Love in Time of Corona

… between Amsterdam, New York and Milford, PA

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The BlackBerry Diet – a novel by Barbara de Vries

“Youth is something very new.

Twenty years ago no one mentioned it.”

– Coco Chanel.

The BlackBerry Diet

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the synopsis

barbi does cosmo

Why, after writing three hundred pages and 65,000 words of a complete novel is it impossible to say what its about in a few hundred words? The synopsis is due and I am procrastinating. My bio too. Also hard. Like who am I? Who do I want to be? Which part is appealing, which picture, which part of my life will draw editors and readers to me instead of evoke who-does-she-think-she-is disgust?


Don’t people hate ex-models? Aren’t models supposed to be seen and not heard? Apparently Tyra Banks’ agent said, when Tyra first pitched Americas Next Top Model, let face it models are just not very sympathetic characters thats why people don’t want to know about them. Well wasn’t he wrong. Turns out people love to see pretty wannabe models be humiliated, cry and then bitch about it. But thats beside my point. Actually it isn’t. I’m fascinated by the whole beauty culture. I was submerged in it for ages, so deep that I had no perspective.

Now that I’m older and live on the fashion periphery I see.

mama barbi

More clearly.

For instance I see the whole anti-aging mania. I had lunch with a woman last Friday, an ex-model,  who said that she represented the anti-aging institute here in Miami.  How cool, I tought, an institute that supports aging in a positive way. WRONG! It was a botox, lift, nip and tuck center, and might as well be called the How To Hide That You’re Aging Institute. See thats my point. Our culture is not as much about being young as it’s about apppearing young when you’re not anymore. I was right smack in the middle of it this. Yet I never  grasped ( I was a stupid model)  the reasoning and consequences  of each youthful, laughing, leaping with happyness at the sheer pretty-ness of my existence photograph I took, to sell products by pretending that I was onto something that other women were not but might be if they bought into what I was wearing, drinking, smoking etc. Not a clue. I just smiled and leapt and took the fat check home. As for being sexy in those pictures, well you may be happy to hear that it never got me any sex. I’ll debunk this while I’m at it. Men were terrified of the Cosmo cover girl. I could stand alone at parties with hundreds of hot guys and the only ones trying to pick me up were greasy midgets with Greek shipping magnate names like Spiros. But I’m not getting to the synopsis. Not at all. In fact I’m still effectively procrastinating.

Although the novel is about all of the above, its also not. Its about sex and beauty and fashion and Calvin Klein and Kate Moss and Paris and fifty looming and losing weight and adultery and French mistresses and family and a BlackBerry and falling apart. Its more than that and its different than that. Less of a rant, more of a story. Like is it a love story? Kinda. Is it a story of self discovery? (yawn) Kinda. Is it about me? Yes and no.

So now you’re thinking, then what the fuck is it Barbi? Like if you dont know then how are we supposed to know?

You will. I promise. I’m just kicking up dust and see what settles. Using you and this blog-thing to get my head from the story to  an advertising-copy sized essence of what took me 65,000 casual self-effacing words into something  that now needs to read like the self-important blurb at the supermarket check out.

Suggestions are most welcome and also see poll below…