The bionic babe created in an operating orgy is writing a self-help manual on how to be fit and fetching? Isn't that a little like Tammy Faye Bakker exalting the virtues of natural beauty?
No fair, cries Cher. She knows the press and public write off her sinewy slinkiness as medical editing, but "I've killed myself in the gym to have this body. It isn't like I have some amazing secret that nobody else has. And when I don't want to exercise, I look like hell. It's not anything you'd want to see."
The accounts of her surgical reconstructions are greatly exaggerated, recounts Cherilyn Sarkisian La Piere, in "Cher/Forever Fit: The Lifetime Plan for Health, Fitness and Beauty" (Bantam, $21.95).
Sure, the 44-year-old mother of two had her breasts done and redone ("a fabulous procedure that really works," she claims, despite numerous surgical revisions to reduce the scars). She couldn't live with her original nose ("it really bothered me"). What about those lip implants? No, she says, it was orthodontics that "gave me more of a mouth." Neither did she indulge in a rib removal or buttock tuck, she writes.
Some of the other procedures Cher has allegedly undergone are dismissed too ambiguously to rate as outright denials. Her white-knuckled health saga (Will I ever lose those dreaded six pounds?) is salted with as many hints, tips, confessions and low-fat recipes as a Snickers bar has calories. Snickers, in fact, is just one of the many food products, and beauty preparations she mentions or endorses in this hefty book.
"Cher/Forever Fit" is an evangelical free-for-all of plugs (we all know of her longtime love affair with M&Ms) and name-brand recommendations.
Cher, who wrote the book with sports nutritionist Robert Haas, "chers" the following advice:
* Cher slaps a non-peroxide rinse on her mane to tone down its red undertones, but who cares -- she wears wigs most of the time anyway. She likes hair products by Philip Kingsley, Aveda, Lori Davis, Nexxus, Jheri Redding and Sea Plasma. If you really want nice hair, though, "go to Tahiti or the South of France. There's a lot of humidity and the water is soft."
* During the filming of "The Witches of Eastwick," Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer were porking up on M&Ms, Hershey's Kisses, Cokes and Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Cheese Goldfish. Then they discovered they could microwave sweet potatoes in four minutes "and that changed our entire lives." If you have to cheat on your diet, splurge on sugar, not on fats. No more than 20 grams of fat per day should pass your lips.
* To control weight, you need a minimum workout of 30 minutes of walking at a rate of 4 miles an hour. Nix the ankle weights, but 1-pound soft weights on each arm tone up triceps and biceps.
* Forget all the nonsense about cigarettes and booze being harder to forsake than heroin. "People can survive the Holocaust, they can certainly give up smoking." Besides, face lifts take longer to heal when you're a smoker.
* Cher's ideal moisturizer is Moistique, manufactured by Twin Laboratories and sold in health food stores.
* Cher loves Retin-A -- she's been on it for 10 years.
* Of course, she takes vitamins -- Aerobic Pak, made by Twin Laboratories.
* If you're the sort who eats in reaction to the problems lifepresents, look at the call of the food pile this way: You'll still have all your problems after you snort down all that garbage plus you'll be fat.