MICHELLE DUFF - Dominion Post 21 November, 2011
Wear red to show independence, beat egg whites till stiff and never, ever, strangle your mother.The recipe for life was certainly unconventional, but an audience of 350 hung on every colourful word spoken by lifestyle guru Peta Mathias at The Dominion Post's Write Stuff event in Wellington yesterday.
Apart from the fact she had always wanted to name a book Beat Till Stiff – a declaration met with more than a few barely stifled giggles – the idea behind her latest offering was that everything could be transformed, she said.
When she changed even a tiny thing in her life – such as dyeing her salt-and-pepper locks a brilliant red – it shook up her whole outlook, she said. In fact, she is so enthused about the colour she has devoted a whole chapter in her book to the advantages of the colour red.
Mathias made the shift to her now-trademark colour after going out in Paris with her younger sister and being mistaken for her mother.
"The next day I drowned myself in hair dye and I haven't seen my real hair since ... [it] just made my life completely more fun overnight."
Other positive changes in her life had come from making peace with her mother, whom she had wanted to "strangle" since the age of six, and writing a letter to her 25-year-old self to give her advice – which she highly recommended.
"It gives you the opportunity to think `wow', do I even remember what that person was like? I could not be more surprised than anyone about the direction my life has taken."