God damn, Jennette McCurdy picked one startling title.
I’m not entirely out of tune with pop culture or the long arm of Nickolodian, so I’m aware of both iCarly and Sam and Cat, even if I was too old to be the target audiance for either of these shows. But like everyone else who is not completely detached from pop culture, I am not blind to the issues that are running rampart in the industry concerning young kids. But for what little protection a child actor has against a TV or movie studio, it’s still more than what they have from a stage parent, sadly. And Jennette McCurdy had the misfortune of being one of these children.
While I am not hugly familiar with her acting—again, I’m from an older demographic— I can safely say after reading though I’m Glad My Mom Died that McCurdy is one hell of a writer. And if you’re listing to the audiobook, you’ll find that she makes for an excellent narrator too—although very deadpan. I was hooked within the first few chapters and it didn’t take long until my gut was falling through the floor. To have the opening scene start on on mom’s deathbead was a choice. Turns out, the title is, by far, not the only shocker McCurdy subjects us to.
McCurdy was just six years old when her mother pushed her into acting. And as McCurdy states after her mother unloads all of her failed and missed dreams at her daughter “There was only one right answer.” This dynamic went on to shape their relationship for years. McCurdy was a the kind of child that developes a people-pleaseing streak because their home life is so chaotic. Not only is her mother pushy and domineering, she is also a hoarder. And I suspect as the only daughter, the focus of her mother’s unhealthy atttachments, and the family bread winner, McCurdy was the one that took it onto hersef to keep the peace in the household. And if you think it couldnt get worse, both she and her brothers were also homeschooled, leaving them with no respite out of the home
As you might suspect, this kind of upbringing really does a runner on someone. One of the worst manifestations of this in McCurdy’s case—but the least unexpected, perhaps—was her eating disorder. There was no shortages of contibuting fators: we could point to the pressures of showbusiness in one corner, or the need for control in chaotic circumstances in another. But no, her mother took the step of delibratly teaching her disorded eating. I found this really upsetting—I just wanted to reach through in to the past, grab her mother and shake some bloody sense into her. It was vile.
“Calorie restriction has brought me and mom closer than we already were, which is really saying something because we were already so close. Calorie restriction is wonderful.”
If that’s one of the lasting lessons you’ve imparted on your child, there was something deeply, deeply wrong.
As I mentioned above though, there is still the world of network TV to contend with as well, and that did not come off much better. There is every indication that this environment is a terrible place for a young person to spend their formulative years. I’m gald the book got so much attention, and after reading it, I think the title is well and truly justified. You should be feeling unsettled. Thankfully, but the end of the book, McCurdy does seem to be in a btter place. I can only wish the best for her.
For the Passport Challenge Jennette McCurdy is a New Author. See, I knew there would be more authors to fill those spaces