Well, thank goodness. After years of wondering How the Beautiful People Do It, finally there’s a book revealing all their secrets for staying slim and chic!

This ad comes from the back of a 1975 Ladies’ Home Journal. “Once again, let us emphasize that the Beautiful People think dieting is a ‘bore.’” Stars—they’re just like us! Frankly it’s hard to imagine a more attractive proposition than a diet that doesn’t involve dieting, and one vouched for by the international jet set, no less. And such grand claims: “How to be thin as a model, with the energy and stamina of a truck driver!” Is the answer amphetamines?

If you sent the coupon in, you’d get a very real book—The Beautiful People’s Diet Book, by the famous and glamorous Luciana Avedon, a.k.a. Princess Luciana Pignatelli, best known for her Camay soap commercials in the 1970s and her Beautiful People’s Beauty Book. The New York Times did a profile in 2003, combing through the book for gems:

Though an as-told-to book, it retains the Italian author’s idiosyncratic syntax and let-them-eat-cake attitude. (On the danger of not keeping up with beauty routines: ‘’You take away this, take away that, and in six months you look like a cook.’’) Inscrutable recipes for facial masks (‘’one tablespoon of lanolin and one teaspoon of Balsam of Peru, mixed until smooth’’) jostle with enigmatic glimpses of la dolce vita (‘’Last year in Sardinia, where we all ended up nude on a deserted beach, I put my bikini on my face’’).

IntotheGloss read the diet book and outlined some of her exhaustive directions. A particular gem: “One of the unsung merits of reading is that it keeps your hands so busy that it’s awkward to be messing about with food at the same time, especially in bed—you wind up with splotches on the book and crumbs in the sheets.” Luciana also declared that “Prefab spaghetti makes my blood run cold,” and you know what? She wasn’t wrong there.


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.