Alex Templeton's Reviews > Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi
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Aug 07, 11

Read in June, 2011

I was a big "Ally McBeal" fan in late high school; that, as well as some good notices this book had received, made me interested in reading about McBeal actress DeRossi's struggle with her eating disorder. When DeRossi came on the show, there was a lot of chatter about how all of the lead actresses were bone-thin. That makes it all the sadder to read about how DeRossi almost literally killed herself in order to maintain the body that was being worried over in the media. I admired how well DeRossi portrayed the relentless demands of anorexia/bulimia: there was one scene in which she chewed a stick of gum and got out of her car in a mall parking lot to, in platform shoes, run off the calories. I kind of wish that she had explored how her disease could have tied into her fears/shame regarding being a lesbian, although perhaps that is something she is still working out for herself. I think this could be a valuable addition to the literature of eating disorders, in that DeRossi's relentless descriptions of her pain and insecurity helps the reader understand the mindset of the sufferer.
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