Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

Release date: 1 November 2010
Rating: 10/10

I had to post a quick note about how incredible Portia de Rossi is. I have always loved her (especially her brilliance in  Arrested Development), but her book made her strength, inspiration, and beauty all the more apparent to me. It is not really a biography as such, to me, but the story of what it is like to live with an eating disorder, the reasons they can occur and the way a person in that situation thinks, as well as the way dieting can turn into 'disordered eating' without the person knowing.

I have never struggled with weight loss, been conscious of what I eat, or even considered any kind of diet. I was lucky enough to grow up in a house with a mother who instilled this within me, as eating was always a fun, healthy thing to do in our house. Despite this, Unbearable Lightness was inspiring to read and I deeply admire Portia, as being someone that doesn't like attention on her personally and is very self-conscious, for writing such a book and being so open about the struggles she had. I may not have had any kind of eating disorder, but I have been through other things that help me understand the mentality that goes into this kind of treatment of yourself, and the fact that Portia, as a "famous" person, has written such an honest account of her suffering when so many people will read (and judge) it is something truly amazing to me.

Portia made appearances on Ellen and Oprah regarding the book a few months ago. (I've been wanting this book for a while but couldn't get a reader's copy, and was just recently given a copy for my birthday.) Both are wonderful interviews. The Oprah one only bothers me at the end when Oprah says, "You're not crazy anymore". I don't like that term, crazy. Anorexia and bulimia are mental illnesses and you wouldn't say to a recovered depression sufferer that they're not "crazy" anymore, so I don't know why it is okay to do it in this case.

Here's some links to the Ellen interview, just because they're so cute.

"Breathtakingly honest, brutal, and beautiful." Jonathan Safran Foer

Note: If you are reading this post and currently suffering from an eating disorder or in the early stages of recovery, please don't read this book. It goes into great deal into things that could be a trigger.


  1. oh, i LOVE this post. I am on the reserve list at my library for this and cannot wait ~ so I am glad you loved it. I've watched those Oprah links as well (don't normally watch her, haha). Portia seems absolutely completely amazing!

  2. Awesome! It is very intense, but incredible. It really gets you into the mindset of someone with an eating disorder. I find Portia amazing. Haha, I don't normally watch Oprah either - her interviewing normally annoys me as I find she talks over people too much, but this was pretty good. Can't wait to see what you think of it when you read it - even if you don't post a review, let me know, hehe :)

  3. Hi there Elle! (again!) Great post like always. (and yes my name is from that song! haha good pick up!)

    I don't want to write too much, as I could go on forever but, My partner bought this book so she could have an insight on what it was/is like for me. I struggled with Eating Disorders for 12 years and like you, she had never struggled or even understand why I would inflict such a thing upon myself... I am so thankful for this book because it said everything I couldn't.

    I tried to read the book and it was to close to the bone so I can't give you my review! Haha but what I read you could tell it was an honest account of what she experienced. That's all you really want in a biography!

    Hope you had a great weekend x

  4. Hey K, thanks for your lovely comment :) Just saw you're back blogging, which I am very happy to see! I definitely think it would've been way too close to the bone for someone that struggled like Portia did, but it sounds like the perfect book for partners or close friends to read to understand what the mindset what it is like to treat yourself like that (whether it be eating disorders or other things).

    Hope you're doing okay with everything. xoxo