According to Ellen DeGeneres, coloring books are no longer for children but for adults as well. In her book wittily entitled Seriously… I’m Kidding, DeGeneres includes every day items adults may be prone to use like filing cabinets, a toaster, or a coffee maker, all for people like you and I to color on. The coloring section of the book is just one of the many hilarious quips featured, not to mention a couple of blank pages dedicated to meditation.
While there are some more serious undertones to the book, DeGeneres adds a funny twist to her chapters in validation of her lifestyle choices and pokes fun at others who may criticize her life choices. For example, in one chapter named “Babies, Animals, and Baby Animals,” DeGeneres illustrates her version of a modern family—the life she has with her wife Portia de Rossi and their wonderful pets. In an example of this, DeGeneres writes:
We really treat our animals like they’re our babies. We don’t dress them up or anything. But we do take them to Mommy and Me classes every Friday… I know having pets isn’t exactly the same as having babies. It’s not like I have to stay up all night nursing our cats. I mean, I do, but I don’t have to. But our animals have taught us valuable lessons that could be applied to parenting human babies, should we ever change our minds.
In this passage, like many passages of her book, DeGeneres offers a refreshing perspective on what a family may or may not consist of, as well as the humor either choice brings. Most refreshing about her discourse is her ability to not offer an offensive counter argument to those who live their lives differently, but rather she writes about her views in “as-a-matter-of-fact” manner and moves on. This style proves effective because she shows that her life choices are not different than anyone else’s, while offering a witty point of view that maybe traditional values might not always make sense.
Furthermore, DeGeneres offers a lighthearted, yet firm, stance on “girl power” and converses on the sense of responsibility she has towards empowering other women, just as she has been empowered by them. The lighthearted nature of her approach to affect change is explained simply by, “ hav[ing] a positive influence on the young girls and women who watch [her] everyday.” Part of what DeGeneres seems to point out is that change does not always have to be political (for example), but change can come in different forms, and what better form than laughter? DeGeneres also mentions that she enjoys having all sorts of women guest star on her show, whether it be incredible political or celebrity women, or merely everyday women.
Seriously…I’m Kidding is a lighthearted, yet empowering, book to read. DeGeneres manages to write her persona into life—especially her charming personality and epic sense of humor. The theme of her book centers around the idea that life should not be taken too seriously, and should be lived as an individual deems fit. While for the most part DeGeneres kids, there is still a pervading sense of seriousness throughout her book. And sometimes, the best way to move through life is with laughter and full-heartedness.
Ellen DeGeneres is a beloved stand-up comedian, television host, bestselling author, actress, and midwife. She currently hosts The Ellen Degeneres Show and has hosted both the Academy Awards and the Primetime Emmy Awards. She would host you for dinner if she got to know you better.