Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Review: Badass: A hard-earned guide to living life with (the right) style and attitude by Shannen Doherty [Book]

Advantages: Cozy writing style, split into clear sections, easy to put down and get back into, stunning photos
Disadvantages: The advice is mainly common sense


** I'll start with a friendly warning; BADASS is NOT an autobiography, it is clearly marketed towards personal growth and self help **

Reformed bad-girl actress Shannen Doherty has manged to turn her life (and potentially career destroying ways) around and she has just published a book to help others face up to their problems and how to come through.the other side stronger.

BADASS is a lifestyle guide that is spilt into three clear sections:


What is a badass, why you should want to be one and a simple guide on how to become one and live your life to it's full potential.


Once you've know how to improve yourself, it's time to learn how to apply your new and improved outlook with family, friends colleagues and partner.


Now you've changed your outlook and attitude accordingly - and have also changed the way that you interact with the people around you - you need to think about your surroundings and the things you do too.

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I've never bought (or even read) a self help book before, and I only bought BADASS because Shannen Doherty wrote it, so I had no idea what to expect...

Part one starts with Shannen clarifying what the term badass means to her: Living your life with integrity, honesty, and self-confidence. Once we know and understand what our goal is Shannen advises us how to stop wasting time and opportunities people-pleasing and hiding away and becoming smart, honest, more confident and assertive - all while avoiding the trap of coming across as being bitchy.

Section two is more in depth, especially the advise for intimate relationships. Some people may find some of the advice in section two old fashioned; For instance she asks how hard is it to shave your legs and underarms for your partner? Some people may be initially outraged, but think about it - would you like it if he/she always slobbed about and never made an effort for you?

The advice for family, friends and work colleagues doesn't contain as much information and is fairly interchangeable. But what is included is easy to follow; Be respectful, don't sweat the little things and if you ever get drawn into an argument over something simply say "I'd like to research. Can I get back to you in a bit?" and walk away.

She also gives advice on 'stalking' - as in spying on a partner you suspect of being unfaithful, which is something that I suspect other advice books don't advise doing. Shannen does point out that it's a little crazy, but why sit at home worrying with unanswered questions when you can easily find the answers? It does make her sound a little bit, umm, paranoid, but again I did find myself nodding along her her arguement. I guess I'm a bit paranoid too...

Section three is varied and I can see myself coming back to it numerous times in the future. There's everything from lists of the best 'Badass gal' lipstick shades and nail polish shades, how to fake a French manicure in a matter of seconds, how to make a cover for a patio, decorating, hosting parties small or large, Shannen's favourite recipes, all the way to the best holiday destinations.

OK, so BADASS doesn't contain any groundbreaking information or advice, but I like how practical and to-the-point Shannen is with the information and how she will provide examples from her own life to back-up how well the tips and guides worked for her. She doesn't come across as pretentious or patronising, simply friendly and intelligent.

I love how Shannen has made the tips and stories personal; It feels like your chatting together over coffee as she does add general instances from her life and work to stop the advice from becoming a cold, clinical laundry list of what to and what not to do.

Shannen has wrote the book as if she's talking to another woman, but there's nothing in here that can't be followed by a man - well, maybe the lipstick and French manicure tips can be skipped.

As Shannen is a keen photographer and is the art directer for a Californian magazine [Pasadena magazine], so I was hoping that the book would be illustrated and have an attractive layout and I was pleased to be right. As well as professional portraits there are plenty of personal snaps of Shannen, her family and her close friends.

In addition to that the blocks of text are broken up a bit with various check lists, inspirational quotes and do's and don'ts so you can make sure that you have taken the information in fully before moving on. The layout also makes the book easy to get back into if you have to put it down for a bit.
Summary: Well worth a read...

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