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美国国家公共电台 NPR 'Gross Anatomy' Turns Humor On Taboos About The Female Body

时间:2018-09-03 07:46来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]



When writer Mara Altman was 19, attending college at UCLA, she learned something about herself. It happened one night while she was flirting1 with a server at a Mexican restaurant. His name was Gustavo. She says he said five words she will never forget.

MARA ALTMAN: I like your blond mustache.

CHANG: Now, she knew about this blond mustache all too well, but she didn't know the world could actually see this blond mustache. This story begins the first chapter of her new book, "Gross Anatomy2." It's an honest, often hilarious3 look at women's bodies, how we think of them, our practices, questions, embarrassments4. It's all on display, and Mara Altman is not shy about any of it. So there's your warning. We are going to talk about the female body for the next several minutes with Mara. Welcome.

ALTMAN: Hey, great to be here.

CHANG: So you could have started this book off with any number of regions of the body. But why did you start where you did with your upper lip?

ALTMAN: I mean, that was pretty traumatic. Come on.


ALTMAN: It was a bad moment for me.

CHANG: I felt for you. I really did in that moment. You thought he was about to, like, ask for your number or something.

ALTMAN: I know. I was really excited for a great, hot night but no, no.

CHANG: (Laughter).

ALTMAN: It just, like, awoke this gigantic bit of shame in me. But it also really fed into all my body hair and especially, as of late, my chin hair issues I've had with Dave, my husband. And before we got married, I really wanted to come out as a chin hair-er (ph), like, that I had a goatee.

CHANG: (Laughter) Like, you needed him to know the truth.

ALTMAN: I needed him to know that I had a goatee, that he was marrying a woman with a goatee. I just didn't want him, one, to find out later and be upset and, two, to just have to hide it anymore. I was just so tired.

CHANG: So how did that go when you confessed?

ALTMAN: It was crazy. You know, after all this angst and all this stuff, which I needed to go through and I'm so glad I did because, you know, I got to - I wrote this great thing that I can share with people. But we were sitting there watching "SVU" - Victims Unit.

CHANG: The perfect time to bring up anything painfully truthful6.

ALTMAN: Yeah. Like, I told him - I said, you know, I have chin hair. And I told him all the stuff that I do to try and get rid of it. And then he just, like, looked at me like I was nuts. He went, it's just hair. And then he just stopped and he, like, went back to watching the TV.

CHANG: He couldn't have cared less.

ALTMAN: He could not have cared less.

CHANG: I mean, this was a deep, dark secret you had for most of your adult life. And I'm curious. How did this self-consciousness about what you look like - how did it develop? Because, you know, that seems like no-duh question, but in your case, you had two parents who really tried hard to free you of having any hang-ups about your appearance.

ALTMAN: Yeah. Because I still had the experiences of - at school where I didn't feel like I totally fit in. I was trying so hard to be authentic7, to be natural like my parents said. But you still have the friends on the schoolyard that are like, oh, she's hairy, gross. So I found myself in a place where I didn't fit into either world and finally just trying to figure out why. Why do we have to behave in this certain way on either side?

CHANG: Can you tell me about that time when other girls at school pointed8 out the hair on your legs? You were in eighth grade, right?

ALTMAN: Yeah. I was in junior high, and I was in PE class just, you know, getting ready to play dodgeball or something. And a girl just pointed at my legs, and she's like, ew, gross, you're hairy. And I just felt totally seen and ashamed and wanted nothing more than to just rip out every single hair on my body. And yet that went against everything in our household kind of about being natural. And then I actually had to confront my mom about it and finally ask her if I could shave.

CHANG: And where did this pressure come from, this idea that women should not have hair anywhere except their heads and maybe their arms?

