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The Lifetime Plan for Health, Fitness and Beauty
By Cher and Roger Haas, M.S.
342 pages, $21.95

SILLY, SEXY, savvy Cher is here to stay.
There is no escaping her as a cultural phenomenon.

Cher has won an Oscar, danced more or less nude before hundreds of sailors, worn headdresses in public that would break Mike Tyson's spine and borne children to two of the weirdest men in show business.

Her wind-tunnel hair, throaty warble and tattooed bottom are omnipresent -- on MTV, at the perfume counter, at the record and video stores -- and now Cher is at the bookstores hawking health in a volume called "Cher: Forever Fit," co-authored by sports nutritionist Robert Haas.

Ways this book can make you forever fit:

It will lighten your wallet (thus, you) by about $23, including tax.

It will tone and firm your arms as you lug it about the store searching for simple diet food items like granulated fructose (granulated fructose?).

It will tighten your hips, buttocks and thighs as you stumble about the kitchen whipping up delights like eggplant lasagna and, mmm-mmm good, prune bread.

It will flatten your stomach as you laugh darkly at the painful truth: This book will probably sell.

What this 342-page book contains:

41 pages of food composition tables (calories, fat, etc.).

30 pages of recipes.

14 pages of bibliography and indexes.

Six pages of approved foods, listed by brand names.

14 pages of Cher, including five of her posing nicely with weight equipment.

Almost half this book is simply a listing of products, recipes, number-filled tables and research. Which, we agree, is needed in a fitness plan. But half a book's worth? At $21.95? The rest is interesting commentary from Cher herself, which brings us to . . .

Neat observations/confessions from Cher:

"Life is a bitch."

"I can eat Haagen-Dazs coffee, strawberry or chocolate ice cream up the wazoo."

"(My skin after makeup poisoning) looked like a pizza -- it was beyond comprehension. I looked like Freddie from 'A Nightmare on Elm Street.' "

"I love to sweat like a pig."

"I've killed myself in the gym to have this body . . . and when I don't exercise, I look like hell."

Why this is all such a godawful shame:

Look. We all, in some way, deep down, like Cher.

I like Cher. I admire her. I want my son to date her; he's 11 months old, so it's not out of the question.

There is no denying the lady is, for so many reasons, an inspiration.

But there's no reason for this book and there's nothing in it, save for a few recipes, that you can't get at a good neighborhood diet-workshop support group, and there's little in it you don't already know about getting in shape.

You want to be able to wear a sheer black body stocking without making small children burst into tears of fright and confusion?

Stop shoving fatty foods into your trap.

Then take your big jiggling butt outside and go for a very long walk every day. If your butt is still jiggling after you've stopped walking, keep walking.

Do this for about six months.

Now, give me $23.

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