Strictly for chicks

kat-james.jpgWell, not really. But Kat James' The Truth About Beauty: Transform Your Looks and Your Life from the Inside Out is bound to appeal primarily to women.

I consider myself a rather staunch feminist, but one of my greatest pleasures is reading beauty tips and browsing makeup stores. I also love typical Martha Stewart tutorials -- such as "How to give your bathroom mirror a great new look," or "Why not wrap colorful ribbons around your pencils?" I just love that shit.

I am by no means a girly-girl. I usually wear my hair in a ponytail, I rarely wear make-up, and I had no interest in planning my wedding. If it hadn't been for Grocery Goddess throwing together a beautiful potluck wedding for E. Ho and me, we would most certainly have been married by the Justice of the Peace. I'm glad we had the wedding, it was wonderful -- but picking out napkin colors? No, thank you. I don't get why women get so damn excited about spending $5000 on a wedding they spent six months planning.

However, I do like a good makeover, or perhaps just a pedicure. And I just love before-and-after pictures of any kind. It's so promising -- it offers a simple solution for whatever you hadn't noticed was wrong: frizzy hair, red patches on your skin, brittle nails. Nevermind the fact that you throw out about twenty half-filled bottles a year because the products just don't work.

Here's a book that emphasizes your health as a solution. Those red patches, frizzy hair and brittle nails could indicate a nutritional need rather than a skin peel or acrylic nails. She suggests an Ethicurean diet, with special emphasis on organic and local. She also suggests reading real research articles, not just the media's reports on scientific research. Find out who paid for the research, how the research was conducted, etc. It does make a difference, believe me. As James writes:

In this increasingly toxic age, the products--and particularly the remedies we use--merit greater skepticism than many of us are willing to give. It has also become increasingly clear that we cannot count on government regulation and guidelines to protect our best interests...and though unglamorous truths can be disturbing at first, acting on them can knock down the biggest barriers that keep us from our true, vital potential.

Some particularly awesome features of the book include:

  • Food and food additive information, based on nutritional value and therapeutic properties
  • Skin trouble-shooting strategies that offer holistic remedies
  • Tools for getting a "real check-up" from a conventional doctor
  • A resource guide for finding organic beauty products and health products.

I'm not saying you should buy all the stuff she says is good, and I'm definitely not saying you have to go on one of her "Informed Beauty" cruises, although I bet the food is good. However, the book is an excellent resource for people who want to start approaching beauty from the inside out.

I can't really offer a testimonial, but I can say that after eating a primarily organic, local diet since March, I've lost some poundage and my skin is clearer. And besides that, I feel better, which makes it easier to exercise, which improves my mood -- you get the idea.
Thanks to Kerry, from The Sustainable Scoop for suggesting the book on her website.

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