Grace Helbig: comedian, Youtube personality, actress, and #1 New York Times bestselling author. Her latest book Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It is a beautifully illustrated, outspoken ode to fashion, humor, and being a confident woman despite unavoidable insecurities. I interviewed this gal and picked her brain about her most recent publication.
Danniah Daher: Your book Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It just came out. You not only focus on fashion and comedy, but you also reveal the more personal and vulnerable sides of your life.
Grace Helbig: That’s the thing I originally set out to do—I just wanted to write a light-hearted book about fashion and beauty. But it made more sense for me to also shed some light on my personal history, ya know, negative body image and that sort of thing. I gave myself permission to open up about the things that had once kinda tormented me for so long. It was a serious but fun way to take the curtain off of everything. I just wanted to be like, hey, here’s where I’ve been in my life, here’s what helped me in this world… I wanted it to be about insecurity and fear and confidence, self-worth. Like, let’s talk about it.
DD: In the book you talk about the eating disorder you struggled with in high school and college. I think that could help a lot of girls. So many can relate to that, including myself. Having a good body image is much harder to come by than people think.
GH: I always, in the back of my mind, wondered if I would talk about my eating disorder in the book. I was like, is that even necessary? I didn’t want to put a pity card out there and have people feel bad for me. But then I thought about it—and I realized that when I was 16, 17, 18 years old—the only thing I really wanted was for someone to say to me, Hey, the thoughts you’ve been having? I’ve had those thoughts, too. You’re not alone. And everything’s going to be okay. So, if this book helps one person feel less alone, then it’s worth it.
DD: In the book, you talk about “The art of pretending you have it” and “Fake it until you make it.” Love that.
GH: I think that’s how everyone goes about their lives. I’ve come to the realization as an adult that none of us know what we’re doing. No one has any idea of the correct or right way to do things. We’re all just trying and sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding. But everyone’s pretending. Which is really fun, if you think about it. All the world’s a stage. It’s a very freeing thought. It makes the troubling things and the serious things easier to handle.
DD: Definitely. It’s so important to tell yourself you’re the greatest, even when you don’t know if that’s true yet.
DD: So you’ve done books, TV shows, Youtube. What’s next?
GH: There’s a lot of exciting ideas out there floating around in the universe for me. One thing for sure is that I’m going to continue creating funny, positive, fun content. I want to try to do things that nobody’s done before. I want to keep experimenting. Possibly delve into clothing—that’s a personal-dream-goal.
Admittedly, I had not been exposed to Grace’s work prior to reading her book. I had not viewed her comedy, though I had heard of her through a friend who is a stand up comedian and a fan of Grace’s work. I’m not sure what I expected—of the book, or of Grace herself—but what resonated with me and stayed with me long after putting the book on the shelf was more than her sarcastic wit and the colorful slap-stick style photos of Grace on the pages of her book. It was the woman beneath the veil of comedy, who was willing to share personal struggles familiar to many. The journey toward success taken by facing one’s insecurities and personal challenges is a beautiful thing. I admired her willingness to share her struggle with insecurity and self-discovery, and her ability to do so within the framework of her comedic talent.
Images via Instagram/gracehelbig
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