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Friday, March 3, 2017

Extra Credit: LIPS

On February 10th I attended a play hosted by the V-Day coalition at UCLA, which features a host of 18 monologues written and performed by UCLA students at the Northwest Campus Auditorium on the hill. The play is inspired by the “Vagina Monologues,” an episodic play composed of a number of monologues centered on the feminine experience. It includes many topics like rape, sex, love, orgasms, and menstruation. The Lips play is produced by and for UCLA students and is “born out of a frustration with VM’s equation of genitalia with gender, an anger about the injustice non-cis, non-binary, and non-heterosexual audience members being alienated by the “classic” show, and a need for a tangible change.”
            While I have never attended a presentation of the Vagina Monologues I highly appreciate the effort of those involved who attempt to represent and validate a larger range of experiences, while also creating a more inclusive space. I thought the performances were fantastic and each speaker fully captured my attention with their story. The play presented many topics like the struggles of Afro-Latino women and their Chingona empowerment and resistance, the non-binary options we wish Tinder had, and the experiences of being a fat lesbian in a heteronormative world.

            The most powerful monologue was performed by Maggie Sharpe which was creatively entitled “The Fat’s Out of The Bag.” Her performance was captivating and moving. She caught the attention of the entire crowd when she exclaimed, “FUCK YOU, I’M NOT FAT! I’ve lived in this body for 21 years… Two decades that I have poked and prodded and pinched and prayed that my body would or could change.” In a heteronormative world obsessed with attractiveness, gender conforming femininity, and thinness she became a “desexualized slob” who either would remain lonely or find someone with a strange fetish. She eventually found the attention of a man and she felt indifference and nothing, but that changed we she discovered and accepted her sexuality and her queer sexual orientation.

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