Tabloid editor to women: Yes, you can have it all

Bonnie Fuller wants young women to be inspired by her life and career to think big.

Published February 4, 2006 12:27AM (EST)

Legendary editor of celebrity rags Bonnie Fuller, who is the frequent subject of hilarious sniping on Gawker, has just written a career memoir-cum-inspirational self-help book called "The Joys of Much Too Much."

This book has a 27-word subtitle, which I will now delight in repeating in full. Here goes: "Go for the Big Life -- the Great Career, the Perfect Guy, and Everything Else You've Ever Wanted (Even If You're Afraid You Don't Have What It Takes)." We have not seen this book yet -- it doesn't come out until April -- but according to the intro to an interview with Fuller over at Fishbowl NY on MediaBistro, it offers such perky bromides as "use envy as a butt-kick for yourself" and "the biggest hurdles you will ever face are the ones in your own self-critical mind," among other hard-won wisdom. These days, Fuller makes $1.5 million a year, according to Forbes, overseeing 23 magazines at American Media, including Star and Celebrity Living.

Fuller's convinced that all the warnings that women "can't have it all" have gotten out of control. Asked who her book is aimed at, she tells the interviewer: "Every young woman in her 20s and 30s -- looking ahead and thinking what their life choices [are] and wondering if they can manage to have a career, a family, a love life, and they're scared that they're not going to be able to. I wanted to encourage them and say, 'Yeah, you can do it.' It's not just for women in media, it's for women everywhere. I don't want them to feel that having the best life possible is unattainable. It's not. I do believe that the road to happiness is to have all of this in your life."

Fuller has this take on the opt-out revolution: "I'd seen friends who had 'opted out' -- and it's amazing how quickly ten or twelve years go by and your kids are really busy with their own lives, and these women were feeling very much like life had passed them by, and they didn't know how to jump back in. I saw that there was a lot of regret about their decision and they became very fearful of jumping back in, and I just don't think it's necessary to have to opt out in order to enjoy raising your children. You can still have a wonderful relationship with your children and get so much out of it without having to give up your whole other life -- your intellectual life, your passion, whatever it is."

Now, if she could just find a way to work that sentiment into Celebrity Living ...

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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