Review: Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?

Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: How the Famous Sell Us Elixirs of Health, Beauty & Happiness
by Timothy Caulfield
Pages: 272
Date Finished: 6/4/16

Book Reviews- Liked it Alot Liked It A Lot

Early Reviewers

  • I received this book free from the LibraryThing early reviewers group in exchange for my honest option.

LibraryThing picked the perfect book for me. I took to twitter as soon as I found out I’d been chosen to receive one. I had already been following the buzz about this book through various page I follow, like We Love GMOs and Vaccines.

 

The first part of the book is about the author experiencing the health and beauty routines that celebrities like Gwyneth endorse and sell. He tried a detox and a skin care routine, went to a spa, interviewed a plastic surgeon, and spent a year reading People magazine… seriously the whole thing, every issue, for a year (thanks for taking one for the team dude, because People magazine is hurl inducing for me.)

I have to admit that the first part of this book was 100% confirmation bias for me. Basically everything he said I could totally agree with. I flew through the first part, reading it very quickly. He sums it up very well:

“The bulk of health and beauty products and recommendations peddled by or through celebrities are either useless or harmful or both. They may also divert millions of individuals from engaging in the simple and evidence-based steps necessary to live in a health-promoting manner.” pg 208

The second part was much slower, and the reason the books get a “Liked It A Lot” instead of a “Loved It.” I just wasn’t as interested in his debunking of the quest for celebrity. He didn’t need to write four chapters on it to tell me the odds are pretty much impossible, and that life as a celebrity isn’t all its cracked up to be.

“Belief in celebrity success is built on a foundation of lies, illusions and empty exhortations of the reach-for-the-stars variety. The chances of making it celebrity big in any kind of celebrity-oriented career hovers near zero.” pg 208

Bottom Line:

The first part of this book is absolutely spot-on and if you are a science geek like me you’ll speed through it. The second part was interesting to me only because of the sociological implications. I don’t really want to become famous, and don’t know very many people who have that set as their goal so it didn’t have much of a personal impact. However, I know A TON of people who listen to celebrities on topics like diet, detox and vaccines.

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