I finally got around to reading Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It by YouTuber and comedian, Grace Helbig. For a while, I thought the book was dedicated to the dos and don’ts of clothes and make-up. Fashion/beauty isn’t my go-to beat as a writer, so admittedly, it sat on my bookshelf for months. (I don’t normally wear make-up and I read shopping for new clothes.) However, once I started to read it last night, I realized there was more depth involved beyond the silly listicles and half-serious advice.
The book started with Grace’s history of an eating disorder. Even for a comedian, this is not a laughing matter. However, she uses a negative experience (that lasted from her senior year of high school into college) to introducing her love of fashion. In a unique and positive way, fashion and beauty helped her reclaim her self-image. I admire that, especially when you’re opening a memoir-meets-style-guide.
She briefly discusses her quick stint as an amateur model in college. She went to two auditions, where both times, models admitted to snacking all day rather than eating a single meal. Again, still preoccupied with counting calories and escaping to the gym, Grace thought this was completely normal.
However, once she started recording YouTube videos in her dorm, she soon realized that she didn’t have to be a model to be in the spotlight. She could have her own spotlight independently. By this time, too, she was turning in her habits and getting into comedy. She took improv classes in New York City and started a troupe on her college campus.
Grace was an inspiration for me in college — and she still is. We now share the same alma mater (two Jersey girls of a kind). She even spoke at my commencement. Even as someone who’s not totally into fashion and beauty, I recommend this title for a feel-good, light-hearted read.