Students filled Devlin 008 on Friday night for a riveting performance of Eve Ensler’s The Good Body. The production, acted out by students and put on by the Women’s Center as part of Love Your Body Week, was funny, authentic and moving as it told stories of the relationships between women and their bodies.
The production consisted of a series of monologues and conversations between the women. The actors, who had only beenrehearsing for a few weeks, referred to their scripts, but their emotion was palpable, and the remarkably few slip-ups added
to the authenticity of the production. After all, at its core, The Good Body is part of a conversation between women from across the globe about their battles with body image.
The stories told varied widely -- from a model we meet after one of the many invasive procedures she’s had to correct her body, to Nina, who had her breasts removed so her stepfather won’t be “tempted” by them anymore, to Eve herself, fighting a losing battle against bread and the treadmill. The women represented come from different backgrounds, and have different problems with their bodies, but they are united in the efforts, no matter how extreme, that they have taken to correct or improve their bodies. The various stories told included liposuction, face-lifts, diets, personal trainers, even vaginoplasty – all in the name of achieving “the good body”.
There were also many moments of hope, warmth, and humor. The story of a “fat girl” at boot camp who loved the way she looked swimming naked at night. The tale of Carmen, who learned to let go of her mother’s criticisms after she died and to stop fighting her body. And the final story of Priya, a woman Eve meets in India, who has learned to love her jadhi (fat).
“The Good Body” was the culmination of Love Your Body Week and seemed to incorporate all the different conversations and events that the Women’s Center has sponsored, including Alexis Jones of I Am That Girl, a performance of Shrinking Women by Lily Myers, and "Embrace Your Body: Challenging Standards of Beauty at BC and Beyond," which included a conversation about race as it relates to beauty and body image at BC.
The complexity and truth that stood out in the performance of “The Good Body” was a reminder of the diversity and universality of these stories and this battle that women across the world have fought to fix their bodies, which were beautiful already.