By Mehr Gunawardena
“Do You Want to See Me Naked?” features a deceptively funny performance by Elizabeth Golden that champions body confidence and tears apart the objectification of women. In this show, written in collaboration with Morag Shepherd, Ms. Golden proudly claims to be “the nastiest woman in Utah.”
Dressed in a Greek tunic, Ms. Golden says she wants to shed her layers and show us her naked body, but is restrained by the shame with which she grew up. She contemplates her body. Is it a temple? No, it is not “a white phallic building with people in it.” She tells us the story of how she learned to love her body, and overcame the self-consciousness of being overweight.
Ms. Golden says that for a long time, she wanted to be objectified, and for men to see her as beautiful and sexy. But she never felt that way, believing that her body was not enough. She makes us feel her conflicted emotions in a raw and unfiltered way.
Growing up Mormon, she felt that she failed to live up to the values of her community. She was told by her bishop that masturbation was self-harm, which led her down a dark path. After she married a supposedly good Mormon man, she endured “200 pounds of abuse.” She needed to re-evaluate her relationship with the church, and to put herself and her children first. Sh needed to stop apologizing and measuring her self-worth based on the perceptions of men.
“Do You Want to See Me Naked?” addresses female body positivity and self-love, combating rape culture through a satirical lens. This show reminded me that we as women should be proud to be entirely ourselves and not what we are trained to be.
“Do You Want to See Me Naked?”
Performed by Elizabeth Golden
Nov. 3 at 6pm
Director & Playwright: Morag Shepherd
Musician: Ysa Pitman
Co-Producers: Dave Mortensen and Alex Ungerman
Design: Ike Bushman
Photo: courtesy of the production
United Solo 2018
410 West 42nd Street
New York City
MEHR GUNAWARDENA is a writer from Sri Lanka who pursued her education and ambition in the United States. During her time at Clark University, she began experimenting with form and structure to make her writing as accessible as possible to all readers, while keeping true to her voice. She enjoys writing poetry and other fictional pieces with political and societal nuances, and is therefore drawn towards art with similar intentions.