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Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi

Image of Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain
This book was so sad, I literally curled up under my covers and talked to the cat for a while after reading it.

It’s not just that you literally witness de Rossi’s self-sabotage – at her lowest weight she was at 82 pounds – but that her self-hatred literally oozes off the pages in Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

She takes you through her early years as Amanda Rogers in Australia and her tense relationship with her mother. After becoming a model, de Rossi found success in L.A. on Ally McBeal and later on Arrested Development. Her drive to succeed lands her additional opportunities, like becoming a L’Oreal cover girl. Already insecure, there’s nothing that will send you into a shame spiral like the L’Oreal stylist hissing during a fitting session that “no one told me that she was a size eight.” That said, those looking for gossip about de Rossi’s Ally McBeal days will probably be disappointed. While it’s clear that the cast was chilly with each other, de Rossi does not dish or speculate on whether the eating disorders were rampant.

While the author’s prose meanders a bit, and some of the sections become redundant, there’s no question that de Rossi provides insight on the loneliness and despair that can come from being a closeted actress with an eating disorder. You cheer for her as she recovers, comes out and eventually marries Ellen DeGeneres. I don’t think it will be everybody’s cup of tea, but young girls in particular will be inspired by her story.