I received constant streams of emails from people who were just really pissed off that I was sharing these stories. Recently on Twitter, Alderton bemoaned the fact she has been repeatedly asked if she is embarrassed or ashamed of the experiences detailed in her new book. But I wanted it to feel jubilant at the end, and the only way that I could effectively tell that truth was to reveal these bad, bad decisions.
Books such as Everything I Know About Love often tend to end with the heroine meeting the love of her life.
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Here, refreshingly, the central love story is between Alderton and her best friend Farly, as they navigate the rocky terrain of their 20s when the path of female friendship often tends to meander and diverge. We place such a premium on romantic love. Even my best friends who are all like amazing feminists, when I moved into my flat on my own, there was no one who was like, oh this is your permanent home now. There was always a sense of, oh and when you move in with someone.
This is my happy ending. A lifetime of anxiety had piled up on her at that point. And then someone extremely close to me went to therapy for a couple of years and I just saw her bloom like a flower.
She wanted to help break the therapy taboo. Scattered throughout the book, in a nod to her hero Nora Ephron, there are recipes for big cheesy pasta dishes to eat in front of rom-coms and fancy dessert cheats to make you look like you went to terrible trouble at a dinner party. But alongside this appreciation for food, Alderton details her struggle with body image, going from a happy Topshop-wearing size 14 who cooks for all around her, to someone who avoided food completely. Is she in a level place now?
Gotta be honest, no, it will never leave my head.
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It will always be there. But my rational mind outweighs it far more.
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