"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know." - John Keats

"You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books and books are, you know, God." - Nick Hornby

Monday, July 31, 2017

Review #9: Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour, by Dita von Teese

I snapped this up for $1.99 on Kindle a few weeks ago. I don't know a whole lot about Dita von Teese other than she was once married to Marilyn Manson and she has a great sense of style. I figured, being a woman of a certain age, maybe I should start, you know, wearing something other than the Cover Girl and Maybelline I've been buying since 1989, and maybe Miss Dita would be kind enough to give me pointers on the benefit of the perfect red lipstick or how to get a cat eye without looking like a 70s reject.
But I've got to say, I was disappointed.

What I think I wanted was a how to guide, maybe with steps and pictures and a "here's how to put on eyeshadow you big dummy" chapter. Or tips for how to take your existing wardrobe and add just a few vintage pieces to it without looking costume-y. (Believe me, it's not as easy as going to the local Goodwill; there's a lot of searching for those things, and it's time consuming.) I'd even have settled for lots of pretty pictures that I could pore over and be jealous of. But this contained very little of that.  Maybe the hardback version has all that but the Kindle version decidedly did not. At least, not the first 75%, because that's when I stopped reading.

Instead what I got was an entire chapter devoted to how to take a bath (seriously). My bath might only happen once a year with Mr. Bubble and a seven year old shower curtain that has a few suspicious hair dye spots on it, but as long as I have hot water and a door I can shut, a bath is a bath, right? And while I agree on principle with the point that wearing a silky peignoir while lounging at home will make you feel better than, say, ratty yoga pants and a Loretta Lynn t-shirt, it's not a very practical wardrobe choice when it's 9:30pm and your kid's science project has exploded all over the living room. Again. And it's due tomorrow. And even though you've known it was due and she's known it was due and you had a plan to get it done in plenty of time, somehow, it's the night before and it's panic time. (Not that I have any personal experience with that. Ahem) And I know - we ALL know - that no cream or potion is ever going to replace what eight hours of uninterrupted sleep looks like, but I haven't slept through the night since before I got pregnant, and that was 14 years ago. And eight hours? Interrupted or not? That feels positively decadent.

And look, I admire Dita. She's a young girl who has managed to turn what she loves doing in to her career, and she makes a decent living at it, too. That's not easy to do, and she clearly works very hard at it. I've often heard that modeling is not exactly tough, but I disagree. When your body and your image are what you sell, you have to work your ass off. You don't get to skip the morning run if you're tired, you can't eat that extra (box of) Girl Scout cookie(s) just cause you want to, you can't hide under the covers all day because you have PMS. And Dita has certainly put in the effort. She's gorgeous, and talented, and comes across as a very intelligent young woman and I admire that. And her take away message is absolutely on point: love yourself, be true to yourself, be kind to yourself, and none of the rest of it matters. But the book just missed the mark for me.

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