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Famous Last Words: Paula Deen

A pro uncovers what the celebrity chef’s penmanship says about her

For well over a decade, Paula Deen has been buttering up her television audiences and recipes alike. The chef—known both for her quirky witticisms and calorie-laden dishes—gives the experience of “comfort food” a new meaning. Here, Deen’s handwriting sheds light on her culinary and TV-personality success. According to graphologist Annette Poizner, “all the roundness in her writing reflects a warmhearted, emotional and social” instinct. Her penmanship suggests a person who is deeply sensual, who loves to indulge and be indulged. But don’t mistake her kindness for weakness.

“Look at the hook at the end of her last name and the end of her first name,” Poizner says. “Such people are often very accomplished because they want to achieve more and more. They grasp for different forms of success.” Case in point, the silver-haired Southern belle recently launched her own subscription-based online platform called the Paula Deen Network, which houses recipes, culinary tips and bite-size cooking videos.

Deen says she’s loving the authenticity of the new experience. “It’s so different from TV. There’s very little editing. One day I set off the kitchen alarm and we just went with it, because that’s what happens in kitchens across America. We want you to see things as they really unfold.” It’s a sincerity that seems to resonate with the 67-year-old, following one of her more challenging years. When asked about the meaning of her favorite quote (above), she said, “When I was in my early twenties, I read a book called A Woman of Substance—I loved that book. I said, ‘One day I want to be a woman of substance. And if it takes me until my last day, I want to be that woman.’ ”

Paula Deen’s note

1. People will sometimes embody words or images in handwriting that are near and dear to the heart. In this case, never actually looks more like the word menu.

2. Large-size writing reveals a person who enjoys being the center of attention.

3. In some instances her writing is distinct and individual, but elsewhere it showcases traditional “copybook” style. She straddles the line between rebellious and conservative.

4. The initials in her first and last name are formed in her own unique style. She prides herself on doing things in a nonconformist way.

5. Look at the n in been and the v in never. Here we see very sharp, tight angles that often allude to a “sharp” person—someone who is smart and critical.