Portia de Rossi sheds some light on a subject that some are too ashamed, too embarrassed or too scared to talk about. She talks about being anorexic.
At 12 years old, Portia convinced her mother to let her become a model. Her first big role came as that of a model in the Australian film Sirens. She later moved to the states and had several small roles. She caught the attention of everyone as Nelle Porter on Ally McBeal. Her next big break was playing that of Tess Donnelly on Who Is Cletis Tout? where she starred opposite Christian Slater.
Stardom really took a toll on Portia. While seemingly convincing everyone she was happy and well, she was slowly self-destructing. She had always struggled with her weight, and as an actress in the spotlight, she focused her attention on this issue. She started going to a nutritionist who tried to lead her down the right path. Unfortunately, de Rossi twisted things to her own liking and started under-eating and over-exercising. She also struggled with bingeing and purging.
Portia hit rock bottom while filming Who Is Cletis Tout?. At 82 pounds, she collapsed on. She had let her negative body image rule her life. She now had osteoporosis, her liver was near cirrhosis, her enzymes were high enough to effect the function of her organs and she had lupus.
Luckily, she was misdiagnosed with lupus. And the cirrhosis and osteoporosis went away after she got the help she needed and started to eat right again.
de Rossi also struggled with the fact that she was gay. She dared not date for fear of losing everything she had worked for. She even married her onscreen lover from a film she was working on thinking maybe she could live a “normal” life. Suffice to say, it didn’t work out. Although she was still closeted, she later became involved with a woman. After being outed by the paparazzi, she was forced to open up. The two later split.
Portia met Ellen in 2001 backstage at a concert. Although they got along well, they didn’t get together until 2oo4. They were happily married in 2008.
Although mostly about eating disorders, I feel that this book is also about self-acceptance. We all struggle with body image, self-worth and loving ourselves at some point in our lives. This book has really opened my eyes and has made me realize that we need to accept ourselves just as we are. Who we are is more important than our weight, sexuality and all other issues that we let control us.