The Good Body – Eve Ensler
March 4, 2010 § 6 Comments
The crazy thing is he’s always thought I was beautiful, but of course that doesn’t count, I mean, he loves me.
I read that line and couldn’t help but wonder, how many of us feel the same way? We wish and wish that our partners or significant others or even close friends and distant relatives would look at us and see that we are beautiful, but when they do, it takes monstrous effort to believe them.
In The Good Body. Eve Ensler tells it like it is. She takes us on a journey, her journey, to get rid of that tummy of hers which she feels is the size of something huge. She meets with women who have something to complain about some part of their bodies. She tells us their stories. Why do we all feel inadequate? Why do we feel like there’s something we must change? Why are Asian women obsessed with skin-lightening cream? Why are television programmes interrupted with commercials for different diet pills and get-skinny-quick schemes?
Despite being a book of no more than 100 pages, I felt that it delivered a punch and a kick. The monologues of the different women were told in distinctly different flavours, and yet all of them managed to tell their own story. You couldn’t help but laugh at some parts of their stories, but in the end, they told of their insecurities, their pain and anger.
Bread is Satan. I stop eating bread. This is the same as not eating food. Four days in, a scrawny actress friend tells me, “Eve, your stomach has nothing to do with diet.” What? “It’s the change of life,” she says. “All you need is some testosterone.” I try to imagine what I would be like, totally bread deprived and shot up with testosterone. “Serial killer” comes to mind.
They were, or are, frustrated with the world for forcing them to become something they could never be; frustrated with the impossible standards that society seems to be pushing down their throats; with their mothers and fathers and siblings for wanting them to be someone else; and frustrated with themselves for not having the body of their dreams. Is there really such a thing as a perfect body?
I’ve not read Ensler’s more famous book/play, The Vagina Monologues, and now after this, I think I want to.
For: Women Unbound Challenge
Note: This is a play, a drama. Half the stories are made up, I think. But the issues are real. The frustrations and feelings are real. The impossible expectations are real.