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Unbearable Lightness - Portia de Rossi

Unbearable Lightness

Author Portia de Rossi

  • Published: 2010-11-01
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 Stars
From 266 Customers Review
Price: $13.99


“I didn’t decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . .”

Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.

In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn’t enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.

Even as she rose to fame as a cast member of the hit television shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, all the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner. With the storytelling skills of a great novelist and the eye for detail of a poet, Portia makes transparent as never before the behaviors and emotions of someone living with an eating disorder.

From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love with and eventually marrying Ellen DeGeneres, and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and women’s health issues.

In this remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a bright light on a dark subject. A crucial book for all those who might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies, Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.

Top Customer Reviews

  • Good but very wordy

    From Organizer1616
    Well written but I skipped numerous full pages of text. Too many long explanations of the same habits and scenarios. Very glad she continues with recovery.
  • Amazing❤️

    From Samannthe
    I chose to read this book for my grade 12 English independent study. I am so captivated by the book that I hate to put it down. The struggles she goes through are unimaginable to me. When I look in the mirror I don't see myself as fat unlike how she did. This book has changed my point of view and I'm not even done it yet
  • Inspiring!

    From Mariek1974
    Portia diRossi's struggle and victory over eating disorders is truly inspiring and motivating. She hits the nail on the head for what so many people are feeling at one time or another, feelings of unworthiness, to being able to conquer that and accept yourself and love yourself for who you are. So many people struggle with these feelings in one form or another, myself included, and beat ourselves down because we're not the 'ideal' portrayed by widespread mass medias. Thank goodness there's finally over the last few years been some movement for change to accept yourself and love yourself for who you are. Nobody's perfect nor will we ever be, we can only learn from our past! Thank you Portia for not only inspiring us with your open, honest struggle, but also with your acting.
  • Thank you.

    From MackenzieL8867
    This book is amazing, touching, and inspirational. I am recovering from anorexia and this book has made me realize recovery is possible. I loved every word of it! Thank you Portia!
  • Excellent

    From CelCris
    Amazing story
  • So thrilled I've had this reading experience

    From Acewood
    Surprisingly candid And descriptive in a way that makes you not want to stop....exceptional writing as you can feel the emotions in the deepest part of you.
  • Amazing

    From Tltrix
    This book is full of hard truths and scary possibilities while proving that sexuality and ones health go hand in hand. It tells you that looking in the mirror and liking yourself is not easy but possible and fulfilling. This book was an inspiration to me on so many levels I feel honored to have read it. Sincerely, Tanis
  • Amazing!!!

    From Kat Day
    First book I have read word for word front to back (I'm 23) I couldn't put it down read it in 2 days! Very raw and powerful. Must read!
  • Loved it

    From Sggreen
    Impressive, inspiring story. I am grateful for her strength, I now know that recovery is possible. I've never heard it like that before.
  • Truth

    From Altimeter
    People don't tell the truth like this nowadays. This is truly a gem of a story and it will hopefully help millions.