Mara Altman Pablo Mason


Mara Altman

Aug. 23
7 p.m.

Bodies can be disgusting or fascinating, depending on your perspective. Author Mara Altman is on a mission to move the collective take on all things corporeal from “Ick!” to NBD. In her new book,Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (and Back), she pairs memoir with reportage to examine the entire female body, from chin hairs to hemorrhoids. By laying it all bare, she hopes to eradicate the shame surrounding what are completely natural bodily phenomena, like sweating, vaginal odor, and even belly button lint. While being concerned with body sights and smells might seem trivial at first, getting comfortable talking about the weird things bodies do is crucial to well-being—and even survival. As one colorectal nurse Altman interviewed said, women “literally die of embarrassment” because they refuse to tell their doctors that something’s off. But it doesn’t have to be this way; by encouraging sharing and reframing how bodies are discussed, Altman envisions a culture where bodies are embraced and women aren’t afraid to talk about them when something goes awry. The discussion will be moderated by the Loft’s Steph Opitz.