I’ve never really had an opinion on Lily Allen, mainly because she is another human being and is just going about her business. I get she can be controversial in the media, however I soon have to remind myself this is how the media wants public figures to be presented. Basically, just let them get on with their life and let them have their views. I guess.
A singer, songwriter, mother, daughter, narcissist, hypocrite … you name it, she says she’s it.
I really like her music which reminds me of my childhood, particularly secondary school and primary just before that, tuning in to CBBC or other kids’ programmes where her popular, most well-known song ‘Smile’ would be played everywhere. It’s still a great, nostalgic hit for me.
Much has been written about Lily Allen over the years, especially as she was barely into her twenties by the time she achieved great levels of fame. I was astonished when reading her autobiography at just how much she has been through – and she is only in her mid-thirties now.
My Thoughts Exactly is an unapologetic, funny, honest, heartbreaking, horrific and eye-opening account of her experiences so far from childhood, through to fame, sex and working in the music industry. Caitlin Moran, journalist for The Times calls it ‘witty, dark, devastating’ and is all those things and more.
I thoroughly enjoyed her book, despite the difficult moments about her experiences of sexual assault and getting stalked for 7 years. Despite the fame, she talks about her difficulties with money and having to ‘pay the mortgage, being a mum and a husband’ like many ‘normal’ people. There were times I thought she was a spoilt brat, however she addresses those periods in her life, along with drug and alcohol addiction and going through divorce from a normal bloke not in the public eye. She had and still somewhat still has a difficult relationship with her family, particularly her dad, actor Keith Allen.
The fact she has grown up and learned from her mistakes, and is still learning, is clear in her writing. She is not afraid to talk about taboo topics, particularly about sex where she also admits to infidelity which inevitably led to the collapse of her marriage, as well as staying away from home for long periods of time.
What got me was when she spoke about experience having to give birth to her son George, who died whilst in labour.
It was awful to read, yet eye-opening to see that anyone can go through a traumatic event. I felt uneasy reading about her assault from a high-profile music executive, who remains unnamed, as well as her reflection on past relationships where she has given in to sex, purely to feel loved or to please someone else: something I guess most people experience without realising, as well as a common thing when a young, naïve person in a demanding industry.
It seems the music industry can make young people very successful, but it isn’t without manipulation or some sort of assault along the way, with many top seats being taken by men abusing their position. Like in previous posts, this is not me hating men: it is just a common theme that needs to be addressed and spoken about in order to keep fighting monstrosities like this.
Well done to Lily Allen for baring all and sharing her thoughts that most people would never dream of sharing, which acts as an incentive for us all to consider speaking up and not being afraid of talking about our struggles and most of all, mental health.
genre – autobiography
rating – 5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️