Kelly Ripa Talks Killer Abs and High-Maintenance Hair

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Photo: Getty Images Michael N. Todaro

The energetic, bubbly force of nature that Kelly Ripa is on her show, Live! With Kelly and Michaelshe is in real life. I love seeing her in action—speeding down the slopes in Colorado, laughing with her adorable kids, or trading one-liners with her very funny hubby, actor Mark Consuelos. Kelly is one of those women who makes it all look easy, juggling a hot husband, three kids, a busy career, and hunky cohost Michael Strahan. I caught up with Kelly recently to talk about how she has such amazing abs after three kids, the pros and cons of high-maintenance hair, and why she believes in being one tough mom.

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KR: Hi Bobbi! I saw your name on my schedule, and I was like, “This can’t be my Bobbi Brown!”

BB: It is your Bobbi Brown!  And I have seen you on the slopes, with your kids, in action on Live! and at events. You seem to be everywhere effortlessly and flawlessly. What I really want to know is how you do it all?  Do you ever sleep?

KR: There are people that go to work at 3 o’clock in the morning. I’m not one of those people. I get there at 8. I wake up at 6 it’s not bad. My kids get me up way before my job does! I really do find that my job is the perfect job for a working mother because it allows me to take my kids to the bus, drop my youngest son off at school, and then be there to pick them up.

BB: It really only takes you an hour to do your hair and makeup for TV?

KR: That’s really the genius of Michelle Champagne and Diane D’Agostino, the tag team who have been doing my hair and makeup for 14 years. They are the masters. They do hair and makeup at the same time that I’m getting briefed. And my wardrobe is simple; it’s just put out the night before. It’s so easy; it’s a streamlined operation.

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BB: How do you handle your hair off set? I love the new cut by the way.  

KR: Thanks, I love the length. I will say that long hair is easier than short hair. I have to blow it out every day if I want it to be straight. If I don’t, it’s sort of a messy wave. But short is more maintenance, it really is. With long hair, you can just let it air dry, or pull it back into a ponytail or a high bun and it’s kind of done. But when your hair is short, you have to actually think about it. But Ryan Trygstad at Sally Hershberger understands how I like to look and how I like to live my life. I don’t want to spend 8 million hours doing my hair. So he cuts it in a way that allows me the freedom of like moving on with my day with the least work possible.

BB: So give me the scoop, how do you have those amazing abs after three kids, what’s your secret?

KR: So much of it is genetic. I work out a lot, but the place I find I don’t really focus on is my stomach because I’ve always sort of had a very strong core. People don’t realize that genetics do play a role. I have to really work out my arms and my legs, my arms aren’t long and linear, and my legs aren’t either. Everybody has their thing, like their body part that’s good, and everybody has their body part that’s not so good.

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BB: Are you strict about your diet?

KR: I do allow myself treats. We have this drawer in our house called the Andy Cohen drawer, and it’s all filled with his favorite candy, and I’ve been dipping into that a lot lately. I reward myself because he’s on a book tour I guess! For the most part, when I’m not busy dipping into the drawer, I eat a very clean diet. I have lots of vegetables, I eat protein, but I really don’t put a ton of thought into it. It’s everything you’ve read about or heard about in any diet book – don’t eat too much crap, and I don’t. If that’s the secret, than that’s the secret. And I’m very active, so I exercise everyday. My body is athletic. There are people who would look at my body and find it objectionable. There are people that like a curvy physique. I’ve never had a curvy physique and I will never have one. If I gained weight, I would just look like a larger more muscular version of myself. I have always had an athletic physique. That’s just the way I’m built.

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BB: So tell me about your work with Motrin.

KR: We did this Unstoppable Mom segment on the show, and the women so inspired us. These women were doing great things, not only for their families, but for their communities—with almost no resources. We were saying, ‘My gosh what this woman does by 5am is more than I accomplish in an entire day!’ And it’s from that that we started this amazing Children’s Motrin campaign. It’s about unstoppable moms and if you have a special tip and share it on the Motrin Facebook page, they’ll donate a dollar to Save Kids Worldwide, which is a global nonprofit. And you can win a weekly gift card just for posting your tips. It’s like one of those win-wins.  I get my best advice form my other mom friends, and I have an entire network of good advice from my friends. And I think that that’s the key to everything.

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BB:  I know your family is everything and the kids are always your priority. You say that you are a tough mom and I congratulate you on that. Its not easy

KR: I think that what’s hard now will become easy later. When you give in too soon too early; it makes life harder down the line. So, that’s a thing to keep in mind. If it’s hard now, it will probably be easier later. That’s the way I look at it.

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Kelly and family in NYC. Photo: Getty Images. Robin Platz

BB: It’s cool to be America’s sweetheart and one tough mother—a perfect combination I’d say.

KR: Thank you very much, Bobbi!

BB: Nice talking to you. See you soon.   

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