Chicago Tribune writer Heidi Stevens conducted an insightful interview with me, asking exactly the right questions. The result is an excellent article in which sometimes-self-effacing comedy star Sarah Silverman also makes an appearance. Here’s an excerpt from that article:
“Selfie” isn’t just the latest addition to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. It’s shorthand for all-eyes-on-me narcissism, brought on, we’re told, by everything from social media to participation trophies.
In her new book, “Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself” (Tarcher Penguin), journalist Rufus is less interested in how we came to be obsessed with ourselves and more interested in the dark reality that, for many, this obsession manifests itself as self-loathing.
“Low self-esteem and narcissism are both forms of self-absorption,” she told me. “Low self-esteem is very paralytic. To even look at another person, to look someone else in the face, is an achievement. …
“There are so many people, and always have been, who struggle with dire self-loathing, either to the point of suicidal thoughts or just struggling with the daily grind of ‘I can’t look in the mirror’ and ‘Oh, God, what did I just say,’” said Rufus. … “It’s not so much a question of why, because each person is different — who did you have the misfortune of meeting one day, in which classroom were you picked on, which magazine did you flip through at a vulnerable age?” …
I’m reminded of comedian Sarah Silverman’s recent quip to Glamour magazine.
“Don’t talk (expletive) about yourself,” she said. “You’ll start to believe it.
“Instead of droning on and on about how the tops of your strong, working thighs touch,” she continued, “why don’t you ask your friends how they’re doing, huh?”