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TW: Discusses eating disorders, addiction, and sexual abuse

I am very apprehensive to read memoirs or non-fiction novels. Reading is my “me time,” my escape from reality, so I like to reserve that time for fictional realms and places I can allow my mind to wander. “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle was a rare exception for me. She had me in the prologue with her story about taking her daughters to the zoo to see a cheetah named Tabitha. I don’t want to reveal too much, but essentially, we as women are like cheetahs in captivity. Conditioned to play the role. Conditioned to please. Our wild, however, always lives within us no matter how much societal standards attempt to stifle it. Here are five things I loved about Untamed.

1. It pulls no punches

 This book is brutally honest but in a loving way. It makes you think about where you are and where you are going. The brutal honesty of this book makes it all the more impactful. 

2. Doyle talks about being her own worst critic

She talks about how being so hard on herself made her fall into a life of binge eating and alcohol addiction. We often critique ourselves for things that are natural, human and valid which can lead us down a rabbit hole of self-hatred. 

3. It enlightened me on how to be a better ally to people who identify as LGBTQIA

When Doyle asked the question of why we tell people, “I love you no matter what,” when they come out as queer I had a revelation of how I could do better. Why do we use permission and ultimatum based language when people are sharing who they are? 

4. It challenges religion and divinity

I have struggled with coming to terms with religion and how it fits into my life. I don’t think that being queer, getting an abortion, or having sex before marriage makes someone a “sinner.” I also strongly wanted to disaffiliate from the Catholic Church which I was brought up in that has a history of sexual abuse and misconduct. How could I affiliate myself with a church that directly goes against what God teaches and refuses to acknowledge it? So I stopped. I refused to get confirmed and most likely never will. I continued to attend a youth group at my friend’s church but often dreaded going. I used religion as a means to fit in rather than self-fulfillment

“I won’t passively outsource my faith.” That line in “Untamed” made clear that my connection with a higher power was mine and mine alone to decide. Doyle’s honest discussion of religion and divinity cleared my conscience of years of self-inflicted guilt and doubt. 

5. It emphasizes how essential self-worth is 

I haven’t dated anyone. For a long time that was a source of shame for me and sometimes that inkling is still there. It gets really old whenever you are at a family function and people continue to ask you, “do you have a boyfriend yet?” 

“Untamed” reminded me that the most important relationship is the one I have with myself. Anything that a man could do for me I can do for myself, and that is something to take pride in not be ashamed of. I feel like this book has me looking back at my past and rather than thinking, “I could have been in a relationship at this point,” now I find myself thinking, “look at all the amazing things I achieved.”  

You need to read “Untamed,” collegiettes. 

Blythe Dellinger

George Mason University '22

Blythe is a junior majoring in Global and Community Health with a minor in Anthropology. She often writes about topics related to physical/mental health and well being. She is very passionate about substance use and access to healthcare and also enjoys discovering new music and food recipes. She hopes you find a little bit of yourself in her articles!
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