No more vaginas. No more tummies. No more asses.
Eve Ensler, award-winning author of “The Vagina Monologues,” is ready to move on to something bigger – and no, not breasts.
“I’m leaving the body for a while,” Ensler says from her hotel room in L.A. But not just yet.
It’s the afternoon following the L.A. debut of “The Good Body,” her new one-woman show, which follows the book of the same title. While the book and the play go hand-in-hand, the play “comes more alive.”
“It’s much more funny on the stage, and because I kind of inhabit those people they are more fully realized than when you read it on the page,” she says.
Following the unveiling: a luxurious party at The Grill with over 1,500 attendees. “It [my life] couldn’t be crazier,” Ensler says. “It was awesome and really fabulous.”
“The Good Body,” balancing humor with her celebration of the human body, is all part of the planet Ensler envisions.
“It’s a place where we would actually – and it’s true for men, too – where we would get up in the morning and we would be happy that we had bodies,” Ensler says. “Where women could walk in the street and they could be naked, or they could wear whatever they wanted and they wouldn’t have to be afraid of someone attacking them, or stalking them, or harassing them or criticizing them.”
It’s this obsession on fixing ourselves with procedures such as Botox injections and liposuction that Ensler blames for global issues. “I think women have the capacity – through their vision, through their ideas, through their strengths – to really take back the world,” Ensler says. “We are dangerously distracted fixing ourselves rather than fixing the world. That’s why I’m doing the tour at this time.”
The last time Ensler toured, she sparked a revolution. Her ubiquitous “The Vagina Monologues” ignited a global movement known as V-Day to end violence against women. “This movement is absolutely glorious,” she says.
“The Vagina Monologues” has gained worldwide acclaim with 2,500 productions in 1,140 places and has raised $30 million in eight years. “We’ve built a movement that is truly ending violence against women,” she says. “It’s beyond exciting.”
But the movement doesn’t end with women. Attending her show in flocks are, maybe not so surprisingly, gay men. Ensler believes gay men relate to women when it comes to maintaining their appearance with eyebrow plucking, ab rolling and waxing. “A lot of gay men come to the show and I think they really identify with it,” she says. “I think it’s actually worse than in female culture. I do. The hours and the drive to look beautiful; we can discuss a whole list of things that men aren’t to have.”
In the fall, Ensler will embark on her next triumph: “Insecure at Last.” A departure from the body, Ensler will unveil the myth of security and examine what it would mean for all of us to live insecurely.
“What if we all decided to give up saying we were American, or give up saying we were gay, or give up saying we were straight?” she says. “What if we’re all just completely insecure all the time and in the process of evolving and discovering ourselves? I just think it would be so interesting and I think it would change everything.”
And if people have issues with her passion to change the world and perceptions of women, they better step down and look at themselves. “If anybody has a problem with me wanting women to be free and to love their bodies and to have bodily integrating, and for women to be safe and not raped, they need to look at what’s going on inside their own self,” she says. “How could you have an issue with that?”
Ensler dreams. She sees people of every sexual orientation, race, gender and culture on one planet understanding and accepting each other. If V-Day could turn a dream into a reality, and “The Good Body” is on its way, then, maybe one day, she won’t have to dream anymore.
With LGBT characters dominating the Academy Award nominees, it’s a step forward, she thinks. “We’re all really coming to understand that we are all gender fluid and we exist on one end of the continuum or another,” she says. “Some live on one end; it’s all a beautiful continuum.”
Eve Ensler’s “The Good Body” will run from Feb. 15-19 at the Music Hall. For more information visit http://www.thegoodbody.com.