Watch any VH1 countdown with a version of the title Top Celebrity Body Makeovers and you’re reaffirmed of how out-of-touch celebrities are from the little people. Sure Melissa Joan Hart lost all of her baby weight in record time – you’d have to make a conscious effort not to get in shape when your diet is closely monitored by your personal chef/nutritionist and your live-in yogi puts you through your mantras every morning. So when a celebrity’s name is slapped across the cover of a book that was written to emphasize how they are JUST LIKE YOU!, most of us find it hard to take that book seriously.

But Daisy Fuentes’ Unforgettable You skirts that perception. When Paris Hilton was “writing” a book from the perspective of her Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, Daisy Fuentes was channeling her celeb status into a book that encourages young women to learn something about themselves, using both the mishaps and successes of her own life as examples for the lessons within.

Unforgettable You is literally a step-by-step manual on modern womanhood through the eyes of a celebrity, so the concept of femininity is not really open for interpretation here – according to Fuentes every woman must own a set of personalized stationary and “kiss-ass pair of stilettos.” But as she puts it “this is my take on life and beauty.” Besides, discrepancies over accoutrement don’t overshadow the morals that nearly every woman can agree on: a woman is responsible for the decisions she makes and should constantly strive to exert her fullest potential in anything she attempts. These ideas seem Hallmark-worthy at first, but the book’s casual, sharp-shooting tone strips them of their frills (a task which deserves a fair amount of credit, since the pages are various shades of pink that would make the creator of “Hello Kitty” envious).

Admittedly, Fuentes’ ideas are not original to the concepts of style and class, but she knowingly draws her inspiration from icons of civility such as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie Kennedy. It is no secret that these women are timeless in their gentility and grace, which is one of Fuentes’ focal points: it is hardly a bad thing to maintain a little old-world sophistication in a modern era.

However, the evidence that this is not your grandmother’s etiquette book is clear. For example, Fuentes leads off a chapter entitled Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby in her frank way: “Sex is great. You should have it. Just not with everyone.” Fuentes does not pretend that sex is nonexistent in the life of a modern woman, nor does she imply that to have a sex life makes you any less respectable. Basically, don’t text everyone about your sex life. Respect yourself and you’ll organically draw respect from those around you. A simple lesson, but one we can all abide by.

Overall, this book is not an infinite trek into the complicated nebulas of a woman’s psyche. But Fuentes’ honest messages will leave readers thinking: maybe sophistication isn’t an insurmountable idea. You don’t have to know which piece of silverware is the shrimp fork or look perfect in every picture to be a classy, modern woman. What is truly important to Fuentes is that every woman approaches the world with a constant hunger to be challenged to learn, remembering that there is always room for improvement. As Fuentes puts it “We are living in a world where how you look matters, but don’t forget that it’s how you behave that speaks volumes about who you really are…Find your composure…and keep it.”

Author: Daisy Fuentes
Publisher: Atria
Pages: 335 (Hardcover)

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