Picture this: A woman sits indoors, looking through an open door at a lake. It is hot outside, and there are beautiful naked people frolicking in the cool water. She wants to join in, and has even borrowed a bathing suit so she won't have to go bare, but fear grips her around the throat, stopping her -- she has ropy, purple, bulging veins on her legs, a gift from her grandmother. Sitting next to her is a pretty girl with blond dreadlocks and a mischievous glint in her eye, preparing to swim. "I'm so ashamed," the woman says. "I've got these things on my legs. They're disgusting. I'm disgusting."
"Shut up. You look totally hot," says Dreadlocks. "And anyway, I don't have a suit; I have to go naked. And you know what? I'm a transsexual. I try to appear as a woman, but right now, I have to expose my penis. So, like, don't worry about your legs, OK? Just get in the water."
Eve Ensler, famous around the world for her play The Vagina Monologues, has taken women's body-image problems and their weird manifestations as the subject of her new one-woman show, The Good Body. Once again drawing from extensive interviews for inspiration, Ensler also describes her own experiences here, which she says makes this her riskiest work yet. Amazingly, Ensler's travels across the globe with Monologues, from Bombay to Beverly Hills, yielded the observation that most women suffer the same fears, self-loathing, and constant pressure to be young and thin. Looks like we haven't come such a long way after all, baby.
So Ensler's on the road again with her new work, using humor, smarts, storytelling, and chutzpah to see if she can't change that up a little. And like the dreadlocked girl, she'll probably get us all to jump in the water and enjoy ourselves. -- Hiya Swanhuyser