Oct 11 2007

Celebrity Detox: Rosie in 3-D

Posted by Jane Devin

at 12:05 pm under Celebrities

celebritydetox1.jpgFirst, a word to Target Super Stores. When an influential and long-time supporter of your stores writes a book that is destined for the New York Times’ bestseller list, maybe you should clear some space between Oprah’s picks and the paperback romances and have the book in stock, especially on opening day.

My Amazon order of “Celebrity Detox” didn’t arrive on time, and Target failed spectacularly, so I did something I’d do only for the holiday season or a book I really, really wanted to read. I braved prime time traffic and the crush of a crowd and went to a mall.  Arrived home with a book, a candle, and a lukewarm Starbucks’ latte.

After reading Rosie’s book in one sitting, I got up and paced. Took Hanna for a walk in the dark, came home, lit the candle, tried to write and found that I felt too frustrated. Blew the candle out, and got a puff of sandalwood smoke in my eyes, which was the perfect way to start the tears flowing.

After all the hype, the media reports of Rosie O’Donnell blasting this or that person, I  half-expected Rosie’s book to be one that was anchored in anger. A rage against the machine of celebrity. A scathing tell-all, or an expose edged in bitterness.

I say half-expected because all of those things would seem to stand against the passionate but transparent Rosie O’Donnell that I, along with millions of others, have seen evolve over the years. A woman who’s fiery, but grounded in compassion. One who bares her soul, knowing some people will attack her for it, but who braves adversity for the higher and more far-reaching cause of connecting with others.

Despite the salacious pre-release media reports, Rosie O’Donnell did not shape-shift herself into some mean-spirited, vitriolic gossip-monger to write “Celebrity Detox.” She writes, instead, as a whole person. A person who sees not only herself, but others in her life in a whole, 3-D sort of way.

In the world Rosie paints with her words, in the verbal expression she gives her spirit, people are not one-dimensional caricatures of bad and good. They are not black-and-white, but full of color. They are capable of cruelty and kindness, both. Of haughtiness and hurt. Strength and weakness. They can be mother-figures and sisters, but not always nurturing. Shallow in some ways, deep in others. They can be, because they really are, a little bit of everything.

They can fight, and be hard-hit with feelings of betrayal, but they can also come to a place of peace and forgiveness if there’s something in a relationship worth salvaging, as there was in Rosie’s relationship with Barbara Walters. They can be independent mavericks at heart, but try on the hat of a team and give the group an all-out effort, as Rosie did when she joined The View.

I cried after reading Rosie’s book not because it was all-sad or tragic, but because it affirmed for me, in an unexpected way, how myopic, closed-in, and one-dimensional society can be. How quickly not only the media but the public – even people we know as friends and family – build boxes and cages around us, and invariably demand that we never escape. We are, and we are to become for others, what they say we are. What they expect, what they feel, and what they perceive from even the narrowest of all viewpoints.

Sometimes we are the child that they grew up with, never expected to change, or to remember our own lives differently than they do. Sometimes we are the one misunderstood comment we made ten years ago at an event we barely remember, or the slight we never realized we made. The idolized figure who shows her feet of clay. The question that was never asked directly of us, leaving invented answers to be woven from the loose threads of insecurity or animosity.

This is what Rosie’s Celebrity Detox brings to the communal table. The sense that in a world of caged perceptions, the keys to wholeness, those ones that seem to dangle just out of reach, are really just an illusion. The cages and boxes don’t really belong to us – they are not ours – and we do not have to own them.

Buy the book. Read it. Rosie O’Donnell wrote honestly, fearlessly – about being a mother, a famous person, an artist, a maverick, a strong-spirited advocate, an intuitive soul, a thinker. Capable of egoism, deep hurt, weariness, anxiety, imperfection, trepidation and awareness. A whole person, defying the fractional boxes others would attempt to put her in – refusing to get comfortable in any cage, including the gilded one of celebrity.

11 responses so far

11 Responses to “Celebrity Detox: Rosie in 3-D”

  1. LBJon 11 Oct 2007 at 12:31 pm 1

    Wonderful article! I just read the book, too, and found none of the “shocking revelations” the media suggested. Rosie DOES see people in 3-D, which is why Barbara W. can be country-club and a woman Rosie sees pain in at the same time. In the end, they fought, they forgave, they accepted.

    I just love Rosie. She’s real, and inspiring.

    Thank you, Jane.

  2. Sandra Wilsonon 11 Oct 2007 at 12:58 pm 2

    Questioned “ask Ro” if I should turn off the computer as not to be influenced by readers of Celebrity Detox, before my copy arrived from the only place I would have ever thought of buying it…”ROSIES STORE” Surely a few more pennies went directly to the KIDS by cutting out the middle pockets…
    She is so busy that I have not yet received a response..
    So I wait anxiously for my mail-persons arrival and spend my prime time reading my favorite four blogs.

    Thank you Jane ~
    You only expressed what i already KNEW about my stranger/friend Ro…She is of pure heart.


  3. Luceon 11 Oct 2007 at 12:58 pm 3

    How weird!!! Jane, I thought I was the only one who thought of the 3-D thing too! And that is SO much part of this book. Elisabeth wasn’t shown, through Rosie’s eyes, as being JUST a conservative, which is how many people would/could show her, but as being a real person, young, with feelings, with a “fist in the frill”. Barbara wasn’t JUST elegant, but also cold and warm and gracious. Rosie doesn’t rush out to find Zoe, showing herself as some sort of always perfect mom, but one who gets tired.

