I do not usually read celebrity memoirs and I certainly don't make a practice of buying them. They are generally poorly written but, more importantly, I worry about what it would say about me to have a bookcase lined with them. This week, however, I watched Portia de Rossi on Oprah talking about her book "Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain" and her struggle with an eating disorder and I wanted the book. I tried talking myself out of it for the reasons cited above and told myself that the only thing worse than buying a celebrity memoir was buying it in hardback. Then, I went to Barnes and Noble on Thursday to buy Miguel a book as part of our Halloween Candy Buy Back program and decided that I would just look at Portia's book . Of course, I didn't just look - I bought it. In the end, I didn't buy it because Portia is married to Ellen DeGeneres. I bought it because I wanted to read her story and compare it to my own.
This book is not really a celebrity memoir - it is simply a memoir, a story of a young woman's struggle to accept herself. She wrote every word of it and, after finishing the book, I find myself hoping that she writes more. She writes beautifully about horrible things using imagery that is almost poetic at times. It is vivid and painful and takes you into the depths of the insanity of a person with an eating disorder. It is graphic at times, ugly and unflattering. She writes explicitly about her self-hatred but also her judgment of others. Telling the truth always requires courage. Telling the truth is such raw detail when you live under constant media scrutiny requires even more. Unbearable Lightness is a book about perfectionism, control and self-destruction but it is also about acceptance, healing and love.
I highly recommend the book if you've ever struggled with an eating disorder, body image or accepting yourself as you are. If you have a thing about buying celebrity memoirs, you can borrow my copy - it will be right there in my bookcase.
Autostraddle has a more in-depth review. Check it out here.