Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi
Published by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Australian-born actress Portia de Rossi is best known for her role on the hit TV show Ally McBeal and for being married to superstar Ellen DeGeneres. Portia’s life looks absolutely perfect from the outside, yet things were not always so great for her. For many years, she struggled with the competition in Hollywood to be the tiniest girl in the business, and dealt with both anorexia and bulimia in pursuit of that goal. Unbearable Lightness is the story of how her eating disorder ruled her life, and how she was eventually able to heal from it and become the person she is today.
I must admit to not knowing a lot about Portia de Rossi, but Ellen DeGeneres is one of my favorite celebrities (I think she is just beyond awesome, truly) and have seen Portia in the spotlight ever since the two of them got together. From what the public sees of their relationship, they seem like a great couple and the love they have for one another is crystal clear. When I found out that de Rossi had a memoir coming out about her eating disorder I knew I had to read it.
The one thing that wouldn’t stop running through my mind when I finished reading this book is how unbelievably courageous Portia de Rossi is for writing it. She really put it all out there – eating disorders are not pleasant things, and she was unafraid to show her readers the raw truth of what she went through during this time in her life. I mean, this book is serious. It is scary and sad and so many times throughout the book I just wanted to reach into the pages and give Portia a hug. She put herself through hell – but what really matters is that she got herself out, too.
While the book is incredibly raw and at times difficult to read, there is a beauty and a light in Portia de Rossi that shines all the way through the book. She really dug herself out of this deep, dark place, and I so admire her for how far she’s come. Unbearable Lightness is not an easy read, but it is an extremely rewarding one, as the reader gets to see her go through this devastating disorder only to come out on the other side victorious.
Also, the writing in this book is really good. Much better than any other celebrity memoir I can recall. I’m not sure if she had help writing it or if Portia herself is just a great writer, but either way, the quality of the writing made the reading experience that much more enjoyable.
I very highly recommend Unbearable Lightness. The topic of eating disorders is not an entirely pleasant one, but Portia de Rossi tells her story with such courage, honesty, and grace that this book is not one to pass up.