Having been a committed disciple of Yoga With Adriene for five years, I of course was legally obligated to read Texas Monthly’s profile of her dog, Benji, but even if you’ve somehow never been exposed to the light and the goodness that is Adriene Mishler’s YouTube yoga videos, I guarantee that you will enjoy this profile. Journalistically, it does quite a lot with what really amounts to a coffee date and some lap-sitting; we get great insight into Benji’s origin story, his day-to-day routine, and a sense of his likes and dislikes and overall vibe. WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR, especially when you get some A+ profile lines like these from writer Madeleine Aggeler:
He was supposedly the runt of a litter of blue heelers born right outside Round Rock, but you wonder if someone said that just to make him seem more relatable, like when a Victoria’s Secret model says she was actually really awkward in middle school.
Benji also maintains a rigorous exercise regimen. He’s something of a jock—trail runs, runs around Lady Bird Lake, wild sprints after tennis balls (ball is life for Benji, as Mishler puts it). He’s a cardio guy.
Obviously you end up learning a lot about Adriene herself, too, and overall the fit of this angle for Texas Monthly (she’s an Austinite, he’s a cattle dog) is simply genius. “The directive was to do it like a horny esquire profile of a woman in the 90s,” features editor Lauren Larson told me when I DM’d her a billion exclamation points, “And Madeleine took it dead seriously.”
Plus, pandemic times have given us no shortage of Adriene-focused features, so this was a fresh way in. New journalism rule: if you can’t get a new angle on a buzzy subject, the way in is through the dog. (I mean, remember International Trick Mirror Week and Jezebel’s dementedly detailed profile on Luna Tolentino? Now I’m just sad because I wish we’d gotten the deep dive Bo Obama writeup we deserved……..)
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