Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Good Body

When I was a little girl people used to ask me, What do you want to be when you grow up? Good, I would say. I want to be good. Becoming good was harder than becoming a doctor or an astronaut or a lifeguard. There are tests to pass to become those things - you have to learn dissection or conquer gravity or practice treading water. Becoming good was not like that. It was abstract. It felt completely out of reach. It became the only thing that mattered to me. If I could be good, everything would be all right. I would fit in. I would be popular. I would skip death and go straight to heaven. If you asked me now, what this means, to be good, I still don't know exactly.

...

I could never be good. This feeling of badness lives in every part of my being. Call it anxiety or despair. Call it guilt or shame. It occupies me everywhere. The older, seemingly clearer and wiser I get, the more devious, globalized and terrorist the badness becomes.

-- 'The Good Body' by Eve Ensler.