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The Good Body

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  2,014 ratings  ·  202 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 ...more
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published November 9th 2004 by Villard (first published January 1st 2004)
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Sarah McMillan It's about how we view our own bodies. How we strive to have them be perfect. How far some go to achieve that. How other find acceptance in what they…moreIt's about how we view our own bodies. How we strive to have them be perfect. How far some go to achieve that. How other find acceptance in what they have. How we think of our bodies has been shaped by those who come before us. But ultimately it's about how to accept what we have as we only have one body.(less)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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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
Mar 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Feb 28, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 100-books-2010, plays
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mara Shaw
Mar 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Feb 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short and funny and poignant at the end.
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Just read this. And buy it for all the women you know. And take them to see it performed on stage, if at all possible.
original read: 2008

I still remembered some parts of this. It was good.
Rogene Carter
A beautiful and timely examination of the perilous relationship that many individuals, particularly women in this text, have with their bodies and how that easily turns to self harm when it should be rooted in appreciation and love.
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She’s so vulnerable and open I just wish it was longer.
Gen L
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am deeply concerned about Eve and her relationship to food and her body. I was expecting to find something relatable here, but instead I find myself horrified by how disturbed her body image is and hoping she was either exaggerating for the art of it or getting some proper help.
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 ...more
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 -
Kristen Mohr
I loved the Vagina Monologues and was looking forward to reading something else by the same author. Unfortunately, where that was empowering, this just felt vitriolic and full of self-hate. This book is called The Good Body, but almost all of it was stories of women who wanted it to go away. I have a pretty healthy body image and this just made me feel yelled at. Plus, I did this as an audio book to get closer to the stage play experience and sometimes when Ensler is telling the stories of women ...more
Aug 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short little play was interesting to read and touched on so many parts of female identity that remain, sadly, relevant. I loved the exploration of body and felt a calm upon completing the script.
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, adult, nf, audio
like the Vagina Monologues but focused on body fat and body image. the audio version has some really annoying fake accents going on
Elizabeth A
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This is really wonderful. If you get the chance get the audio version and listen to Eve perform the piece - so very powerful. It made me laugh and cry and think. Loved it.
May 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what I was expecting from this, but it certainly wasn't what I got. Having never experienced The Vagina Monologues, this was my first brush with Eve Ensler. Holy hell no. Since it was really short, I powered through it waiting for meaning to emerge, but it never did. This might be good for someone else, but it reeks of the kind of entitled white beat poetry that serves only itself. The author narrates the book, and does fake Indian, Italian, and possibly African American "accents" ...more
Dec 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good Body began with me and my particularobsession with my “imperfect” stomach. Ihave charted this self-hatred, recorded it, tried tofollow it back to its source. Here, unlike the womenin The Vagina Monologues, I am my own victim,my own perpetrator. Of course, the tools of my selfvictimizationhave been made readily available. Thepattern of the perfect body has been programmedinto me since birth. But whatever the cultural influences and pressures, my preoccupation with myflab, my constant ...more
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very quick and interesting read. Most women are self conscious about their stomach and appearance in general and this book speaks to woman of many cultures and opinions about their feelings on the subject. Some are funny and some are unfortunate, but you may walk away with a different perspective on what you think is your biggest downfall.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw Eve perform this entire book as a one woman show in San Francisco. She is incredibly talented and this book/subject matter speaks to so many of us on so many levels. It’s an enjoyable read, but I think Eve’s work is better expressed physically and on stage. It’s a dream of mine to produce this.
Enjoyed the format of the work, which made me think more about first-person storytelling and delivery. Some content was quite triggering and jarring, probably the author's aim, but sometimes it also felt somewhat contrived in its shock value. Not all stories felt believable but I have found all of them insightful. Looking forward to getting my hands on The Vagina Monologues next.
Megan Staunton
Dec 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Described as 'hilariously funny and deeply moving' from the author of The Vagina Monologues, I was expecting this book to examine social and cultural commentaries on how women's bodies are both viewed, and how we as women view our bodies ourselves. All this book said was that the majority of women dislike something about their bodies which I frankly did not need to spend my time reading about.
Laura Rasmussen
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, this really isn't a book... It's a performance of Ensler's one woman play.

Very thought provoking re body image. I loved the African woman's answer to whether she liked her body - (paraprhasing) Like my body? Like? I LOVE my body! Look at all the things it can do!
Heather Rockwood
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's surprising that we so often think we are the only one experiencing some fear, feeling, doubt or whatever. In these stories I often heard my own coming out in different ways. Just a good reminder that we are not alone in our confusion.
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Satisfying and very Eve Ensler. Speaking as a reader who hates her stomach but loves everyone else's, this was a therapeutic (if also triggering) read. Really quick. Could easily gobble this book up over a long lunch.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 1/2 stars. Nothing new here, not much funny
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I definitely recommend this as an audiobook. It is read by the author Eve Ensler, who is also the author of The Vagina Monologues. Her performance is outstanding and brings life into her words.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I wish it was less about the other and more about he other characters. But an interesting look at women’s relationships with their bodies.
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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 ...more
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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)” 29 likes
“Да си дебел е най-гадното, най-отвратителното, най-скапаното нещо на света. Като, нали, отивам да пазарувам в нормалните магазини, а големите номера са скрити най-отзад, все едно са порносписания.
Тръгна да пробвам нещо - направо се чувствам като някоя престъпница, а етикетът с многото хиксове е винаги огромен. Аз като съм дебела, да не съм сляпа, я.”
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