Bevy Smith is opening up in her new memoir “Bevelations: Lessons From a Mutha, Auntie, Bestie.” And it’s the perfect companion to start off a new year. The book, to be released on Jan. 12 (and published by Andy Cohen‘s imprint with Henry Holt & Co.), documents her transformation in her late 30s from a magazine advertising exec — she was a powerhouse at Vibe and Rolling Stone — to a television and pop culture personality. “I think the main ‘bevelation’ of the book is it gets greater later,” Smith tells me during a Zoom call from her Harlem apartment. “I want people to understand that no matter what your age is, and no matter what your circumstances are, you have the ability to chase your passions and to dare to dream. You really do.”
Smith, 54, has been hosting a one-hour radio show, also called “Bevelations,” on SiriusXM’s Radio Andy since 2015. She also saw her star rise as co-host of the talk show “Fashion Queens” on Bravo and syndicated entertainment news show “Page Six TV.” “I knew I had something really valuable to say on television, and the way I was going to say it was like something that they had never seen before,” Smith says. “I was so cognizant of the fact that you had never really seen a brown-skinned, curvy, really stylish woman, someone who owned their style and owned their body and wasn’t apologizing. I just showed up as I was, and I knew that was of value.”
Smith gets real in the book about her unhealthy relationships with sex and shopping. “All of that was just like me trying to get to happy, trying to find satisfaction,” she says. She has warned her 92-year-old mother about her explicit descriptions of sex, but promises that she’ll “black out those parts” before letting her read it.
As for shopping, Smith says, “For women especially there is this certain kind of cutesy imaging that goes along with being a shopaholic, which is why I wanted to bring it up,” Smith says. “I just feel like they prey on women so often, they prey on our insecurities in a way that they don’t do to men. And I really wanted to talk about being a part of that machine, and knowing what they were doing and still falling prey to it.”
The book took her a little longer than expected to write. She began writing the book while “Page Six TV” was still on the air, but she was “heavily depressed” at the time. A change of editors caused another delay. Her final edit came through at the start of the pandemic followed by Smith fighting COVID and her father dying from the disease. “But everything is as it should be” she says. “I believe that this book was supposed to come out right now.”
Next up is the art world. Like the seasoned media pro she is, she teases that she’s just landed her first gig. “It’s for a movie,” Smith says. “I went out and procured the art for a film starring an Oscar winner. The credits will say ‘Art consultant: Bevy Smith.’”
PS: As part of Bloomingdale’s On Screen series, Smith will chat about “Bevelations” with Tituss Burgess on Jan. 13.
If you’re a fan of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” you must watch “P.S.: Burn This Letter Please.” Co-directed and written by Michael Seligman and Jennifer Tiexiera, the documentary chronicles the lives of several 1950s New York City drag queens as detailed in letters discovered in a storage unit belonging to the late legendary agent Ed Limato after his death in 2010. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in May and is streaming on Discovery Plus.
Director Marielle Heller showed off her acting chops with her work as Alma Wheatley, mother of a female chess prodigy (Anya Taylor-Joy) in the 1950s and 60s in Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit.” She tells me that after agreeing to cut her long red hair for the role, she donated the locks to a cancer organization. “That was nice,” Heller tells me. “And honestly, it was really freeing to just be like, ‘Who cares? It’s just hair. Just cut it off.’” Find out what else she had to say on this week’s episode of the Variety and iHeart podcast “The Big Ticket.”
“Just for Variety” can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.