ALTMAN: There's a lot of different ways to look at it. So, you know, we know that ancient Romans and Grecians removed hair and why exactly it's hard to tell. Then when women came to the United States in the early 1900s, they were fine being hairy. But then I talked to this professor, Jennifer Scanlon, who said that advertisers came on strong in, like, the 1930s. They said that having armpit hair was dirty and gross, being clean-shaven was respectable, feminine. And then you also look at another kind of theory that we are all so afraid of our mortality that we cover up anything that kind of hints us being beasts or animals. You know, we put on perfumes. We cover up our holes. Anything that excretes or is moist, we really don't want to have anything to do with. That also is, like, sweat, you know?

CHANG: All the natural repercussions9 of being human, of being mortal, we try to erase10.

ALTMAN: Exactly.

CHANG: Yeah, on that idea of trying to repress or erase the human stuff that's happening beneath the surface, I want to talk about your chapter on PMS. You take this on fully5 in the book. You even called up a psychology11 professor and you asked her whether PMS is a real thing. Tell me what she told you.

ALTMAN: Yeah. She told me it was so interesting because she really just turned the whole thing on its head. She said that when we say that PMS made us do something, that we're using it as a scapegoat12 and kind of discount it.

CHANG: Totally.

ALTMAN: And she also said, you know, hormones13 don't create moods, but they can exacerbate14 moods. And she had this very funny thing. She said, you know, I have all this PMS paraphernalia15 in my office, and one thing says I'm afraid that PMS doesn't exist because that means this is actually who I am.

CHANG: (Laughter) Right. Her version is that maybe PMS exaggerates how we express those feelings, but those feelings are genuinely happening.

ALTMAN: Exactly. They're very legitimate16. We should pay attention to them, not only pay attention to them, but I've talked to other women who think we should pay attention to them even more, that we don't have the buffer17 to kind of be like everything's fine, you know, duh, duh, duh (ph). But we're really feeling things, and these things can be a headlight to show us what's going on in our lives.

CHANG: Yeah. So you meander18 through so many topics and neuroses that women have about their bodies from, like, body hair to sweat to sounds we make during sex to vaginal odor to the shape of our vaginas. And I'm just curious. After writing this entire book, what surprised you the most about how women think about their bodies?

ALTMAN: I think it's just how much anxiety we all have about such wonderful working parts and functions of our bodies. I mean, it shouldn't be surprising because I feel the same way, but it's just really shared, you know?

CHANG: That we could have so much shame for things that happen naturally to the body.

ALTMAN: Yeah. Like, when you just really look at it, you're like, you know, these things are also helpful to us. And if we can kind of reframe it in that way - you see sweat and the sweat researcher that I talked to said that if we were overheating and we couldn't sweat, we'd basically die in, like, 20 to 30 minutes. So when I see my own sweat stains now on my pits, which is probably daily...


ALTMAN: ...I try to appreciate that that's where we've come from. That's how we're human.

CHANG: That's my body working hard to keep me alive.

ALTMAN: Yeah. And I think that researching or learning about our bodies can also lessen19 the shame around it.

CHANG: Mara Altman is author of the new book "Gross Anatomy: Dispatches From The Front (And Back)." Thank you very much. This was a lot of fun.

ALTMAN: Thank you so much. It was wonderful.



