The past four years have seen actress Selma Blair, 49 get very candid about her personal life. In 2018, the Cruel Intentions star revealed in an Instagram post that she was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that according to the National MS Society, impacts the brain and spinal cord which make up the central nervous system and disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body. In the post, Blair recounts her symptoms, sharing “I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken gps.” She further shares her battle with the disease in her very personal and emotional documentary, Introducing, Selma Blair. After receiving a stem cell treatment, Blair is now in remission of her MS, “My prognosis is great. I’m in remission. Stem cell put me in remission. It took about a year after stem cell for the inflammation and lesions to really go down.”
As if battling an autoimmune disease wasn’t traumatic enough, especially sharing such vulnerable moments with the public, she is now opening up in her new memoir, Mean Baby, about her experiences with alcohol addiction which she shares started at just 7 years old as well as other deleterious and unfortunate circumstances of suicide attempts and sexual assaults. In her cover story with PEOPLE, she shares, “I don't know if I would've survived childhood without alcoholism, that's why it's such a problem for a lot of people. It really is a huge comfort, a huge relief in the beginning. Maybe even the first few years for me because I did start really young with that as a comfort, as my coping mechanism.”
Mean Baby was released on May 17th and is available now.
Abron’s Hot Take
If you’re a 90s – early 2000s kid like myself, then you’re most familiar with Selma from her roles as Cecile Caldwell in Cruel Intentions, one-third of the girlfriend’s trio, Jane Burns in the comedy film, The Sweetest Thing, and as Reese Witherspoon’s nemesis Vivian Kensington in Legally Blonde. We’ve basically grown up with her as she’s portrayed characters in some of our favorite films that have defined our childhoods. So, naturally hearing about her traumatic battles with MS and now her recounts of alcoholism and sexual assault pierces our hearts. I’ve often said that if I were to ever meet Selma, I would wrap my arms around her and give her the biggest hug. Ten percent of that hug would be due to the struggles she’s faced because that’s what we’re naturally inclined to do as humans who are empathetic to others. But ninety percent of my hug would be to celebrate her bravery and strength in sharing her personal story with the world.
It's not easy to do something like this in a world that often finds fault with the victims or is so easy to speak negatively about others. But yet, she’s done exactly that in the most beautiful way. When I watch Selma, I’m reminded that we all have choices. We can either cave and give in to the unfortunate circumstances life deals us or we can choose to be strong and fight to the very end in hopes of changing the outcome. Selma has looked MS in the face and not only knocked it out of life, but she’s also using her platform to advocate against the disease and spread awareness so that others who are either facing the disease or know someone who is, can see a positive example of perseverance that they too will reach the other side. Through her memoir, she’s empowering other women and girls to own their stories, change their narratives, and frame who they are and who they want to be. I feel honored to know that I co-exist and I live in a world with the likes of Selma Blair.
Thank you, Selma. I’m rooting for you. WE ALL ARE!
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