Friday, 4 May 2012

Unbearable Lightness Book Review

I love immersing myself in a good book. Admittedly, since becoming a parent I find it harder to block the world out ans really sink my teeth into a story. So, when I do manage to do this, I need to share it. I know I am committed to the story when I find myself thinking about the character throughout my day, and thinking about their situation.

Portia de Rossi | Unbearable Lightness by Portia de RossiUnbearable Lightness, written by Portia de Rossi is her own story to tell. The book focuses on her acting career, her sexuality and her eating disorder that dominated her life. It is a story of real struggle and contradiction. Here was a woman who wanted to be a model and actor, yet was uncomfortable with the attention. A woman, who had admiration and could see the beauty in others, but not herself. A story of a woman battling a mental disorder, while denying it existed.

I remember Portia de Rossi's entry to my life and the television series, Ally McBeal as Nelly, and I joined others in watching this natural beauty work her character with sex appeal, intelligence and confidence. I remember thinking how cool this girl from Australia was, joining the Hollywood scene and living her dream. In the book, Portia gives her own recollection of starting on Ally McBeal, which couldn't have been more different to what I imagined. As she describes her workday, her joy and frustrations, her high and lows, I marvelled at her honesty and the detail she offers to help you enter and understand her world.

Her anorexia and bulimia dominated her life for 20 years, and I really felt the emotion and dominance of her mental illness. I was continually shocked at the practices that she thought were normal, the thought process of the disorder, the ever-shocking calories intake(or lack thereof), and the numbers on the scales. 

The last chapters of the book describe her recovery and finding happiness with her wife, Ellen Degeneres. Some may say this section has been brushed over, but I felt she wanted the struggle with her disorder and sexuality to remain bold and clear.