Butts, boobs and body image

Too fat. Too thin. Too much cleavage. Not enough.

“Every woman in the United States has an issue with body image,” says English and theater student Buffy Charlet. “And if people don’t see this as a problem, how’s it going to get fixed?”

With that in mind, Charlet, a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno, set out to write an entertaining and informative theater piece focusing on several women and their bodies.

“I thought it would be a good way to get the conversation going,” Charlet says.

While writing her play, Body Talk: Boobs, Butts and Thighs, Charlet interviewed 40 women, asking questions about body image and eating habits. During this process, she found herself having to explain the project to people who’d never thought much about how society imposes a nearly impossible standard of beauty on women.

“It was surprising to me that people didn’t realize what an eating disorder is,” Charlet says. “Or didn’t realize the extent of women’s self-loathing.”

Similar to The Vagina Monologues, a poignant and funny play by Eve Ensler, the drama consists of women’s monologues about their bodies. But in Body Talk, 10 actresses will actually become the women they portray in 18 pieces that range from one to four minutes apiece.

“I had read The Vagina Monologues and thought it was beautiful,” Charlet says. “Then, in San Francisco, I saw three women read The Monologues, sitting on a stage. And I thought, this could be more powerful if they acted them out.”

Body Talk: Boobs, Butts and Thighs will be performed at 7:30 p.m. May 10 and 12, and at 1:30 p.m. May 13 in Room 19 of the Church Fine Arts Complex at UNR. Tickets are $5. Call 784-6847.