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The Good Body

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,402 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Botox, bulimia, breast implants: Eve Ensler, author of the international sensation The Vagina Monologues, is back, this time to rock our view of what it means to have a “good body.” “In the 1950s,” Eve writes, girls were “pretty, perky. They had a blond Clairol wave in their hair. They wore girdles and waist-pinchers. . . . In recent years good girls join the army. They cl ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published November 8th 2005 by Villard (first published January 1st 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,279)
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Joanna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
risha
In theory, I (generally) like what Eve Ensler has to say- I (kind of) get where she comes from and her feminism bumps up against mine and we sometimes find a middle ground and sometimes... not.

I believe in the idea that underlies this piece. I know what she's saying. I (mostly) agree with what she's saying.

I just detest the way in which she says it. There's a whole load of unchecked privilege present in the text, no real reflection of how women's bodies and lives intersect with the complicated n
...more
Mara Shaw
Relentless, vehement body loathing with a desperate attempt at a hopeful (saccharine) ending of:
"We live in a good body.
We live in a good body.
Good body.
Good body.
Good body."

Ms. Ensler is obviously trying to convince herself, but I'm certain she does not believe it. She's left with hatred of her body, and, sadly, the reader is left with the stories of extreme self-hatred that constitute the book.

Instead of feeling glorious that my body functions and is my "tree" (one of her few attempts to
...more
Alice
Not as good as the Vagina Monologues, but still very powerful and funny and wonderful in its own way. My favorite moment of this book was reading it in an airport... My copy had a different cover from the one pictured here. The cover art is a naked female torso with scoops of ice cream instead of breasts. I thought it was a fantastic image that managed to convey the commodification of female bodies, the link between female sexuality and self-denial, the strange way female sexuality and food have ...more
Kaijsa
This is a mess. Maybe it's because I don't like the format, or that I think a 90 page book made up mostly of unexplicated quotes is a lazy way to make money, or that I think the whole premise is strangely misogynistic, but I hated the book. There is really no discussion of reasons why women might hate their bodies beyond being damaged by their parents or personally buying into media images of what's beautiful. So who makes the media? What drives our standards of beauty? Is it possible that the e ...more
Lisa
Most women have something they hate about their bodies. For Eve Ensler it's her stomach, but for me it's less one part and more a laundry list of complaints: the hair on my head (too fine), the hair on my body (too thick), my cheeks (too hamster-licious), my eyes (too wonky), my teeth (too mangled), my stomach (too wobbly), my thighs (too thick), my legs (too short) and my feet (too wide). I've spent a fortune over the years buying products to firm, tone, support, remove and disguise the many ar ...more
Vanessa
Eve Ensler changed my relationship to my body when I saw her perform the Vagina Monologues. I had no idea what to expect (I was a teenager!)She spoke about experiences I was new to and those I had yet to experience. As a nutritionist I've discovered that body image bind us, regardless of body type, age or gender. In this book Eve once again takes women's stories and shares them to provoke and empower. There are the universal tales- how fashion mags make us feel about our ordinary selves, the ext ...more
Kristin
As someone who has always struggled to "fit in" on some level, this just shows me that all over the world, many women feel the same way.
The countries that lack the social media, have the most love for themselves and their bodies. After reading this, I have realized that if I focus too much on what I hate about myself, it will never get better.
Worrying about something so much, just makes your goals seem so unattainable.
Even Ensler is great, and I plan on reading all she has to say; and I want to
...more
McKenzie Richardson
Eve Ensler is absolutely phenomenal. This play speaks to anyone who has ever been insecure in their own body, an audience that encompasses most, if not all, of the planet. This was a great quick-read that really puts body issues into perceptive. I think my favorite part was Leah's section. I loved the metaphor she gave on loving one's own body. Overall, this was an interesting read that helps to clear away some of the shame and guilt that we all feel about our physical appearances and brings its ...more
Lindsay
I had some time to kill this afternoon, so I went to the library, and happened to notice that I was in the section containing this book. Since it's been on my to-read list for a while, I thought I'd take a look. First of all, it's way shorter than I was led to believe, and I read the whole thing in about half an hour. That said, it tries to cram a lot of meaning into that half hour's worth of reading material, and unfortunately I don't feel like it really delivers.

