Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi

Although this NY Times Best Seller doesn't exactly need another review, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Which I bought on a whim while I was on my break at work.


Unbearable Lightness is a story of a young woman's struggle to accept herself. Portia de Rossi (Ally Macbeal, Arrested Development, etc) bares all in this autobiography of her struggle with anorexia and her sexuality.

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From the cover:
“I didn’t decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . .”

Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.
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Her story seems to be something that can be all encompassing, in the sense that we all go through some kind of inner battle with ourselves at some point. The story pulls you into the world of an up and coming actress, and the pressure put on her. Some by society, a lot by herself. What keeps you there is her dry humor and her unflinching honesty.

Though I've never had an eating disorder, I know all too well what battling with weight and body image is. How your entire self worth can be left in the balance due to this one seemingly little thing. It made this story so much easier to relate to in that sense. I don't normally read things put out by Hollywood stars, because the good ones are few and far between, this one was good.

Reading her gradual slope into full blown anorexia was not only scary but it was also interesting. Interesting because the timing of this book is spot on. Portia seems like such a down to earth person in the book that you find yourself wondering how someone like her, who seemed to have it made, could not be happy with themselves. It's also scary because it shows you how easy it really is to fall into something so dangerous, to trick your own mind. As she said, it snuck up on her disguised as a healthy diet, which is so blatantly obvious.

All in all this was a great short read that allows readers to look inside a problem our society has created. It is unyielding and honest and even funny at times. A refreshing read.

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