Jennette McCurdy’s book I’m Glad My Mom Died captivated me in ways most books have never. It wasn’t the catchy title that drove me to buy this book. Aside from hearing how great it was from others, I felt extra drawn as I had watched iCarly as a kid. iCarly wasn’t my favourite show, but it was popular enough that most kids had either seen or knew of it.
Jennette’s character, Sam Puckett, was always an on-edge, seemingly angry, or food-obsessed character, too shy to confess warm or fuzzy feelings to others (especially Freddie, her friend, and lover). I thought she played her character really well. Though behind Sam Puckett, was a girl who never really wanted to act, but being an actress meant providing for her family, who always struggled with money, and making her mom happy. Jennette exposing parts of her mother that most people would not, as well as uncovering bits of the Hollywood and entertainment industry was also very appealing to me. Not only have I struggled in my own relationship with a narcissistic parent (that being my mom, too), there has never been a greater time to expose the truth about Hollywood and child actors. Today, Jennette is among many that have spoken up against child exploitation, sometimes not just coming from directors or producers, but from parents too.
Though I loved reading I’m Glad My Mom Died (I could barely put it down, in fact) the feelings I had after I was done were not all that positive. I couldn’t help but feel a little sad, or depressed after closing the last chapter. Maybe because all the events were on the more tragedic side, like the loss of an immediate family member, child exploitation, battling aggressive eating disorders, and alcohol abuse. I found reading chapter over the chapter of Jennette’s condition to be triggering for eating disorder tendencies. I don’t have an apparent eating disorder (though I don’t always like looking in the mirror, and do have body dysmorphia on bad days), but I can’t imagine how someone in recovery, or someone with a full-blown eating disorder would feel like. It took me a few days to get back to my normal life and my normal thoughts, as for the past few days, I was in the mind of a girl with an aggressive form of anorexia and bulimia. The book does put you into perspective the pressures young stars go through to “make it,” how small bad habits turn into big ones, and how easy it is to spiral (especially with a bad support system).
I do recommend Jennette’s book I’m Glad My Mom Died. I do warn, however, to be careful of any passages or chapters that could be triggering. There is a lot more to the book than eating disorders (a whole lot), but to be mindful that there is. I honour Jennette’s decision to quit acting and follow her own passions, which is what we should all be doing, and what life is about.
Jennette’s book can be found for purchase here.
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