The Untold Past of Jennette McCurdy

Part 2


Lydia Brady, Reporter

Throughout her childhood, actress Jennette McCurdy was constantly abused by the director of the TV shows she starred in, and even by her own mother. In McCurdy’s memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, she accounts the years of verbal abuse she suffered and the many disorders she developed as a result of the abuse. She had her first acting audition when she was only six years old. Being her mother’s only daughter, she would do anything to make her mother’s dreams come true. 

The part of McCurdy’s memoir that stands out the most is an email sent to her by her mother. It is hard to imagine this email being sent from a mother to a daughter, due to how absolutely abhorrent and despicable it is. After seeing candid pictures of her daughter in a relationship she did not approve of, Debra McCurdy sent the following email: “I am so disappointed in you. You used to be my perfect little angel, but now you are nothing more than…a FLOOZY, ALL USED UP…Add that to the list of things you are–LIAR, CONNIVING, EVIL. You look pudgier, too. It’s clear you’re EATING YOUR GUILT…P.S. Send money for a new fridge. Ours broke.” This is not  even the entirety of the email sent by Debra, and isn’t the only one Jennette received. To think that this was sent from a mother to a daughter, in what is supposed to be a special bond, is honestly sickening. What makes this email so much worse is that McCurdy’s mother does not seem to care what the actress thinks or feels about what had just been said to her, and proceeded to ask for money after verbally abusing her daughter.

McCurdy writes about her experience with eating disorders, both throughout her adolescent years and even after her mother’s death in 2013. The actress accounts the numerous times she went to the store for groceries and ended up putting things back because she knew she would get in trouble for the amount of calories they contained. She was being paid well due to her success on Nickelodeon TV series iCarly, but had a hard time spending that money on food, since she knew it would later be thrown back up. She tells about her eventual recovery from eating disorders and extreme anxiety and trying her best to find out who she really is.

Jennette McCurdy starts out her memoir with an extremely powerful and heartbreaking prologue explaining what the last things she said to her mother were while her mother was hospitalized and in a coma. She talks about how each of her brothers tried to say something important that would hopefully wake their mother up, while Jennette stood back, thinking of what to say. When everyone else leaves, McCurdy tells her mother, in her comatose state, that she was down to eighty-nine pounds, her mother’s goal weight for her. At the time, she was around twenty-one years old, and should have been about twice that weight. The actress thought that her own weight was what her mother cared about the most in life, and was very proud to announce that she had reached a weight her mother deemed acceptable. 

Besides what is previously mentioned, there is so much more to Jennette McCurdy’s story, and these are only just a few parts of her life. It would be nearly impossible to condense her entire book into a short article. Though some may find the title off-putting, it fits the overall theme of the book, as McCurdy uses humor to deal with her trauma. What makes this book so well written is the fact that she is completely honest. McCurdy does not try to sugar-coat her childhood, and tells the harsh truth of her experience. I would highly recommend reading her memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, for yourself, so you can really understand the reality of what McCurdy and many other child actors went through.