In this groundbreaking debut essay collection, featuring never-before-seen photos, actress Lily Collins—star of Mortal Instruments and the upcoming Rules Don’t Apply—is opening a poignant, honest conversation about the things young women struggle with: body image, self-confidence, relationships, family, dating, and so much more.
For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, underlining that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She’s learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realize they’re not alone.
By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered.
I have been a fan of Lily Collins for quite some time now, and in a way, I feel like we’re friends. Perhaps this is an irrational notion of my mind being that I have never met her, but Lily has this wonderful warmth and energy that has a way of spreading through the screen and paper. She is strong, kind, and extremely inspiring. She is someone I am proud to look up to. So when I heard she was releasing her very own novel about her life, I pre-ordered it immediately.
I’ve found that some people are really great at hiding. Pretending. Lying. Lying about what they feel, what they believe, and who they are entirely. Their lies are habitual, practically subconscious, and exceptionally damaging.
Collins takes us through her entire life, starting from the beginning where young Lily’s parents go through a divorce and she and her mother move to California. It doesn’t take long for Collins to go through her first bouts of troubles, between the separation from her father, the teasing about her English accent and thick eyebrows, and just the overall feeling of not fitting in. She does not shy away from telling us every dark corner of her life, and I think that’s incredibly brave and admirable.
It’s no secret that we as women all want to look and feel our best. But what is a secret is how insecure this pressure can make us feel. We claim to know that every woman feels this way and yet we’re still surprised when another girl—particularly a celebrity—openly admits it. Maybe certain concerns, or even “weaknesses,” seem too taboo and lame to discuss, especially when looking good is supposed to be effortless. But if we just released our fears into the open and spoke about them freely, I think we’d all feel better.
The quote above is, in short, the core of Collins’ memoir. She isn’t afraid to speak freely and allow her weaknesses to be exposed to the entire world. She embraces those flaws and chooses to recognize how she has grown from them, rather than shaming herself.
This is a message I’m always trying to encourage, even in my own stories, though I often have trouble thinking it for myself. But the message of acceptance and self-love is so, so important. I cannot say enough how crucial these elements are to a happy life, and how our society desperately needs them.
I valued myself in a way that meant not compromising my health for someone else. And that isn’t selfish or something to feel guilty about. It’s smart. You have to love yourself the most and use your voice.
Collins discusses everything from her tattoos to being ghosted by guys—many topics we can all relate to. And it doesn’t stop there. She also talks about growing up in the LA scene, dabbling in journalism, living through an emotionally abusive relationship, along with suffering from an eating disorder. She is brutally honest when it comes to her experiences, unafraid to disclose all that she has been through, whether it is the pain of a tattoo needle or the agony of her heart, she says it all.
Our heart is our ultimate source of power. We can’t forget that we need it in order to love ourselves so that we can love others.
Unfiltered was a moving memoir. It felt like I was sitting down with a friend and listening to her life story, and it was incredibly powerful. My mind and heart opened even further to the world around me. I felt empowered and inspired and most importantly, much closer to myself than I have been in recent times.
This is a book I think all of us men and women (particularly, us women) should have in our lives. It’s raw and real, but it’s also uplifting and inspiring. Collins will feel like the best friend we can always lean onto when we need it most.
No relationship is greater than the one I have with myself. I just need to trust my gut, follow my instincts, and when someone shows me who they are, believe them.
If you haven’t already read Unfiltered, I highly recommend dropping by your nearest bookstore or clicking onto Amazon.com and purchasing this beauty. I promise, you won’t regret it. (Yes, that pun was one hundred percent intended.)
As always, feel free to leave any of your thoughts or questions down below. I would love to hear what you have to say, and if you have any memoirs to recommend. I haven’t read many, but I’m hoping to expand my mind to bouts of new genres this year, so do let me know!