Updated: Feb 26
Author: Jennette McCurdy
Year of Publishing: 2022
Genre: Memoir, Biography, Autobiography
Jennette McCurdy was just six years old when her mother first took her to an audition. Her mother's dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So, she went along with what her mother called “calorie restriction,” eating very little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while her mother chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by her mother until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.
Growing up, Jennette felt constant pressure to be perfect. Her mother was always pushing her to lose weight, wear makeup, and style her hair a certain way. Jennette didn't understand why her mother was so obsessed with her appearance, but she knew that it was important to make her mother happy, so she went along with it.
Despite the pressure, Jennette's hard work paid off. At the age of 12, she landed her first acting role in a commercial, and soon after that, she landed a recurring role in a popular children's TV show. Her mother was thrilled, and Jennette finally felt like she was living her mother's dream.
But with her newfound fame came new pressures. Jennette was now in the public eye, and she felt like she was constantly being judged. She started to become obsessed with her weight, and her eating disorders became worse. She would weigh herself multiple times a day, and if she gained even a pound, she would punish herself by not eating for days.
As the years went by, Jennette's career continued to soar. She landed the lead role in the Nickelodeon series "iCarly," which became a huge hit. Her mother was ecstatic and would often email fan club moderators and get on a first-name basis with the paparazzi. But despite the success, Jennette was plagued with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing. She turned to alcohol and drugs to cope with the stress, and her relationships became unhealthy.
Just as her career was reaching new heights, Jennette's mother was diagnosed with cancer. Jennette was devastated, and her mother's illness only added to her already overwhelming stress. Her mother passed away soon after, and Jennette felt lost and alone.
After her mother's death, Jennette knew she needed to make a change. She quit acting and sought therapy, which helped her to finally understand the root of her issues and start the healing process. Through therapy, Jennette realized that her mother's obsession with her appearance stemmed from her own insecurities and that her mother's passing had given her the freedom to live her own life and make her own decisions.
Jennette eventually found joy in the little things, like being able to shampoo her own hair without her mother's constant criticism. She also found a new passion in writing, and she decided to share her story in the form of a memoir, "I'm Glad My Mom Died."
The memoir is a raw and honest account of her journey, from the pressures of growing up in the spotlight to her struggles with addiction and unhealthy relationships. But it is also a story of resilience and self-discovery, and it serves as an inspiration to anyone who has ever felt trapped by someone else's expectations. Jennette's memoir shows that it is never too late to break free and live the life you truly want.
I'm Glad My Mom Died Book Review
In "I'm Glad My Mom Died," Jennette McCurdy, a former Nickelodeon star, recounts her childhood and young adult years spent in the entertainment industry. The memoir provides a powerful and honest account of the emotional and physical abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother, who sacrificed her daughter's well-being for the sake of fame. The book delves into the common themes of abuse suffered by child actors and highlights the importance of therapy in the healing process.
The book details McCurdy's mother's relentless abuse, including showering with her until she was 17 and claiming to give her breast and vaginal exams to check for cancer. Her mother also introduced her to anorexia as a way to maintain a youthful appearance and land younger roles. McCurdy's relationship with her mother was characterized by manipulation and control, and her mother's obsession with her daughter's appearance and career took a toll on McCurdy's mental and physical health.
One of the most powerful aspects of the book is McCurdy's honest portrayal of her journey to healing. Throughout the book, she highlights how therapy helped her to understand the abuse she suffered and to come to terms with her mother's actions. She also emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries and reclaiming control over her own life.
"I'm Glad My Mom Died" is a powerful and moving memoir that shines a light on the exploitation and abuse suffered by child actors in Hollywood. It is a raw and honest account of one woman's journey to healing, and it serves as an inspiration to anyone who has ever felt trapped by someone else's expectations. The book shows that it is never too late to break free and live the life you truly want.
In addition to her personal struggles, McCurdy also offers a glimpse into the darker side of Hollywood, showcasing the pressure and exploitation faced by child actors. She highlights how the industry often prioritizes profit and success over the well-being of young performers, and how this can have long-term consequences on their mental and emotional health.
The book also addresses the issue of parental and emotional abuse and how it can be just as damaging as physical abuse. McCurdy's mother's manipulation and control over her daughter's life is a clear example of this type of abuse, and the book serves as a powerful reminder that abuse comes in many forms and can have serious consequences.