The vast majority of this book
...more
Ian Drew Forsyth
At first I gave this a four, because I thought it brought up some good issues but wasn't as good as the vagina monologues. Then after talking to my female roommate after she read it, she said it didn't make her feel any better about her body, and she said the cover was insulting, eve ensler sneering or smirking bent over, skiny as hell even with her little belly for forty "big deal" and all the flat stomachs behind her.
There needed to be more of a positive enforcement of what women can do to fe
...more
PurplyCookie
"I'm stepping off the capitalist treadmill. I am going to take a deep breath and find a way to survive not being flat or perfect. I am inviting you to join me, to stop trying to be anything, anyone other than who you are."

Ensler explores Bombay to Beverly Hills, delivering narratives collected in locker rooms, cell blocks, boardrooms, and bedrooms, where she frames their stories with her own personal journey from a self-loathing teenager to a (sometimes) self-accepting adult. "I have bought int
...more
Tahni
My friend Megan caught me eyeing this book on her shelf and let me borrow it. I really did love it. Eve Ensler has a way of tapping into women's issues in a provocative way that I, personally, envy. She utilizes both subtly and her own unique brand of in-your-face-ness with amazing effectiveness. Reading it, I found myself wishing that my neices were old enough to understand it so that I could share it with them. It really shines a light on the kind of deep seeded body image issues women in our ...more
Jody  Julian
"Maybe because for most of my life I have felt wrong, dirty, guilty, and bad, and my stomach is the carrier, the pouch for all that self-hatred." -preface, Eve Ensler

This is more of a treatise or essay than a book. It's a quick read, yet a powerful and much needed addition to the subject of body acceptance. This time, Eve Ensler takes on her shame, our shame, of what it's like to be reduced to the size of our belly or our thighs or whatever body part each one of us obsesses over in our quest to
...more
Raquel
This book is short (I read it in one quick sitting), but its brevity packs a powerful punch. It examines, through the lives of women (real and imagined) around the world, the lengths females go to in order to have a "good body." Female beauty standards are a social construct and yet women live (and often tragically) die by them. In her quest to deal with her dissatisfaction over her rounded stomach, Ensler discovers that women are willing to endure endless surgeries, countless sit ups, and fat c ...more
Lani
I'm having a tough time reviewing this one. Written by the woman who wrote the Vagina Monologues, I expected something similarly revelatory and moving. So I think this suffers from high expectations. It's also hard to knock a woman for wallowing in self-hatred, but I suppose you expect more from the woman who has college campuses everywhere chanting CUNT and loving their vaginas.

I just felt that The Good Body was self-indulgent rather than moving. It was almost the inverse of Vagina Monologues -
...more
Margaret
I loved this book not in spite of but because of how petty Eve Ensler sounded when she was discussing her body concerns: I realized judging her for saying aloud (okay, on paper) what most women just think inside their heads was hypocritical, and that self-realization for me turned out to be the whole point of reading the book.

On the actual book: there was a nice variety of anecdotes in "The Good Body." There were some truly touching stories, some laugh out loud funny stories (or at least, secti
...more
Jessica
There were parts of this that really resonated with me. Parts that almost made me cry because I recognized myself in the self-hatred Eve Ensler describes. But then there was a lot that fell flat, that felt like vulgarity for its own sake or, as other reviewers have mentioned, too much hatred with too little love. I love the idea and I love pieces of the execution, but there was too much that kept taking me out of the experience for it to blow me away.
Ziying
I cannot love, relate to, and agree with this play more. A topic that every woman has experienced some point in their life. Extremely well-written. Every women in this play has their own very distinct voice and their character jumps out of the page even each of them on only has a short monologue. All the different women from different backgrounds are tied together in the end in a both touching and brilliant way. Love, love this play.
MaryAnn
Jun 28, 2008 MaryAnn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: other women, physical trainers, nutrionists....
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daryl Leyesa
The book is bold, or maybe bolder since the author regarded it as a prayer.

