I love Cameron Diaz. She and I share the same birthday (she is ten years older) and I love that she looks 43, in the best way possible. Homegirl is not trying to look 25 forever and overdoing fillers and Botox like many of her peers. Obviously, Cameron is incredibly blessed genetically, but her exposure to the best facialists, trainers, nutritionists etc. in age-obsessed Hollywood makes her someone to look to for advice.
The Longevity Book is the follow-up to Cameron Diaz’s wildly successful work with collaborator Sandra Bark, The Body Book. The Body Book was much more than the usual celeb “advice” book [see Kate Hudson’s Pretty Happy (yawn), Kristin Cavallari’s thin-tome Balancing in Heels (snooze) and Khloe Kardashian’s Strong Looks Better Naked (wtf is this even?] as it has actual (and accurate!) scientific information backing up its claims. Even though there wasn’t a ton of ground-breaking advice or tips (i.e. eating clean, no artificial ingredients, or added-sugar, etc), I felt that it was a great reminder of why (beyond looking good) it is so important to eat well and exercise. It was definitely motivating and refreshing to feel like I had learned something, as opposed to just being embarrassed that I had bought the thing.
I read The Body Book in the book form (well, on my phone, which, tragically, is becoming my second most common way to read books, after my raging audiobook addiction) and decided to listen to The Longevity Book. I figured it would help me stay on task during the more science-y parts (I kind of skimmed over some of the more verbose chapters on long-chain enzymes or whathaveyou). Cameron has a great speaking voice (I can’t imagine dealing with the listening to the vocal fry-fest that would have been Kristin Cavallari’s audio version, but sadly, I couldn’t find an audio version of her “book”), so I figured it would be a win/win for us savvy late-August Virgos. Here we go!
Sooooo, I guess Cameron is only doing the prologue. Perhaps I should’ve looked more closely at the fine print on Audible. One of my favorite hobbies is listen to celebrities read their “autobiographies” (see: Coreyography), so I was kind of disappointed. But oddly, the main narrator, Sandy Rustin, sounds a lot like Diaz, so I guess it was probably just easier to get a bargain-basement version of the star. Cameron got paid like a million dollars an hour to do the voice of Fiona in Shrek, so I guess her time is precious (read: expensive).
The book opens essentially with a list of reasons our life expectancies have increased dramatically in the last 200 years (i.e. vaccines, hand-washing, etc) which isn’t exactly headline news, but is sort of interesting. The tone is very conversational and accessible. The subject of length of life vs. “healthy” life expectancy was quite compelling (how many healthy years of your life vs. how many unhealthy), especially as humans are living longer and longer and will most likely need more years of increased health care (an obviously hot button issue right now). Our culture seems to glorify living forever, but how great it is to live to 100 if you are basically unwell for 20-25 of those years? Longevity seems to focus on making each year count and to be as healthy as possible- so not an anti-aging book like I had assumed. It seems to deal more with living with vibrancy and to not try to reverse the aging process, but to face it head on.
The next section is… not great. It’s well written and some of it (like the fact that until the early 1970s, a single woman had no access to birth control) it great, especially the section on female hysteria. But there just isn’t the pull- my mind kept wandering and I couldn’t bring myself to rewind and re-listen to some parts. Obviously, feminine health is important to me as a woman, but it felt like I was listening to several boring (I mean IMPORTANT) Huffington Post or Jezebel articles, followed by a peppy lecture from my Freshman year biology textbook. I thought listening to the scientific sections would be better than reading them, but I was wrong.
Cellular division, mitochondria, stasis….
Am I a bad person for continuously switching the audiobook of The Longevity Book to Vanderpump Rules’ Stassi Schroeder’s fabulous podcast Straight up with Stassi? What does it say about me that I would rather listen to her talk shit about James Kennedy or dish on her theories on tall greys than listen about how my body works?
I swear I am not this vapid. But somehow, I keep finding myself dreading listening to how my thyroid is going to murder me or whatever, and instead turn on podcasts from Bravolebrities. This is troubling.
I think I need a break from The Longevity Book. I need to pace myself, just like Cameron and my cells do.
Part 2 coming atcha after I listen to Straight Talk with Ross in its entirety.