Everyone has a body, but as we all know we are all different and there are two different ways we see ‘self’, the way we view our self and how society views us. ‘Self’ to me means how a person views them self in the universe, society and the way a person wants to present them self. There are many people who have low self-esteem and want to achieve self-actualization goals, where they want to be more than what they already see themselves as. For example, people who have eating have low self-esteem, and who aren’t confident with their bodies/mind set, so they do things such as not eating to try to achieve that goal. From the Ted’s Talk website; a website with videos of speeches, Eve Ensler described her own understanding of ‘self’, as she explained, “It was a lot of anger, insane humor, a lot of attention, outrage. It was energy, love and joy. It was all these things. It was all these things. It was all these things in the water, in the world, in my body”. I agree with her point of view because when you have an eating disorder you have a lot of emotions, you feel you don’t fit in and you’re angry with yourself so people with an eating disorder does bad things to themselves to make themselves happy. Like Ensler, I have experienced low self-esteem at times because I was unhappy with my body.
Ensler stated in the text that she had low self-esteem: “My body was often in the way”. Which made her start to think that she was an object and that’s how she viewed herself; on rare days I feel the same way. She explains, “I began to see my body like an ipod or a car”. I agree with what she states because a body becomes an object that can be molded and bought and all it takes is for you to form the perfect shape or buy the perfect object (nose, face left, breast implants, etc). But every person gets spurs of appreciation for themselves and their bodies even if they are self-conscious because when people compliment each other, it makes them feel better about themselves. On some days I don’t feel confident about my self-esteem or my body, but when I eat right and receive compliments from friends, it raises my self-esteem. Ensler stated, “I was a vegetarian, I was sober, I didn’t smoke. But all that was just a more sophisticated way to manipulate my body – a further disassociation, like planting a vegetable field on a freeway”. It would be unusual and awkward to see a vegetable field on a freeway, which is a metaphor on what she is feeling; awkward. Ensler had low self-esteem and tried things like becoming a vegetarian and staying sober to try to feel confident and not have low self-esteem. Like Ensler, I don’t smoke because it makes me feel good about myself that I am not putting smoke in my body because the other bad things I do to my body replace it like eating junk food. I think she was tricking herself to like her body.
Everyone has moments on where they hate their bodies. On some days when I eat a lot or I don’t work out for a while, I don’t like how little things on my body look like, like my stomach. People can be affected about the way they look like at any age; young or old. Ensler stated, “In the middle of my traveling, I turned 40 and I began to hate my body, which was actually progress, because at least my body existed enough to hate it. Well my stomach – it was my stomach that I hated”. Many younger boys and girls are starting to get more effected by their appearances and how they look because of magazines and what is “socially acceptable”. All of the models shown today are all skinny and pretty and when little kids/teens see them on TV’s, billboards, magazines and many other places it effects how they view themselves because if they aren’t as skinny as a model, they feel they need to change themselves so others think they are pretty too. People shouldn’t try to be ‘skinny’ they should aim for being healthy. I agree with Ensler that it doesn’t matter how old or young someone is, they can still hate their bodies at any age.
I think Ensler is getting to the point that many people take things for granted and don’t always see the good in themselves but also the bad and insecurities. She also gets to the point that “self” doesn’t only mean just you alone, she puts the whole world into the meaning of “self” and that everything connects together in the universe. Although I have not had cancer, like Ensler has, I agree with her about people having low self-esteem problems and how she explains how the whole world is involved in ones body. As she stated, “And the fire that burns in me on day three through six of chemo is the fire that is burning in the forests of the world. I know that the abscess that grew around my wound after the operation, the 16 oz of puss, is the contaminated Gulf of Mexico, and there were oil-drenched pelicans inside me and dead floating fish”. This means that everything is connected in some way and where every action has a reaction. By me being self conscious, my friends try to reassure me that I look beautiful because they hear me complaining about the way I look.
I like how Ensler used the whole world to explain how she felt, so we can all relate to her. Ensler relates to more than one body, or one gender, she connects everybody with the universe. She connected self with the universe and chemotherapy with forest fires and how she connects her scar on her torso with earthquakes. She did a good job connecting things together so we can all get a feel or an understanding of what she felt. She not only explained herself, but how she thought of self through her own experiences. Ensler gave examples on where she respected ‘self’ and where she had hated ‘self’. When I think of the word ‘self’ I think of how my actions affect those around me and how everything I do has a consequence. I agree when Ensler says, the body connects with the whole world because we are not one person in the universe, but one person apart of the universe.