New book says you don't have to be a star to shine

Associated Press Modified: September 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm •  Published: September 20, 2012

"How to Look Hot in a Minivan: A Real Woman's Guide to Losing Weight, Looking Great, and Dressing Chic in the Age of the Celebrity Mom" (St. Martin's Press), by Janice Min

Photos of styled, svelte celebrity moms splashed on magazine covers can be disheartening and misleading for new mothers. "How to Look Hot in a Minivan" reveals star secrets and offers advice to get moms out of maternity pants and into feeling good about themselves.

Author Janice Min, editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, cut her teeth at celebrity weeklies, including People and Us Weekly magazines. She combines her firsthand experience as a mother of three with her inside scoop on how some divas dazzle after baby.

The book details information Min gleaned from her years covering the rich and famous, from baby bumps to body bounce-backs. Getting the skinny from Hollywood stylists, trainers and doctors on how stars stay fit and beautiful, she says that advice should be as accessible to carpool moms as those who walk the red carpet.

Min's point is that you don't have to be a big name to want to look your best and everyone — including celebrities — needs a little help. The book is meant to empower women, suggesting if you look good, you feel good, which is not always easy for mothers who tend to put their kids first.

Min's familiar tone makes the book read like a girlfriends' chat after mommy and me class. She shares personal stories about her pregnancy, postpartum and parenting issues — from muffin tops to working-mother guilt — with refreshing honesty, candor and humor.

It's no surprise the book is reminiscent of a lifestyle magazine filled with stunning celebrity photos, but Min's style is engaging and she provides useful advice for regular moms. "If it were your full time job to look ... glamorous — and you had all the money in the world — you could probably look like an A-lister too. But this is real life ... we have to start aiming for goals that are actually attainable," she says.

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