Ever look at the celebrities in Us magazine and find yourself wishing you could have those legs, that dress, that career, that vacation, maybe even that husband? I’ll admit to a little star envy, and I know I’m not alone.
Paparazzi photos and Vanity Fair spreads make that life look so appealing. Author Rachel Bertsche is willing to admit to coveting celebrity lifestyles, and couldn’t help but wonder if adopting their habits wouldn’t make her as happy as the toned, glowing glamor gals she was ogling seemed to be.
In Bertsche’s new book, Jennifer, Gwyneth and Me, she chooses her favorite traits of 8 celebrities and adapts them into her own life. She tries to exercise like Jennifer Aniston, eat and cook like Gwyneth Paltrow, dress like Sarah Jessica Parker, and work like Tina Fey.
She also aims to model her marriage after Jennifer Garner, meditate like Julia Roberts, and balance professional and personal success like Beyonce.
Here’s an excerpt on how it went:
There may be some readers who find the idea of taking life advice from celebrities questionable, but Berstche — a journalist and former editor at Oprah Winfrey’s magazine — creates a voice that is self-deprecating and relatable. She knows her target female audience, and her research and writing skills make it an easy read.
Throughout the book, Bertsche asks why women (including herself) are fascinated by celebrities and often see them as role models. Each of the eight chapters focuses on one celebrity’s particular assets and expertise, in an area the author would like to tackle to lift her self-esteem.
“A complete overhaul is too overwhelming. You don’t always know where to start. Comparing yourself to others isn’t necessarily the healthiest method of self-improvement but if it’s impetus to get started, is that so wrong?” Bertsche asks.
Bertsche is thoughtful about her goals in the project, honest about her successes and failures, and reflective about the results.
Taking cues from stars’ lifestyles posed challenges. It’s easy to complain that stars have more money and access, but Bertsche gets creative by bartering babysitting and copy writing for a gym membership, and modifying recipes and clothing choices to save money.
Bertsche’s experiment also suggests that even the fabulous are flawed. When trying to follow Gwyneth Paltrow’s food rules and cooking techniques, Bertsche points out the unrealistic amount of time and money the actress’ habits require, and fails her seven-day detox cleanse after two days of drinking a smoothie that tastes like “sweet earwax.”
Bertsche offers some valuable tips — from how to create a signature style to how to nail Tina Fey’s work ethic (hint: boycott social media and always carry a notebook). But the chapters on simulating the spark in Jennifer Garner’s marriage to Ben Affleck, and following Julia Roberts’ way of meditating to get more Zen, seem like guesswork.
You can read the rest of the review here.
I don’t think I would ever do what Bertsche did, especially in the pursuit of personal happiness. And Wilson would never have gone for it. Her husband is a saint to put up with 8 months of those celebrity shenanigans.
But I like Bertsche being the guinea pig and reporting back about it. Her thoughts on our obsession with celebrity culture throughout the book are interesting and worth a read.
That’s if you can admit to yourself that you might have once wished you had Sarah Jessica’s closet, or Aniston’s abs.
Tell me what you think about Bertsche’s celebrity emulating in the comments.