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A Waist Is A Terrible Thing To Mind Menu
  Art begets art. When Cathy Conheim, a psychotherapist, and two Ob-Gyns, Donna Brooks, M.D. and Barbara Levy, M.D., commissioned the Real Women sculptures as a way of using art to initiate a new dialogue about body image and women’s health, little did they know what they were starting.

When a poet first encountered the sculptures of thirteen women’s bodies, she was inspired to write a poem to each woman which is now an essential part of the Real Women Project. When a singer-songwriter saw the sculptures and read the poems, she was inspired to write a song that has since touched the lives of thousands of people. When a video producer listened to the music, saw the sculptures and read the poems, she created a video revealing the beauty and elegance of women from around the world.

When women around the country visited the Real Women website and were asked to tell their own stories, hundreds did. Many revealed histories of shame and abuse, struggles and sorrow, hollow victories and full-bodied failures in their battles against a beauty narrowly-defined. One story after another contributed to a bigger story, an epic tale of a culture’s obsession with beauty and the destruction left in its wake.

A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Mind is an alarming and dramatic expose of the profound impact of body image on women’s lives. It is a record of real losses incurred by real women who have spent lifetimes in pursuit of an artificial beauty—a beauty defined by profiteers that is neither attainable nor authentic. It will not bring down the $40 billion diet industry that thrives on women’s vulnerability, but it may build up women’s resistance to its insidious message that we are not acceptable exactly as we are.

Lives are lost each year as beautiful, healthy young women starve themselves to death. Millions of us are suffering depression and anxiety as the media pellets us with starvation imagery and empty promises. We are struggling for our lives here, for the lives of our children, and our stories are our only weapons.

Many of our stories are difficult to share, painful to read, but bringing them to light is the first step toward healing. We cannot change what we do not understand, and we cannot understand what we have not articulated. It is our stories that reveal us to ourselves and others, remind us that we’re not alone, shed a light on what we must change in order to grow. We must start with what is before we move on to what can be.

It is our hope that as art inspires art, these stories will inspire women to come together and tell their own, for it is in these circles of trust that healing begins.

Circle Of Women
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