    I love the part when Kel goes to answer the phone and Rosie works herself into a quiet panic. She can admit her insecurities and it makes all of us feel a little saner.

    The shocking part of Detox, about the broken bones, I think maybe Rosie will fill in the gaps with her next book. I hope so. She can, and does help so many people.

  4. Laurieon 11 Oct 2007 at 1:19 pm 4

    This is your aspie trait. You dont see the trees in the forest you see the roots, the underneath. Why I love you jane. I’ll read Rosie’s book tonight and somehow I know I’ll share the way you have seen it.

  5. Jane Devinon 11 Oct 2007 at 2:10 pm 5

    LBJ, me too.

    Sandra, I ordered before I found that link on Rosie’s site, but you’re right. Buy it from the source, and you’re helping kids who really need your support.

    Luce, there is something valuable in a strong, well-loved woman showing her authentic spirit, including the parts that aren’t perfect. It does show others, including me on more than one occasion, that it’s not perfection that makes a person have value. It’s being genuine, aware, and ready to evolve.

    Laurie, whatever your thoughts, please come back and share them. Only please leave the Aspie thing out of it. :-) I have enough labels on my baggage, LOL.

    To All, Dare you to watch this and not cry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxAiwoHwVbA

  6. Freidaon 11 Oct 2007 at 2:44 pm 6

    Dear Jane,
    I can’t find much time to read anymore, but I’m trying to be optimistic.
    There seems to me people on different ‘levels,’ some can’t relate to the poor, some can’t relate to the rich, or the ‘market,’ and some can’t relate at all.
    Seems money is a driving force, like monopolies, like Hollywood, like the Media, like Tobacco Companies, and Oil companies…

    Gosh I’m just starting to talk to Real Estate Agents, well I’m ashamed to admit I’ve only spoken to one…and seems they, or he, mostly just want to scare or intimidate me.

    Retoric (sp)….

    I’m in need of reading and reflecting…so, I’ll read your articles for the past couple of weeks, and all the comments from women, like you, that I feel so much respect for.

    Love You,

  7. allisonon 11 Oct 2007 at 8:46 pm 7

    Jane that was just beautiful.
    I just got my confirmation today. My copy was shipped. I have to wait 7 to 10 days, but I’m hoping it doesn’t take that long. I have been wanting to buy from Rosie’s store for some time, and finally did. Rosie is the real deal, a simple human being with great gifts to share with us all. And she doesn’t have to lie and be phony. She takes the brunt of all the BS with more class and grace than others in the business. I won’t name call. Rising above the vicious attacks, she calms us with simple comforting comments when we wonder why she bothers to print the awful comments that come to her blog. I have never seen a celebrity truly from a human standpoint like that. They shelter their true selves from the public and carefully cultivate a public persona. It is the nature of the beast. But not for Rosie. That gives us all a very unique perspective on celebrity, but as you said, she is so much more than her celebrity, she is indeed 3-D.

  8. Laurieon 12 Oct 2007 at 5:10 pm 8

    I was watching that video and thinking okay, that’s sweet, but I wasn’t anywhere near tears, then BAM! The finale. Yeppers, I cried. Wow, what a sweet girl, and you can just tell how MUCH her parents love her. Everytime I see that kind of love, I feel both so happy for the child who;s been blessed and a twinge of something sad for what I didn’t have. I’ve never really gotten over it, will I ever? Seems not.

    Jane, Rosie’s book was as you described, but I found myself wanting more on her as a person and not just her career. I LOVED the way she described Blake and Chelsea, and would love to see her write a book on family life. SHe really gets beautiful when she described what’s precious to her.

    Found it weird that she doesn’t get the connection humans have with non-humans (pets), but maybe that’s because I can’t imagine life without them. They are unconditional love/acceptance/sweetness. But what a good mom she is for understanding that her kids can make that connection and encouraging it. I wasn’t allowe dto have pets growing up.

  9. Chrison 12 Oct 2007 at 7:35 pm 9

    Jane, I have been a fan for quite a few months but have never posted. I just want to thank you for all you do.I love the way you view things. Most book reviews would be who-what-when-where, but give you the substance without giving away the story. And I just admire your passion for everything you do.

    Thank you. Christy

  10. jon 15 Oct 2007 at 9:41 pm 10

    imperfections–yes jane–you got it again. we all have them–but, rosie, and i now believe you, are willing to show them. and me–the person unheard of saying the same thing! great moment. we survive with the truth and say it with pride!! some , still hiding, yet successful, feel betrayed, they will never get it–for that is their life–must protect the hidden truth, and only show what will make it all look right! justify. it must be hard to reason that.

    we smile jane! have a good one! june

  11. jon 15 Oct 2007 at 9:44 pm 11

    imperfections–yes jane–you got it again. we all have them–but, rosie, and i now believe you, are willing to show them. and me–the person unheard, saying the same thing! great moment. we survive with the truth and say it with pride!! some , still hiding, yet successful, feel betrayed, they will never get it–for that is their life–must protect the hidden truth, and only show what will make it all look right! justify. it must be hard to reason that.

    shoot-didn’t go through–will try once more–sorry

    we smile jane! have a good one! june