1 flirting 59b9eafa5141c6045fb029234a60fdae     
v.调情,打情骂俏( flirt的现在分词 )
  • Don't take her too seriously; she's only flirting with you. 别把她太当真,她只不过是在和你调情罢了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • 'she's always flirting with that new fellow Tseng!" “她还同新来厂里那个姓曾的吊膀子! 来自子夜部分
2 anatomy Cwgzh     
  • He found out a great deal about the anatomy of animals.在动物解剖学方面,他有过许多发现。
  • The hurricane's anatomy was powerful and complex.对飓风的剖析是一项庞大而复杂的工作。
3 hilarious xdhz3     
  • The party got quite hilarious after they brought more wine.在他们又拿来更多的酒之后,派对变得更加热闹起来。
  • We stop laughing because the show was so hilarious.我们笑个不停,因为那个节目太搞笑了。
4 embarrassments 5f3d5ecce4738cceef5dce99a8a6434a     
n.尴尬( embarrassment的名词复数 );难堪;局促不安;令人难堪或耻辱的事
  • But there have been many embarrassments along the way. 但是一路走来已经是窘境不断。 来自互联网
  • The embarrassments don't stop there. 让人难受的事情还没完。 来自互联网
5 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
6 truthful OmpwN     
  • You can count on him for a truthful report of the accident.你放心,他会对事故作出如实的报告的。
  • I don't think you are being entirely truthful.我认为你并没全讲真话。
7 authentic ZuZzs     
  • This is an authentic news report. We can depend on it. 这是篇可靠的新闻报道, 我们相信它。
  • Autumn is also the authentic season of renewal. 秋天才是真正的除旧布新的季节。
8 pointed Il8zB4     
  • He gave me a very sharp pointed pencil.他给我一支削得非常尖的铅笔。
  • She wished to show Mrs.John Dashwood by this pointed invitation to her brother.她想通过对达茨伍德夫人提出直截了当的邀请向她的哥哥表示出来。
9 repercussions 4fac33c46ab5414927945f4d05f0769d     
n.后果,反响( repercussion的名词复数 );余波
  • The collapse of the company will have repercussions for the whole industry. 这家公司的垮台将会给整个行业造成间接的负面影响。
  • Human acts have repercussions far beyond the frontiers of the human world. 人类行为所产生的影响远远超出人类世界的范围。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 erase woMxN     
  • He tried to erase the idea from his mind.他试图从头脑中抹掉这个想法。
  • Please erase my name from the list.请把我的名字从名单上擦去。
11 psychology U0Wze     
  • She has a background in child psychology.她受过儿童心理学的教育。
  • He studied philosophy and psychology at Cambridge.他在剑桥大学学习哲学和心理学。
12 scapegoat 2DpyL     
  • He has been made a scapegoat for the company's failures.他成了公司倒闭的替罪羊。
  • They ask me to join the party so that I'll be their scapegoat when trouble comes.他们想叫我入伙,出了乱子,好让我替他们垫背。
13 hormones hormones     
n. 荷尔蒙,激素 名词hormone的复数形式
  • This hormone interacts closely with other hormones in the body. 这种荷尔蒙与体內其他荷尔蒙紧密地相互作用。
  • The adrenals produce a large per cent of a man's sex hormones. 肾上腺分泌人体的大部分性激素。
14 exacerbate iiAzU     
  • WMO says a warming climate can exacerbate air pollution.世界气象组织说,气候变暖可能会加剧空气污染。
  • In fact efforts will merely exacerbate the current problem.实际上努力只会加剧当前的问题。
15 paraphernalia AvqyU     
  • Can you move all your paraphernalia out of the way?你可以把所有的随身物品移开吗?
  • All my fishing paraphernalia is in the car.我的鱼具都在汽车里。
16 legitimate L9ZzJ     
  • Sickness is a legitimate reason for asking for leave.生病是请假的一个正当的理由。
  • That's a perfectly legitimate fear.怀有这种恐惧完全在情理之中。
17 buffer IxYz0B     
  • A little money can be a useful buffer in time of need.在急需时,很少一点钱就能解燃眉之急。
  • Romantic love will buffer you against life's hardships.浪漫的爱会减轻生活的艰辛。
18 meander meander     
  • Visitors and locals alike meander along the sidewalks of the Seine River.游客与当地人沿着塞纳河岸漫步聊天。
  • They tumble down mountainsides and meander through flat farmlands.它们滚滚冲下山脊,蜿蜒穿过平坦的农田。
19 lessen 01gx4     
  • Regular exercise can help to lessen the pain.经常运动有助于减轻痛感。
  • They've made great effort to lessen the noise of planes.他们尽力减小飞机的噪音。
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