Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?

Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?

When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash

Book - 2015
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Over the past few decades, celebrity culture's grip on our society has tightened. For Timothy Caulfield, a health science expert, this culture has a measurable influence on individual life choices and health-care decisions. 

While acknowledging the pervasiveness of celebrity culture, Caulfield doesn't mock those who enjoy it (in fact he loves celebrity culture.) But with a skeptic's eye and a scientific lens, Caulfield identifies and debunks the messages and promises that flow from the celebrity realm, whether they are about health, diet, beauty, or what is supposed to make us happy.

As he did so convincingly in The Cure for Everything,  Caulfield separates sense from nonsense and provides useable and evidence-informed advice about what actually works and what is a waste of money and time.

In typical Caulfield manner, it isn't enough to just interview experts and read all of the current studies (which he does). He tries celebrity-recommended beauty routines and diets. After attending a modeling competition, he enrolls in an assessment/audition for a modeling agency in Hollywood. He follows celebrity Twitter feeds, reads gossip blogs and forces himself to read every issue - cover to cover - of People Magazine , for an entire year, in his quest to understand the relationship between celebrity culture and our individual health choices.

Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? is the question Caulfield sets out to answer in this fun, factual book that offers real advice.  

 

Publisher: Toronto :, Viking, an imprint of Penguin Canada Books, Inc.,, 2015
ISBN: 9780670067589
Branch Call Number: 306.4 CAU NVD
Characteristics: 381 pages ; 24 cm

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adeline_meryt
Sep 20, 2015

Piling on to the overall commentary already provided: I didn't learn anything I didn't already know. (Confirmation bias anyone?)

If it weren't for the readability of the work, I would rate this book rather poorly. As it is, the text is entertaining, and - having read vulgarization pieces that apparently didn't give a hoot about them - the references section is pleasing.

c
Carina_Cakewalk
Jul 18, 2015

Hated this book. I thought it was going to be an informative read, separating wheat from chaff about the crazy theories that are out there. Telling us what's real and what's not.

Instead, it turned out to be an analysis of celebrity culture and why we buy into crazy theories.

o
ownedbydoxies
Jun 30, 2015

Well-written, often humorous, but since I'm already a skeptic and disbelieve most of what 'celebrities' stand for or tell us, I wasn't enlightened in any particular way. It's a great title, though!

b
bobgrant
Apr 19, 2015

Yes, yes she is.Not that I am surprised. (To get the full spectrum of horror, I suppose I should be following her on Twitter, but I'd rather be poisoned.) Caulfield does his usual job of debunking the pseudoscientific claptrap that is pedalled in the entertainment industry; he writes clearly and with some humour about the theories proposed by celebrities and their "medical advisors." I found the book maundered on a bit long; it got rather repetitive for me. Give it a go.

l
libraryeee
Mar 28, 2015

The title is a bit misleading, only a 1/4 of the book is dedicated to that topic, then he deals with whether celebrity is attainable or desirable. Still a great read with some Canadian content.

MaxineML Feb 13, 2015

This is a fascinating look at the vagaries of celebrity life, along with a fantastic debunking of the 'health claims' made by various celebrities (from snail facials to juice cleanses). Caulfield uses himself as a guinea pig for much of this, and reports back on the results and the science. From trying out for American Idol, to facials, to Gwyneth Paltrow's 21 day cleanse diet.

Caulfield is a great writer - funny and wry, and easily able to describe the science and the studies behind what he is talking about.

The first part of the book was probably the best (The Illusion of Celebrity Authority), and by part three the book did drag a bit, but not enough to make it enjoy it any less. The topics get a bit more serious the further into the book you go, but still remain relevant and funny.

Caulfield mentions, in passing, Jenny McCarthy and the anti-vaccine movement, but doesn't really go into it at all, which, considering recent events is a bit of a bummer. I would have loved to read his takedown of McCarthy.

Overall, a very funny book, on a fascinating topic.

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winterwarrior99
May 09, 2015

Great book analyzing celebrity culture, authority and illusions, highlighting harmful practices which clash with science. A touch weighty at times, but always interesting.

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