Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Treasure Yourself by Miranda Kerr

Miranda Kerr is many things; mum, mega model, muse but…author? Miranda’s foray into the world of the written word ‘Treasure Yourself’ was met with some tittering from avid readers. She is always adnorned with a mega watt smile though, so she must be doing something right!

Generally, models are stereotypically pigeon holed to be rather vacuous, superficial and clueless when it comes to deeper matters. Some found it hard to stomach that Miranda had turned out her  own version of a ‘help yourself’ guide for girls wondering what Miranda could possibly comprehend about the struggles of the average girl not ensconced in angel wings and million dollar lingerie.

Secondly, the title ‘Treasure Yourself’ caused yet more to double up in hysterics. Wasn’t it pretty easy for Miranda to advocate treasuring yourself when she has the face of an angel, the body of a goddess and a seamlessly perfect life, from her stellar career which is only broadening from modeling into cosmetics and beauty, an internationally renowned husband in the form of Orlando Bloom and a beautiful, healthy baby boy?

Miranda’s introduction soon puts to rest that her life has simply been a step by step process to success. Instead, she shares professional setbacks from her earlier modeling days and a personal tragedy that reinforced her desire to live for each day.

Miranda’s advice and perceptions are earnest, if unoriginal. She shares a little of her history before outlining what she feels are the essential processes to lead a happy life. Amongst them include a healthy, organic (where possible) diet, regular exercise (Miranda is a particular advocate of yoga), smiling, recognizing and acknowledging your own beauty and the regular use of mantras and affirmations. She then ends the book with some mantras and affirmations of her own, and those from others who have inspired her, including Deepak Chopra.

A kind quirk to Miranda’s short read is that she requested friends and family draw pictures of their favourite flowers to adorn the pages of the book and she also shares some childhood snaps that reveal she has always been a genetically blessed beauty.

Miranda has been accused of inventing a slightly pompous, pretentious mother earth persona, cut from the same ilk as Gwyneth Paltrow, but as she shares her embarrassments and her own personal crutches, it’s hard to dislike her.

I came away with two distinct impressions.

One was that Miranda could have put more into this book. It’s relatively short and reiterates ideology and advice that has become well worn by now, though perhaps that’s because, just like clichés, they echo with truth and require repetition. Miranda doesn’t introduce anything truly unique or miraculous and in a way it could be argued that Miranda was after a quick sell: some pretty pictures of flowers and a few pleasant messages. Her gorgeous face could probably sell used bog roll after all…

HOWEVER, Miranda didn’t have to write this book at all and there is something engaging about her easy, basic prose. Miranda isn’t pretending to be something she isn’t. She’s just sharing what has helped her through her cataclysmic rise and the inevitable pitfalls along the way.

This isn’t a self-help book and shouldn’t be read as such. I think the ideal audience for this book are Miranda fans and young girls who can take a few inspirational messages from a superstar. It’s helpful for young girls on the cusp of adolescence to realize that even the superbly stunning Miranda had bouts of inferiority and insecurity as a child and in her early years as a model.

Miranda has been accused of being a pseudo good girl with a shallow message of peace and love good old fashioned hippy style, but whether the image is a concocted façade or the real deal, promoting a message of treasuring yourself through the food you eat, the water you drink, the energy you exude and the way you should value yourself as a girl and woman can only be beneficial.

This is advice girls need now more than ever, in an entertainment culture that berates women physically and emotionally on a consistent basis, comparing them to impossible, idealized standards and running them through the grinder of the music industries misogynistic music videos and lyrics that reduce women into sexual commodities for the often uninteresting rapper fronting the song. This is a message girls need and so I certainly wouldn’t discourage anyone from supporting Mirandas’s first book!