Reading Heidi and Spencer's book so you don't have to
If there's a guaranteed white elephant gift this holiday season, it's the 132-page book "How to be Famous" by Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt. These two -- who leveraged their roles on MTV's semi-real reality show "The Hills" into tabloid dominance -- sure know about being famous for no good reason, but who really needs a book to explain the phenomenon? I didn't want to read it, but I did so you won't have to. You're welcome.
The cover: The cover is screamingly garish. It shouts, "Step back! You do not want to pick up this book!" I imagine the designer saying something like, "Remember that '80s neon thing? We're going to do that, but modern." "Modern" falling somewhere between retina-burning and vomit.
The acknowledgments: They thank Jesus first. Is Jesus on their side? Talk about a crisis of faith.
The advice: Find a bunch of famous-ish people, hang out with them, establish self as an antagonist. Oh, it helps if these famous-ish people are on a TV show, meaning you will also be on a TV show. It is a short, paparazzi-enabled step from the TV show to the pages of Playboy. Won't mom be proud?
The Spencer factor: "Given how the general public feels about me, the chances are that if you're reading this right now, you can't stand me. I get it. If I weren't me, I'd HATE me. But here you are."
But that's pretend: A chart of villains puts Spencer between J.R. Ewing and Freddy Krueger. None of the villains, except for Spencer, are real. Depending on whether you believe Spencer is real, that is.
Heidi's tips: Sexy chicks get all the attention, not good girls. Cry to get what you want. "Don't kid yourself, nobody's born perfect," so do purchase new boobs, a new nose, lip injections, capped teeth (Botox and face-lifts are for old people). Also, work out for a "smoking bod." Never leave the house without full-bore hair and makeup. Set feminism back a century.
Don't look! There are 16 full-bleed, glossy pages of Speidi. Faux candid snow frolicking, bathing suit romping. Turn away.
Paparazzi primer: Yes, Spencer and Heidi are cozy with the paparazzi. But even I know that celebrities have publicists who do the work of telling the paparazzi where to find them, and publicists don't get a mention here. A little cheaty. Plus, calling them "paps" is kind of gross.
Branding, Speidi-style: Do anything. Show up to the opening of a bag of chips. Vote for McCain. Get married -- twice. Write a book.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt at a New York book signing. Credit: Will Ragozzino / Getty Images