Ugh, Bad Childhoods: Inside Out by Demi Moore

If it’s any consolation, Demi, I think my husband has always crushed on you.

I needed something a little light-hearted after some fairly heavy emotional reading in “Three Women” and “Weather” and not that I should assume a celeb memoir is going to be light, but …

Suffice it to say, Demi Moore’s “Inside Out” isn’t 250+ pages of juicy fun storytelling, a la Rob Lowe’s or Kathy Griffin’s memoirs. In fact, it’s kind of ironic to say this, given it’s likely the last response she’s trying to elicit, but it really is … all about her.

I’m not saying that in a “Wow, she’s a freakishly huge narcissist” kind of way. In fact, it’s probably exactly the opposite. What comes across to me in her storytelling is that it feels like she’s spent her entire life to date just trying to find a place to be comfortable in her own skin, and prefers anonymity to the paparazzi.

Yes, there are insider looks into her time with Emilio Estevez and marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher. She talks about landing movie roles, but doesn’t divulge much about her costars (other than maybe that Tony Geary likes the afternoon cocktail and Adrian Lyne is kinda weird with his method of directing.)

But this memoir is more about Moore exorcizing the demons of self-doubt that have followed her from a very early age and lasting well past her 50th birthday. And it’s that admission of self-doubt and of a craving for validation that make this story so accessible. We all want to be loved by our mothers and our fathers. We want to understand the meaning of value so that we don’t think the only way to get someone’s approval is to let them use us physically as they see fit. Match them drink for drink, drug for drug. We all want to be self-confident enough that another’s approval isn’t necessary, period.

Moore’s childhood is haunting, quirky and includes the occasional celebrity cameo, but mostly it’s heartbreaking. It’s the kind of childhood that allows one to understand why a person marries young and marries quickly. To feel needed. Necessary. A part of something larger than one’s self. To be the mother they never had. Here’s to hoping she’s found that peace.

I picked this up because I’ve always been a fan since the days of General Hospital and have thought she’s just kind of a badass. Turns out, she really is. It’s a great quick, but not soon forgotten, read.

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