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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

CURRENTLY READING: UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS


The other night, after taking my ambien, and in that state of not quite sleeping but not fully conscious, I somehow ended up watching a bunch of "The Ellen Show" interviews on Youtube. That lead me to google about Ellen's life and I stumbled upon these interviews with Portia de Rossi. On a whim, I ended up picking up Portia's book Unbearable Lightness at the library the next day. I completely devoured the book. She wrote of her eating disorder and anxieties with such honesty and raw emotion, I was truly touched.

One of my favorite passages: "I remember feeling ashamed for calling myself a feminist when I had blatantly succumbed to the oppression of the mass media telling me what was beautiful, how to look, and what to weigh. It was a turning point. I had always prided myself on the fact that I was smart, analytical, and someone who didn't 'fall for it.' By starving myself into society's beauty ideal, I had compromised my success, my independence, and my quality of life. Being overweight was really no different. It was just the 'f- you' response to the same pressure. I was still responding to the pressure to comply to the fashion industry's standard of beauty, just in the negative sense. I was still answering to their demands when really I shouldn't have been listening to them at all. The images of stick-thin prepubescent girls never should have had power over me. I should've had my sights set on successful businesswomen and successful female artists, authors, and politicians to emulate. Instead I stupidly and pointlessly just wanted to be considered pretty. I squandered my brain and my talent to squeeze into a size 2 dress while my male counterparts went to work on making money, making policy, making a difference."

This passage really stood out to me. I think every girl and woman, no matter who or where they are, has at some point felt the real pressure that comes to look a certain way. How much wasted energy do we spend beating ourselves up because we may not be the media's ideal? Her book really made me think about how I spend my time and I can better spend my time furthering my goals. I highly recommend taking the time to read this book.

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