Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tramp On a Friday Night: Tips from The Beautiful People's Diet Book

There are the cheetahs of the world and the hippopotami. Much to my chagrin, I was built for the herd-- one year of negligence and you would find me by the riverbank, shifting my bulk in a vast hippopotamus sprawl!

I've been re-reading the late princess' second book. You'll notice her name here is Luciana Avedon (there were marital changes between books), but to me she will always be royalty.

Diligently anti-hippo, Luciana is eager to share wisdom from all her glamorous and skinny friends:

"I'm a happier person when I'm thinner," says bright, pretty Jori Pepper... I'm surer of myself. When you wake up heavy, all you want to do is roll over and go back to sleep."

Regular readers know I love this kind of frank talk. Nowadays Ms. Pepper would probably have claimed that her goal was to feel great about herself at any weight. Here another beautiful pal chimes in with her routine for staying slim. I love the end of this passage:

As much as possible, I go to a dance studio where one does a half hour's exercises to jazz; the teacher then improvises and one tries to follow the steps without knocking too many people down. It's a hangout for all sorts of types-- a fabulous, scruffy, huge, and well-lit studio. And there's Tramp on a Friday night: jeans and easy shoes. You dance solidly for three hours and you lose four or five pounds.


Luciana was nothing if not thorough, and she was no snob. She went wherever she needed to go to get the dieting truth:

"When I was last in Paris, I went backstage at the Crazy Horse Saloon to see what the strippers thought about dieting. The four girls I talked with, Bonita, Capsula Pop, Franca Torpedo, and Madlena, were all in their twenties, an age when on tends to take the body beautiful for granted. "

Turns out the strippers existed mainly on fruit, protein and yogurt, as did most of Luciana's friends:

"When I have a weight problem," Merle Oberon says, "rather than cut down on everything, I simply live on yoghurt, raisins, and almonds for a day or two. I add vitamins and protein powder to the yoghurt.
"I don't diet, but buying larger clothes is such a bore that when I'm a few pounds over, I prefer to eat less." says Fiona Campbell Thyssen, former cover girl. "When one day of only fruit, one day of only meat, and one of salads doesn't do the trick, I get by on honey and yoghurt. Or if I'm desperate, I just stop eating and lose those extra pounds that are making my clothes hang wrong."

I have to say it again! If a diet book writer asked a current cover girl about her eating habits, the girl could be walking around with an IV drip and she's still claim three meals plus healthy snacks and thrice weekly desserts. A few years back, beautiful people were proud to announce their adherence to the The Don't-Kid-Yourself Diet.

Tomorrow, I'll let Luciana tell you what she thinks of the current obesity epidemic. Yes, she wrote about it decades before it actually happened but I think you'll find her thoughts quite timely.