Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
For fans of The Happiness Project and The Year of Living Biblically comes a pointed look at our fascination with celebrities, as one woman strives to remake herself in the image of her favorite stars.
What woman hasn’t seen pictures of Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, or Beyoncé and wished she had their clothes, their abs, their seemingly flawless lives? For Rachel Bertsche, these celebrities are the epitome of perfection—self-assured and effortlessly cool. Yet lately, between juggling her career, her marriage, and her dream of becoming a mother, Bertsche feels anything but put together.
In Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me, Bertsche embarks on a quest to emulate her Hollywood role models—while sticking to a budget—to see if they really hold the keys to happiness. While trying to unlock the stars’ secrets, from Sarah Jessica Parker’s wardrobe to Julia Roberts’s sense of calm to—maybe one day—Jessica Alba’s chic pregnancy, Bertsche learns valuable lessons. A toned body doesn’t come easy or cheap, avoiding social media can do wonders for your peace of mind, and confidence is the key to pulling off any outfit. But can she immerse herself in the A-list lifestyle and still stay true to herself? And will her pursuit of perfection really lead to happiness?
Praise for Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me
“If you’ve ever had a celebrity girl crush, stick Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me in your beach bag. Bertsche is your people.”—Associated Press
“[A] super-fun social experiment.”—PureWow
“Bertsche ups the ante. . . . The well-researched information on celebrity culture provides food for thought.”—Booklist
“What makes Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me work is Bertsche’s honesty. . . . [She] is funny, creative and, more importantly, manages to stay sane.”—Boston Herald
“An entertaining memoir about a woman’s attempt to model her life on those of stars.”—Tampa Bay Times
“A worthy narrative.”—The Boston Globe
“Bertsche blends elements reminiscent of Julie & Julia and The Happiness Project in this ‘self-improvement journey.’ . . . The process not only provides Bertsche with fruitful writing fodder but also prompts readers to examine their outlook on perfection, self-acceptance, and aspiring to be one’s very best self.”—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Rachel Bertsche’s MWF Seeking BFF
“Written with verve, insight, and humor . . . Bertsche writes cleverly, but not glibly, about the challenges young women face today.”—Chicago Tribune
“[A] charming, funny chronicle.”—People
daywear on her, but is something I would save for a black-tie gala. I’ve run into that before. Not with SJP of course, but I was sitting at my favorite diner, enjoying my omelet while wearing a post-workout sweat suit, and in walked a girl wearing a dress that I own, and have only ever worn to a black-tie wedding. At a diner. And she didn’t look ridiculous or overdressed for a Sunday. She looked cute. A denim jacket and flats really casualize an outfit. I get that clothes can be dressed up or
don’t I look that good doing it? Sprinkled throughout the documentary are quotes from various artists, and there’s one that really gets me: “Photography makes the world seem more available than it really is.” Susan Sontag said it, and I think that’s exactly what the recent tabloid revolution has done. These photos (not to mention reality TV shows and overnight YouTube stars) have made the fabulous lifestyles of the rich and famous seem, if just barely, available. Some might argue that’s a good
procedure and the seemingly interminable two-week wait that will follow. But I can change the way I handle it. I can try to be at peace with it, and get through it in a state of calm rather than anxiety. I can try to be serene about the whole thing, and grateful that these fertility options exist, rather than anxious and frustrated that I couldn’t just get my baby the old-fashioned way. I don’t know that I can actually reach this state of serenity, but I can try. To start, I want to incorporate
distractions at work. “Sometimes not following through on something you want to do is a problem, like not writing that proposal you’ve been procrastinating on … but other times, the problem is that you do follow through on something you don’t want to do. Like speaking instead of listening or playing politics instead of rising above them. Meditation teaches us to resist the urge of that counterproductive follow-through.” My personal distraction comes more in the form of People.com than office
“Information about everything from breast pumps to epidurals was once transmitted locally, from generation to generation, mother to daughter, or friend to friend, but in the 20th century, the source of authority began to shift to popular culture, specifically, to the self-help guru, who offered more than just standard advice on clean towels and hot water,” author Daniel Harris wrote on Salon.com in 2006, long before this pregnancy glorification reached its fever pitch. “Now an entirely new