“I highly recommend inviting the worst-case scenario into your life.”
~ Portia de Rossi in Unbearable Lightness
I love books that change my life, & I just finished reading ‘Unbearable Lightness – A Story Of Loss & Gain’, by Portia de Rossi, & it has already had a profound affect on the way I see the world.
It is such an amazing book. I couldn’t put it down.
In this beautiful memoir, de Rossi describes her childhood, her early career as a model, & her rise to fame after being cast in the hit show of the 90s, Ally McBeal.
But this isn’t just a book about Hollywood or an autobiography detailing the fairytale life of a seemingly normal girl from Geelong (near my hometown of Melbourne), Australia.
It’s so much more than that.
It’s about a girl who grew up feeling as though she wasn’t pretty enough or worthy enough to be loved by anyone, including herself. It’s about a girl who feels lost, & overwhelmed by the pressure to look, think & act a certain way in order to gain the approval of others & ‘fit in’. But most of all, it’s about a girl who, after overcoming the hardest challenges of her life, learns to love & accept herself for who she really is.
Isn’t that something we can all relate to?
De Rossi describes in detail how the pressure of the media & her low self-esteem lead her to anorexia & bulimia, & how terrified she was of the world finding out about her sexuality.
Portia reveals all of her vulnerabilities, sharing every thought she had about herself & about food during that dark time, from her extreme exercise routines & weighing small portions of food to the paranoia & anxiety at the thought of fat cells growing on her body.
This book has really opened my eyes & helped me to gain some sort of understanding of what it is like to have an eating disorder; the thoughts, the perceptions, the anxiety, & the lying & maintenance that is required to keep up such a painful ritual.
I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book as heartbreakingly honest & authentic as Unbearable Lightness. There’s nothing I love more than someone who is brave enough to be their complete authentic self, imperfections & all.
This is a must read for anyone who has ever felt less than or has struggled with self-acceptance. I’ve even read a few opinions of the book from girls living with eating disorders, saying they really related to de Rossi’s story & found it comforting to know that they weren’t alone in their illness & that there really is hope for recovery.
As for me, this book has made me question how much I focus on the way I look, & the ending was so beautiful, truthful, & wise that I don’t think I will ever stress about food or weight or exercise ever again.
Unbearable Lightness has helped me to discover more about myself & accept myself more than I ever have before.
I am who I am, whether that be straight or bisexual. It doesn’t matter.
And I look the way I look, whether that be a size 8 or a size 14. It doesn’t matter.
All that matters is that I love & accept myself for exactly who I am.
And the same goes for you.
You are who you are, & who you are is AWESOME.
It doesn’t matter what your sexuality is, what colour your skin is, what language you speak, how much you weigh or anything like that. All that matters is that you can accept yourself for who you are, & love yourself, flaws & all.
I’ll finish with another quote:
“The hotness is not about age, looks, body type, race – it is about honesty, knowing who you are and being who you are, without trying to front like you are better than you are. It is about the deep down authenticity of self, then living it, loving it and looking it.”
~ Margaret Cho