Portia De Rossi's outstanding memoir, Unbearable Lightness, has been out for a while now, and I finished reading it about two months ago, but it struck me deeply enough that I'd like to add my thoughts to the numerous reviews already out there.
This book was very thought-provoking and engaging. I can't claim it changed my life, but I'm really glad to have read it and I think it's an important book for any woman to read.
In our society, women are taught that looks matter and [possibly even] trump all other traits. Female celebrities and models are skinny, young-looking, and unrealistically happy all the time. This leads the rest of us [normal folk] to assume that, in order to be successful in life, we ought to look and act like the newest hot young star out there.
In this book, De Rossi's eating disorder initially began as a way for her to feel good about herself as a rookie on the Hollywood scene, and it spiraled into the only means of "control" she felt she had in her life. Counting calories and weighing herself daily led her to believe she was managing at least one aspect of her life while other areas (her closet homosexuality, need for her mother's approval, and tiring chore of staying "hot" in Hollywood) felt out of her grasp.
How many of us deal with issues like this every day? I certainly wish I had more control over most aspects of my life, and, although I can influence my future, I can't absolutely know where I'll be in 10 years, let alone 10 months.
I've looked to food as a "comfort" all my life, and although I can't say that I am completely cured of that detrimental habit, I do take the time now to stop and ask myself whether I'm really hungry or whether I'm filling some other hole in my life. More times than not, I am [trying] to fill some hole, and my current mission is to figure out how I can fill that proverbial space with something other than food.
I greatly encourage anyone to read this book, but especially if you are a female and feel the pressures of society to look and be a certain way. And if you discover that you might have an eating disorder, I urge you to talk to someone you trust and get help.