Eve Ensler wrote: “This play is my prayer, my attempt to analyze the mechanisms of our imprisonment, to break free so that we may spend more time running the world than running away from it; so that we may be consumed by the sorrow of the world rather than consuming to avoid that sorrow and suffering.”

"LOVE YOUR BODY. STOP FIXING IT. It was never broken." I say amen to this prayer and hallelujah to all bodies that are fea
...more
daysgoby
Eve Ensler made people think and celebrate and weep with The Vagina Monologues. Now she's focusing on another body part - the stomach. Full of quotable, memorable lines: 'I am going to take a deep breath and find a way to survive not being flat or perfect. I am inviting you to join me, to stop trying to be anything, anyone other than who you are.'

Tell the image makers and magazine sellers and the plastic surgeons that you are not afraid. That what you fear the most is the death of imagination a
...more
Beth
I think this is a great book for many people to read. Its super short, and extremely fast to read. And it easily shows just how much body image effects women. I would be interested to hear a guy's perspective on this book, but I found this book so completely relatable. I've had so many of the thoughts of the women in this book, and I've been working over the last year or so to really change my thinking. I only wish that there was more stories about women that have accepted their bodies. There we ...more
Verena Teixeira
Short but another awesome book from Eve Ensler. I finished it in one day and I wanted more. I laughed my socks off while reading it, but at the same time it made me also think about how we let other people and society make us ashaming of our own body. Brilliant book :)
Lexy Pinker
Similar to the vagina monologues in that it includes tales from various different women, The Good Body is an entirely different piece altogether. Many of the reviews here are negative pointing out that Eve is skinny and therefore what has she to worry about, yet by doing this they are missing the point. Every culture accross the world has a different perception of beauty and therefore every person has an aspect of themselves they dislike. The ending brought me to tears as it reminded me that wha ...more
Lucy
This book made me sad because it's all about women spending their time loathing their bodies rather than working to resist self-hatred or better yet, figure out better ways to channel their energy. But I guess the first step is naming the problem.
HBalikov
Ensler is a clever writer and this book is no exception. I might have given it at least one more star if I wasn't a bit puzzled:
It was certainly written to be performed; would it have been better if I had seen it as a performance?
The point of the book can be made in less than a paragraph. Was it too long with the only variation being the part of the body in focus? Or, too short and should she have made a better effort to include more of those who represented other cultures?
Was her effort directe
...more
Zen Cho
I thought I hadn't read this yet but it turned out I had. I was a bit meh about it. I do really like the way she writes; it isn't that. I can tell she wants to do a sort of thing about the interconnectedness of communities of women all over the world and our body issues, but I was kind of put off by how the stories of all the other women are more about her than they are about them, particularly the stories of women in Third World countries. All this about African women being ~close to the earth~ ...more
kim
Apr 25, 2014 kim rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: audio, 2014, adult, nf
like the Vagina Monologues but focused on body fat and body image. the audio version has some really annoying fake accents going on
Kenna
I think I expected more of this book than was delivered; of the 90 short pages, it seems like only the last ten are devoted to any kind of body positivity.

There is very little self-acceptance to be found here, which seems odd for something with a title like The Good Body. And it's not radical to read about women hating the way they look--this is what we're shown how to do as soon as we're old enough to start consuming media.

What would really be progressive of the author would be to promote a bel
...more
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Eve Ensler is an internationally bestselling author and an award-winning playwright whose works include The Vagina Monologues, The Good Body, Insecure at Last, and I Am an Emotional Creature, since adapted for the stage as Emotional Creature. She is the founder of V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, which has raised more than $90 million for local groups and activis ...more
More about Eve Ensler...
The Vagina Monologues I am an Emotional Creature In the Body of the World Insecure at Last A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer: Writings to Stop Violence Against Women and girls

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“Do you say that tree isn't pretty cause it doesn't look like that tree? We're all trees. You're a tree. I'm a tree. You've got to love your body, Eve. You've got to love your tree. Love your tree. (Leah)” 16 likes
“Do you say that tree isn't pretty cause it doesn't look like that tree? We're all trees. You're a tree. I'm a tree. You've got to love your body, Eve. You've got to live your tree. Love your tree. (Leah)” 2 likes
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