The Good Body
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 15, 2013 11:03
That’s the message students were spreading with The Good Body, an episodic play written by Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler.
“Every person has a complex relationship with their bodies,” Good Body director Gene Kelly said.
Dealing with anorexia, obesity, and everything in between, The Good Body explores the unique struggle each women has with her body. The play featured dramatized accounts of women around the world and their stories of their body image issues. It is narrated by Eve Ensler herself—here read by Chaplain Alex Hendrickson and Landis Director Bonnie Winfield.
The play revolves around the question: what is good? In this country, women are convinced by Hollywood and popular media that “skinny bitches” are good, perfect, and right. Through body manipulation—anything from starving, liposuction, vaginal-tightening surgery, and exercise—women are desperate to hide their real bodies.
One particularly sassy monologue, read by senior Charnelle Pinket, described a woman who went “chunky dunking” during fat camp, and discovered she was beautiful and good. “We deserve to be the skinny bitches,” her character said.
The Good Body aims to restore skewed body image views. “Our bodies are meant to be seen,” one monologue said. Another stressed that “our body is our home,” we must “live in it.”
The Good Body recognizes each woman’s body issues stem from complex and varied situations. The play featured multiple stories of women who changed their bodies because of pressure from parents or spouses or after the death of a loved one or in response to an unwanted affair.
“The performance was funny, but also had serious moments,” Caitlin Hope ’15 said. Hope could have been referring to the account of an Afghanistan woman who risks her life to eat ice cream, a food that anorexic young Ensler (read by Winfield) would not eat if she were paid.
“[The Good Body] helped me to realize that I wasn’t the only one who has struggled,” Emily Mcgonigle ‘15 said. Pinket hopes the audience will take away the same lesson.
“We shouldn’t be ashamed of who we are,” Julia Guarch ’15 said. “If we don’t feel comfortable in our own bodies, it will impact our lives.”