Thursday 13 October 2016

I, Bificus - Bif Naked

I, Bificus
Bif Naked
Harper Collins
ISBN 9781443450706
eISBN 9781443419741

I have long been a fan of Bif Naked's music. And knowing some of her story, and the lyrics of her music I was aware she had been through the ringer, and likely more than once. I was not prepared for how much one person had gone through. Let alone gone through and yet always seems so positive and energetic and with such strong fight.

This woman has suffered so much abuse and yet remained strong. Now to be honest the book is in many sections not an easy read. She provides so very specific details of traumatic events. To be honest I had to take a break and come back to the book, not being able to read it through. There are a number of entertaining stories in this volume and in the 41 short chapters Bif manages to bare all. She is open and honest with her struggles, her trials and her triumphs. She shares about life on the road, life in a band and then life as the lead in a solo act. She is open about her experimentations with alcohol, drugs and with a fluid sexuality. But she also comes back to living the straight edge. But even while living the straight edge a person can make mistakes and end up in situations they just want to get over.

From the stories in this book Bif has an incredible ability to compartmentalize, and just get through whatever life or others have thrown at her. She is a strong powerful woman who has been on a lifelong journey of self-discovery. Through that process, and in her sharing with us, she is open an honest. She is far more transparent about her faults, failings and mistakes than most people.

Bif states: "I am an Indian-born, born-abroad Canadian (or like I enjoy saying, "I was born a broad"). I have been these two things for as long as my memory goes back. I learned my patriotism from my father-or at the very least, how to brag about it. He was an American who gave up his citizenship to become Canadian." She was adopted and has an Indian adopted sister and a sister born to her adoptive parents. And to be honest she is the Queen of Canadian Rockers. She has a large loyal following at home, and has had great success in Europe. But in all of that she continued to give back. She often promotes young Canadian talent especially female acts and bands.

Bif was the focal point of a reality program that followed her engagement and wedding. She has had breast cancer, and survived, she said "My cancer is now a memory, my last treatment being in 2009, making me a Big Girl Survivor with five-plus cancer-free years under my belt. I still use chemoprevention to prevent recurrence, and am enjoying my full and racy menopause. I know I am lucky to be alive and am proud to have a piece of catheter tubing, left from my surgical port, in my chest, as a souvenir." She stands proud of who she is and who she is still becoming. At the end of the book she states; "The future is like sun rays to me, and I tilt my soul in the direction of this light. I am still unshakable in my faith in people and in my relentless positivity, and I will not ever change that. I love life, even more every day, no matter what's ahead of me. I love it all: the past, the present, and the future. My goals in life are simple, really-to make and keep everybody happy. On the stage, on the page, in the sick wards, or in my mother's kitchen." And that is what she strives to do, day in and day out.

No this book was not an easy read, but as an artist I respect and appreciate I pushed on and finished the book. For all the hardships she has experienced she lives joy and positive attitude and for that she is a shining example.

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