Mara Shaw's Reviews > The Good Body

The Good Body by Eve Ensler
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Mar 05, 2012

did not like it
Read in March, 2012

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 be uplifting), I will recall Helen Gurley Brown's self-revulsion despite her amazing success and 200 daily situps. I will remember vagina tightening, hatred of all "skinny bitches", celebration of getting parasites to get thin, extreme workouts, unhealthy rejection of food (including bread -- gasp!). And anger, anger, anger. Hate, hate, hate.

Ensler offers a few stories of women who are happy in their bodies, but these pale compared to the violent reds and oranges of the stories that scream off the pages of woman after woman who rejects her own body.

The Vagina Monologues were a masterpiece. This is not only a self-indulgent hate-fest, I think it offers so many examples of women hating themselves that it suggests that this is the western norm. To actually like a body with its curves or sags, is to not be striving sufficiently.

I renounce the implication that my body, usually 15 pounds overweight, indicates that I am lazy, ugly, and to be socially rejected. Because I know I, and many other women, am vital, energetic, capable, successful and forgiven for carrying a few extra pounds that would be unacceptable in Ensler's wacky, sad, and hate-filled world. Nameste.
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message 1: by Beverly (new)

Beverly Wow! What a review! Keep 'em coming!


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