Sunday, June 14, 2015

I'll Have What She's Having by Rebecca Harrington

"So, are you what you eat? Well, it's hard to say. I think you can gain tremendous understanding and almost an odd compassion for someone when you eat like them. You learn their vulnerabilities and little oddities and obsessions. You fully enter their world and you don't judge it. So, no but yes, as with most things..."

Go Fug Yourself often included Rebecca Harrington's articles on trying celebrity diets in their Friday links. They were always interesting and amusing to me, so I was excited to read her whole book. They are a mix of previously published articles, which made me a little sad, but also new chapters.

The celebrity diets in the book range from Elizabeth Taylor to Marilyn Monroe to Gwyneth Paltrow. I am always interested in reading descriptions of food, which is probably why this was so fascinating to me. There is also some level of schadenfreude in that I sort of want these diets to be weird and difficult. This is why the success of Gwyneth Paltrow's diet disappoints me, although I do get some satisfaction from how unreasonably expensive it is. On some petty level, I want to think that the only difference between current me and fabulous, movie star me is a depriving diet that makes me feel like I'm starving.

Throughout the book, Harrington ends up eating many odd things, from quail eggs to sea vegetables to a hunk of liver. She tries to drink ten Diet Cokes in a day to emulate Karl Lagerfeld, does bust-firming exercise to emulate Marilyn Monroe, and becomes condescending to emulate Paltrow. In the end, it's an entertaining book about how celebrities sometimes ate/eat weird stuff and us normal people probably shouldn't try to be too much like them.

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