Women and their Bodies

Conversation Guide

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The only relationship that lasts a lifetime is the one we have with our bodies. History and current society are riddled with expectations around the female body: what it should look like, be used for, and accomplish. The tides are turning with comparatively more female representation in positions of power and efforts to uncover and recognize the historical contributions of women. Yet, what we see on TV is often airbrushed and photoshopped, filters on our phones allow us to follow suit and post altered versions of ourselves. Female bodies are still objectified, violated and politicized. How have all these factors shaped the relationship you have with your body? What joys and pains have you experienced as a woman in society today? What do you hope for moving forward?

Let's Get Started!

Living Room Conversations offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for about 90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. No preparation is required, though background links with balanced views are available on some topic pages online. Anyone can host using these italicized instructions. Hosts also participate. 

Introductions:
Why We're Here (~10 min)

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.

Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Conversation Agreements:
How We'll Engage (~5 min)

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)

  • Be curious and listen to understand.
  • Show respect and suspend judgment. 
  • Note any common ground as well as any differences. 
  • Be authentic and welcome that from others. 
  • Be purposeful and to the point. 
  • Own and guide the conversation. 

Question Rounds:
What We’ll Talk About

Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.

Round 1:
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:

  • What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are?
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?

Round 2:

Women and their Bodies (~40 min)

One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.


Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional questions as time allows..

  • What messages around bodies have had the most influence on you? Where did they come from? How do they impact your mental and emotional health?
  • How has your relationship with your body changed over time? What brought on those changes?
  • How has your self-concept been affected by media and social media? How do you manage that?
  • When do you feel strong and empowered by your body?
  • Which body issues are unique to women? How have they impacted your life?
  • What wisdom would you pass on to the next generation of women? What do you hope for them?

Round 3:
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
  • What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
  • How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?

Closing (~5 min)

  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.

Thank You!