Celebrity Cookbooks: Why they Exist

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The world is fascinated by celebrities. We watch their every move. Oftentimes, people want to be just like those they watch. Thus, it’s no big surprise that celebrity cookbooks are a success and have been for a very long time. As a culture, we look up to celebrities. Right or wrong, we sometimes identify, sometimes idolize, and sometimes take comfort in the celebrities we follow. When a celebrity puts out a cookbook, it’s something that draws attention. Regardless of whether the cookbook centers on something that celebrity loves or it’s advocating how they got their look, it captures the interest of the public. Reasons for why these cookbooks are so successful and popuar vary.

SIMPLE FANDOM

Devoted fans of a performer or TV show will support their favorite by purchasing anything that celebrity comes out with, or even anything an estate comes out with. We want anything with our celebrity’s name on it. Be it ‘The Presley Family and Friends Cookbook’, ‘Aunt Bee’s Mealtime in Mayberry’, or ‘Oprah’s Favorite Recipes’, It’s a chance to have something that is proportedly part of the celebrity we collect on, or something that comes from that TV show we tune into every week. There are times these purposes might even be for nostalgia’s sake, but we buy them, wanting to bring that person or performance into our homes.

IF THEY CAN DO IT, SO CAN I

In a health- and beauty-conscious world, women especially often try to pattern themselves after a celebrity. From weight loss to simple curves and abs, for many, if they see someone they admire being successful, they convince themselves that they can do it, too. If a celebrity has lived a long life and looks as good today as they did in their hey day, folks want to know their secrets. They’ll run out to the store and buy Patti Labelle’s Receipe for Good Life, Paul Newman’s Newman’s Own Cookbook, or Suzanne Somer’s Get Skinny on Fabulous Food.

FADS

In other words, it’s so hot and on the charts that popular culture just *has* to have it. It’s the talk of the water cooler. Believe in it or not, it’s the fad of the day, be it a movie, TV show, or person, and we must run out and add it to our long shelf of cookbooks we may or may not ever actually use. Celebrity cookbooks here can range from Entertaining with the Sopranos to Desperate Housewives Cookbook: Delicious Dishes from Wisteria Lane and to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Cookbook.

People love celebrity, so rather it’s because of fandom, a desire to imitate, or keeping up with the talk at the water cooler, celebrity cookbooks have always been, and always will be, popular.

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