I’ll be honest; this is not the most high-brow book I have ever read… if you asked me what it was actually about, I’d be hard put to provide you with an answer. When I first picked up Strong Looks Better Naked , I think I was expecting some sort of tell-all celeb memoir, filled with salacious gossip and revelations about the family we already know inside out. It’s not. In fact, if I worked in a book shop I would have trouble deciding which shelf to put it on.
The assumption that this might be a book filled with what little there might be left to reveal about the Kardashians is not helped by the fact the contents list at the beginning of the book lists a chapter entitled “Caitlyn Breaks Her Silence.” Actually, this book is about… er… uh…
Well, first up Khloe talks about learning to love exercise, while she was still married to Lamar. Then there are lots of full-page quotes. And, of course, full-page photos. There are some recipes for foods with a lot of the letter K involved. Examples include Koko’s Kale and Kucumber Krazed. That’s in the section marked “Body.” The further two sections are labelled “Mind” and “Soul.”
There is nothing groundbreaking in this book. There are a lot of quotes you’ve already seen on Instagram today; a lot of photos of Khloe and her family looking impossibly perfect (including the colour section in the middle), only one of which has a caption. It’s not really a self-help book, since it’s not particularly about getting over something or anything like that. It’s just… a Kardashian book. A bit self obsessed, a bit vauous, a bit pop psychology, a bit aspirational. Although there are short pieces written by Khloe’s trainer, her pastor and her nutritionist, Caitlyn Jenner does not have her own piece. Instead, there’s a short section where Khloe talks about how they filmed a special about the whole Bruce/Caitlyn thing while she was still processing it and wasn’t behaving too nicely, and she feels bad that she came across as a bit of an idiot because now she and Caitlyn are cool.
This is like a watered-down, “lite” version of a self improvement book. Self improvement for the Kardashian generation, I suppose. It’s an easy read; there are no long words and the font is large, and if you take out all the photos and quotes, the 216 pages is probably closer to about 150. You could read it in a hungover weekend without straining. Or perhaps while you were having your hair and makeup done for your next photoshoot.
Forgive me, I’m being a bit snarky here. It’s not a bad book by any stretch, and you do have to respect someone who could well have “revealed all” (there was left) about her family life and her now-defunct marriage. Khloe speaks about the breakup of her marriage, but not about what caused it, how or when it ended specifically. She talks about how she felt while she and Lamar were trying to save their marriage, and how she felt when it ended – but without ever showing him in a bad light, airing dirty laundry or even saying a negative word about him. I know what you’re thinking: are we sure this person is a legit Kardashian? – that question was answered in one of the earlier seasons of the show, where genetic tests were conducted, I believe!
I think the only time she really “reveals” anything is when she talks about her brother and his lack of motivation to lose weight and get a job. If I were her brother… well, I’d probably be used to things like that being out in the public arena by now; I can’t imagine he’s particularly peeved about it being in a book as well as the TV show. There is also one slightly bitchy quip about her sister Kim, and Khloe’s “least favourite” of Kim’s exes, who apparently was not very nice.
This book will sell well for the same reason the Kardashian show is watched the world over and their clothing line does well. By now, we know the name and we’ll buy anything they put out. I can’t exclude myself from that; when I had that channel I would watch their shows whenever they were on – and I did, after all, buy this book. It will work well for their target market, and may even spur some of them on to read more self development books, to go to the gym or to not eat carbs after 4pm.
Thanks for reading.