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Miss Piggy's Guide to Life

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Guidetolife
Written by Miss Piggy, as told to Henry Beard
Illustrator Photos by that cute John E. Barrett
Published 1981
Publisher Muppet Press/Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN 0394519124
Book.piggyguidetolife

Alternate cover.

Guidetolife3

Another alternate cover.

Miss Piggy's Guide to Life is a nationally bestselling advice book written by Miss Piggy in 1981, at the height of her superstardom. It was released in hardcover, and includes a large number of both black and white and color photographs. The style of the book is a send-up of the self-help books popular in the 1970s and 1980s.

The book was on the New York Times bestseller list for 29 weeks (from June 28, 1981 to January 24, 1982), reaching a peak of #4 on the list on July 5th.

Contents

The book's chapters are arranged in alphabetical order.

  • Les Acknowledgments
    • Herein Piggy thanks a variety of people from her photographer John E. Barrett to Frank Oz, though she notes that without her, everyone in the list would probably be in Delaware working in the appliance field.
  • Introduction
    • Piggy describes the process of becoming a writer, including the importance of choosing the wardrobe for the back cover photograph.
  • Chapter 1: Beauty
    • Piggy describes her beauty regimen, including skin care, hairstyles, makeup and perfume. Highlights include photos of Piggy dressed as Dolly Parton, Bo Derek, and a Japanese geisha, her conditioning recipe that turns out to be a recipe for chocolate mousse, before and after makeover photos of Gonzo, who winds up looking much like Piggy, and the Ten Tone Commandments, which warn against braiding one's eyelashes or wearing yellow lipstick.
  • Chapter 2: Body Language
    • Reading others' body language is discussed, as well as a photo essay on how to wordlessly request someone buy you something through body language. The chapter opening photo is of Piggy in full karate attire in the middle of a flying kick, signifying the level of subtlety present.
  • Chapter 3: Depressed?
    • Several suggestions are given for how to cope with depression, including making a list of your blessings, taking bubble baths, and listening to cheerful music while avoiding any composers whose names begin with the letter 'D' as they are all depressing.
  • Chapter 4: Diet
    • A full week of Miss Piggy's diet is given, along with counting calories burned via looking for spare change in the bottom of her purse and figuring out a restaurant tip twice. It also includes photographs of Piggy before and after the diet (they are identical).
  • Chapter 5: Entertaining
    • Piggy describes how to be a perfect guest by greeting others correctly, graciously accepting gifts from the hostess, and rummaging through the host's bathroom medicine cabinet to find interesting topics of conversation to bring up at dinner. Writing a thank you note that critiques the party is also covered.
  • Chapter 6: Exercise
    • Piggy discusses her favorite exercises, including napping and lifting mugs of hot chocolate. There are several step-by-step photographs of some exercises, such as achieving pin-up girl poses of increasing levels of difficulty all the way up to "The Garbo," racing in place, and the gift-lift (how to unwrap a present).
  • Chapter 7: Fashion
    • Basic clothes sense is covered, including what to wear (silk, lavender gloves, cashmere, etc.) and what to avoid (polyester, skirts with gigantic safety pins, lint, etc.). Piggy is photographed in a series of couture outfits, and a "Oui/Non" list is provided.
  • Chapter 8: Finance
    • Using a pie chart that graphs out Piggy's favorite pies, a candy bar graph, and a report to the stockholders concerning her personal finances that values her fans at $100,000,000 and her current ready cash at $7.23 plus a loan of five bucks from Kermit, Piggy explains how to handle money.
  • Chapter 9: Food
    • Piggy suggests that the best food is ordered in. She covers airplane food, using "Ma Bell's Cookbook" (the phonebook), and making ordinary food more interesting by using food coloring, pinking shears, and paper porkchop ruffles.
  • Chapter 10: Manners
    • The proper way to eat a variety of foods is discussed, as well as how to help others avoid the tragedy of missing your birthday and how to handle lapses in manners by others (which usually involves physical violence).
  • Chapter 11: Romance
    • This chapter is set up in a question and answer format, dealing with problems such as what to do if one is stood up, whether or not gifts should be returned if an engagement is broken off, how to get him to break annoying habits, and how to control jealousy.
  • Chapter 12: Success
    • According to Miss Piggy, clothing is almost entirely responsible for success in any career. In this chapter, she is photographed dressed as a judge, a wife and mother, a Wimbledon winner, a model, an interior decorator, a restaurant critic, a ballerina, and a top executive. Pros and cons of each career are outlined.
  • Chapter 13: Travel
    • Piggy gives advice on the importance of waiting to the last minute to pack, how to make English into a foreign language, and the perils of continental breakfasts and European public telephones.
  • Chapter 14: Your Questions Answered
    • A variety of questions are posed through anonymous fan letters on everything from houseplants to pets to baseball to what to do with leftover asparagus tips, all answered with varying degrees of bewilderment.

Additional Credits

Guide to life ad
  • Personal stylist and costume designer: dear, sweet Calista Hendrickson
  • Charming, marvelous prop men: Dennis Smith and Bruce Morozko
  • Talented and gifted costumeur: darling Deborah Lombardi
  • Production supervisor: divine, priceless Amy Koblenzer
  • Photographer's Assistant: Marianne Bernstein
  • Stylist and Prop Assistant: Debbie Schneider
  • Coiffuriste: Christine Cooper
  • Production Assistant: Lyndon Mosse
  • Those lovable graphs: Cathy Canzani
  • Art Directeur: Michael K. Frith (so distinguished looking!)
  • Editeur and Publischere: Bobby Gottlieb
  • Book designer: Virginia Tan
  • Editorial Directeur: the very lovely and dedicated Jane Leventhal or Whatever-her-name-is
  • Long-time ami Christopher Cerf, who contributed oodles of good ideas

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