much of the discourse, a lot of the verbiage is, with apologies to Ms. Austin, funny as hell.
Alas, most of the humorous comments attached to Austin’s pages, like most of the unfunny ones, are not fit for mass consumption. Suffice it to say that every inch of her person is scrutinized with the sort of profane yet occasionally entertaining prose once found in such disreputable spots as Penthouse Forum. Phrases such as “camel toe” are thrown alongside descriptions of acts only folks who spend a lot of time dwelling on deviance could come up with.
Here’s how deviant: Some clips, though taken from Austin’s shows that appeared on the Lifetime Channel or ESPN, have been flagged by the YouTube community and given the equivalent of an NC-17 rating, where surfers are directed away from the video page to one that reads: “To view this video, please verify you are 18 or older by logging in or signing up.”
The YouTube poster known on the site as Shane25 is among those to have sliced up old Austin tapes and made them available for public consumption. Via his YouTube page’s e-mail, Shane25 says that he’s “been very surprised by the comments to the Denise Austin videos,” which he termed as “graphic to say the least.” The popularity of his posts—his Austin collection, which includes such titles as “Nice Butt Shot and Doggy Style!!” and “Inner Thigh, Ass and Crotch Shot! Wow!!” has logged a few hundred thousand views thus far—also came as a shock.
“But I think that they (myself included) have this voyeuristic fascination with some these gorgeous exercise trainers and their morning programs,” writes Shane25, who declines to give his real name. “Her exercising in those skimpy [clothes] can be a turn on. I know that might make me sound like a pervert or something but it’s the truth and most guys would agree.”
Austin says she’s not aware she’s become the object of so much perversion.
“Now I’m worried!” she says with a giggle. “I went to YouTube to see that autistic kid playing basketball in New York. That was wonderful. But that’s about it.”
Dan Savage, the Seattle-based sexpert whose syndicated advice column, Savage Love, appears weekly in Washington City Paper, says Austin shouldn’t be surprised by the onslaught. Anybody who gets enough exposure will eventually become a sex symbol. To wit: Clay Aiken and Sanjaya leave women weeping despite exuding less testosterone than a tutu.
After viewing some of the YouTube offerings, Savage says anybody who gains fame while “wearing shorts that display [her] vaginal lips” would tend to suffer this sort of god-awful objectification.
“Power is a two-headed dragon,” says Savage. “She’s sexually desirable because of her perceived power, and she’s being belittled on YouTube because of her perceived power. This happens to men, too. In our culture, since we were monkeys, high status and perceived power makes something desirable.”
“Nobody would be f***ing Donald Trump if he was a janitor,” Savage adds.
• "Denise Austin: White Shorts at Epcot"
• "The best fitness camel toe (extended version)"
• "Inner Thigh, Ass and Crotch Shot- Wow!!"
• "Nice butt shot and doggystyle!!"
Health & Fitness Expert
Denise Austin Quick Facts
Main Areas: Coming Soon
Denise Austin (born February 13, 1957) is an American fitness and exercise expert, author, columnist and instructor. She is also a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. She is married to sports attorney Jeff Austin, with whom she has two daughters: Kelly (born 1990) and Katie (born 1993). Her sister-in-law is U.S. tennis champion Tracy Austin.
Austin was born Denise Katnich in San Pedro, CA. She started gymnastics at the age of 12, which led to an athletic scholarship to the University of Arizona. She graduated from UA with a degree in exercise physiology, and has since been teaching classes, produced shows, made videos, and written books and columns on exercise and staying fit. Examples include Shrink Your Female Fat Zones, Pilates for Every Body, and Eat Carbs, Lose Weight.
She is known for her emphasis on staying fit naturally, emphasizing that she herself exercises only about 30 minutes a day and never skips meals. She also prefers use of sugar and butter over artificial sweeteners and margarine, though she does emphasize portion control, nutrient/food balance, and exercise.
Her exercise programs often integrate a variety of different disciplines including yoga, pilates, cross training, and aerobic exercise.
Austin has created a stir in politics because of her ardent support for President Bush and his programs. In addition to being named by Bush to the President's Council on Physical Fitness she was famously photographed leaning over a crowd control rope and hugging the President in 2001. As a guest on the Don Imus radio and television program she proves adept at bantering and sexual innuendo to promote her line of merchandise going as far as taking off her shirt to model the Denise Austin sports bra.
Jul 29th 2008 By Emily McCombs
YouTube Workout Videos, Is it Porn?
Denise Austin- Inner Thigh, Ass and Crotch Shot- Wow!! - YouTube
In our last installment of Is It Porn?, 72% of you agreed that boob punching is NOT porn. We're glad that's settled, but we've come across a whole new confusing genre of possible porn -- workout videos on YouTube.
Denise Austin is a 51-year-old former gymnast with her own fitness empire, which includes books, television shows and yes, workout videos. But when we innocently typed the exercise expert's name into YouTube, we found a bounty of saucy clips with titles like "Denise Austin- Inner Thigh, Ass and Crotch Shot- Wow!!" and "Denise Austin spreads em WIDE." Most of the clips are under a minute long, seemingly too short for the watcher to break a sweat, unless the videos have some other, unintended purpose.
User comments like "I want her to do a video naked like this and spread her hott legs too" and "There's been a many a load dedicated to Denise" reinforce our suspicions that the calorie-burning clips have been repurposed for vigorous wang workouts. While the original purpose of these videos was clearly for fitness, does the fact that they're being used for masturbation purposes recategorize them as porn? See some examples and vote after the jump.
KABC Daybreak LA Denise Austin (Request) - YouTube
Denise Austin "The Video" with sound - YouTube
Are these workout clips porn?
No, they are definitely just for fitness.
Yes, they are for giving your zipper a workout.
Stuff that was rejected or forbidden by main stream advertisers and publishers
The Denise Austin Phenomenon
Added: April 12th, 2010
Category: Sexy & Funny
Buenos Dias! I’m your Greek chorus, your cacophony of carnality, the embodiment of … the body, and your Sherpa of Suspense.
Now come! Come! Take my hand, and, if you dare
sheath your sword to its hilt!
Are you up to it?
–from Russ Myer’s ‘Up’
The is an interesting phenomenon sweeping youtube and it is fitness expert Denise Austin’s workout videos.
Denise Austin has been making fitness and workout videos for about 25 years. She has appeared been on television since the 1980s on Daybreak LA and on cable channels Lifetime and ESPN. Naturally Ms. Austin is physically fit, has an excellent figure and is nicely proportioned with an attractive shape.
Well, apparently a lot of youtubers think her workout videos are really hot and that this 52-year-old fitness celebrity is a very sexy lady. Watch the video and see what you think. Is Denise Austin hot or what?
Sheath Thy Sword ! - YouTube
Here is a early clip of Denise Austin from an appearance on KABC Daybreak LA in the 1980s.
KABC Daybreak LA Denise Austin (Request) - YouTube
Read the article in Washington City Paper Denise Austin Get Indecent Exposure by Dave McKenna.