The honesty of Jennette McCurdy


Brian Kimskey

Currently, the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Jennette McCurdy’s debut memoir was released on August 9, 2022, and critics view it as the best to come out this year. Her book sheds necessary light on a variety of topics such as eating disorders and misconduct within the acting industry. Readers around the world praise McCurdy for writing in a meticulous way that blends both elements of humor and sadness.

Ivan Mendoza, Reporter

During the 2000s and early 2010s, Nickelodeon became known not only for its broadcasting of classic animated shows such as “Spongebob Squarepants” and “The Fairly Oddparents”, but also for original sitcoms made for an intended audience of children. Kids who lived in this era of cable networks would binge-watch shows like “Victorious”, “Drake & Josh” and “iCarly”, and would even aspire to enter the same spotlight as the child actors. While most actors pursued acting careers, several of them indulged in other professions and a small portion never wanted to act in the first place. Jennette McCurdy, who played Sam Puckett in both “iCarly” and “Sam & Cat”, wrote about her experience in the industry and the trauma that came as a result in her new memoir “I’m Glad My Mom Died”. The book remains as humorous, brutal and powerful as the title suggests. 

In her new memoir, McCurdy reveals she never wanted the spotlight or fame that came with acting at such a young age, and that she never intended on pursuing acting. Rather her mom forced her to begin acting at the age of 6, as her mom’s parents never allowed her to follow that career path. This resulted in eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, sexual and verbal harassment from Nickelodeon executives, emotional abuse and various other problems. 

“I’m aware enough to know how… annoying and whiny this all sounds. Millions of people dream of being famous, and here I am with fame and hating it. I somehow feel entitled to my hatred since I was not the one who dreamed of being famous. Mom was. Mom pushed this on me. I’m allowed to hate someone else’s dream, even if it’s my reality,” McCurdy said. 

McCurdy remains brutally honest throughout the book, especially about her relationship with her mom. She composes her writing in a way where their relationship starts strong, and McCurdy views her mom as her best friend. However, once McCurdy’s acting evolves into a profitable career, her mom changes into an emotionally abusive and demanding person that slowly becomes dependent on McCurdy. McCurdy’s mother also perpetuated her various eating disorders, as she constantly scolded the child actress about her weight, instilled awful habits such as counting calories and consistently made her feel insecure about her body image. Although her mom died in 2013, McCurdy took a long and strenuous journey to see the trauma and baggage she withheld, and an even longer journey to recover from her eating disorders.

McCurdy also opened up about her experience with working in Nickelodeon, despite executives offering $300,000 in hush money for the actors to keep quiet about the abuse caused by Dan Schneider also known as The Creator. Nonetheless, she details how Schneider would act emotionally abusive, including instances where he made McCurdy feel sexualized. Time and time again, social media brings up Schneider’s sexual allegations and overall behavior to the public eye, and with McCurdy sharing her story, it showcases bravery on her part and inspires others to speak up.

“It’s sad how children at a young age fall into this toxic relationship with their parents where they are being dictated on what they have to do with their lives. Yet, I truly admired Jennette’s way of gaining clarity of her trauma and allowing herself to become that exposed and vulnerable,” NC Junior Kameron Harvey said.

All in all, McCurdy wrote a compelling testimony of her life, one where she fought with the familiar struggle of finding her place in the world. In this memoir, she learned to dictate her own career and passions, and her writing will inspire anyone who cares to listen to her life story or sit down to read it. 


The Chant’s Rating: A+