Following in the wake of diet books such as Japanese Women Don’t Get Fat, publishers have been delighted by the success of the latest addition to the genre which reveals the eating secrets of Britain’s famously trim beggars and vagabonds.
‘Many people in the fashion industry can’t look at a homeless person without feeling a sense of shame,’ said one fashion commentator. ‘We’re forced to ask ourselves difficult questions like ‘how come they manage to stay so slim?’ and ‘why can’t I go so long between meals?’ And how they manage to find homes in some of the most fashionable inner city areas is beyond me.’
Models and designers have long envied vagrants for their ability to burn off calories through a healthy outdoors lifestyle. Having dogs to walk and being frequently moved on means they get a lot of miles under their belts, which in turn helps tone up the thighs and bottom, while the constant battle against hypothermia keeps their tummies taut and trim. And when not out exercising or freezing, the homeless keep in shape thanks to class A drug addiction, a diet choice celebrated by the fashion industry’s penchant for heroin chic.
But the massive sales of Homeless People Don’t Get Fat has taken publishers by surprise. ‘What this proves is that the fashion industry has a massive appetite for dieting secrets and miracle weight-loss techniques. You just have to look at some of them to see that it’s been a while since they tucked into a good square diet book.’
The success of the book has already spawned a portfolio of spin-off products and merchandise. With the festive season approaching, Mayfair clubs and wine bars are stocking up on champagne served in Special Brew cans, while Grazia has warned any self-respecting fashionista not to step out without this winter’s must-have accessories, a shopping trolley and off-the-shoulder sleeping bag.