Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting the Pretty Back, by Molly Ringwald

Shoulder pads, over-sized glasses and big hair. That's how I remember Molly Ringwald, poster child of teen angst in the 80s. Come to think of it, that's how I remember me, too.

I don't know what I thought I would be getting when I picked up "Getting the Pretty Back." If I had to pin it down, I suppose I figured the book would tell women of a certain age, of my age, how we might reconnect with the idea we had of ourselves as younger women: as females whose sexiness, desires and desirability had a larger place in the landscape of our lives. And, I also thought about how fascinating it would be to read a book by this former teen star, by someone whose characters so vividly mirrored the angst I felt at attempting to navigate the world as a young adult.

But that is not what Ringwald has written. And if I sound just a teeny bit angry, it's because I am. I just expected so much more. What Molly has written -- and the bff-tone she uses in her book infers that, yes, please call her Molly -- is the lightest bit of fluff, something that might very well be featured in a series of articles in Tiger Beat, or any of the other magazines that put her on the cover about 30 years back. So, if you are dying to know Molly's favorite lipstick shades, what cheeses she recommends for her cheese plates, and her best do's and don't's of parenting, you can get that, and more, in "Getting the Pretty Back." Me? I bristle at being told the right way to do things, especially by someone who pretends she is not judging, but really is. And c'mon, Molly, enough of your perfect family; We all know there's a real story under that stack of Hermes scarves. It's just not in your book. And that's so not pretty.

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