I’m so glad I didn’t buy it.
Of course, she did tick me off right away by mentioning how her TED talk went viral – at least three or four times in the first pages. Then she talks about how everyone is wrong to feel shame or shyness or whatever and that we should all go around showing vulnerability all the time as this would make us happier and healthier, etc, etc, better parents, better people, etc.
I’m not sure about this. I know it wasn’t necessarily a good thing to learn my parents were vulnerable. I preferred thinking of them as invincible. Who else to stand for me against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? When I realized they were vulnerable, it was heartbreaking and terrifying.
Perhaps my having to tell lies in the Confessional as a kid has hardened me, but shame doesn’t seem to be too much of my makeup, either, though I do know I have failed at a few things and have appropriate cringing behaviour when thinking of that. Failure is never cheering. Without a little shame about my failing, I might well be even more insufferable than I am!
And I’m not fit, I’m overweight. I’m not happy with that, but I’m not shamed by it – I just wish to be mystically healthier. Brown talks about the awfulness of body shame, something that might come better from someone not in the blonde, beautiful and fit category. Of course, fit people can have body shame, but it strikes me as form of narcissism that is sad and wasteful.
The books goes on to talk about how we shouldn’t be ashamed of how we parent, or of how we can’t buy everything our kids want or feed them only vegetables from contented soil or whatever. Do we need to be told this? If so, we’ve lost sight of a lot of the good things of life, of the value of friendships, of simple pleasure, of responsibility.
In all, the book, a quick skim, made me sad. Sad for the need for such a book, sad for the relief with which its simple messages are greeted.