Then be bold and love your body and stop fixing it. It was never broken. says Eve Ensler in her latest play The Good Body..
One of my staff, a diminutive mother of a six year old came to me last week clutching some money and whispered something I could not understand at first.. actually she was asking me to lend her some more and then help her get a ‘breast enhancing’ cream she had seen on TV.
That cream cost more than a month of her salary!
Eve Ensler’s play has deeper meaning as the madness of fixing your body is everywhere, and creating a havoc some of us are quiet unaware of. I was horrified to see an ad recently on TV for a cream or powder that made your baby fair.. and the ad ended with the baby winning a beauty pageant!
Soni is 18 and has mental retardation.. the one thing she wants is to be beautiful and would do anything for a tube of ‘fair and lovely’ cream as she is convinced that it will make her pretty and attractive to the boys. Now the danger is that a girl like Soni could be lured easily and abused!
Last week some of our class V boys were asked to write an essay about their ideal ‘wife’. Now these are all slum kids, mostly ailing from Bihar or eastern UP.. well the answer was a reflection of the the reality around us: they wanted the wife to be rich, fair, beautiful, intelligent, a doctor ..
Fair is the operative term in India then comes slim.. and a whole industry is there to fuel these dreams.. we even have a ‘fair and handsome’ vesrion for boys..
Eve Ensler goes on to say: I was moved by women in Africa who lived close to the earth and didn’t understand what it meant to not love their body. I was lifted by older women in India who celebrated their roundness.
Wish someone heard this, as syndromes like anorexia and bulimia are now quite real with slum kids… and no one is there to stay stop!
Ensler’s takes the thought further: “Can you imagine the energy that would be unleashed if women stopped obsessing about their bodies?” The implication, of course, is that this crippling preoccupation is stunting our social, economic, political growth..
Think about it.