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One Body: A Retrospective


In August 2018, 50-something Catherine Simpson’s world was upended with a diagnosis of breast cancer. One long, hard year later, the cancer was in remission – yet Catherine felt changed. She couldn’t simply move on as if nothing had happened. Coming face to face with her mortality had altered her entire perspective.

From puberty onwards, Catherine had experienced body-shaming, sexual harassment, menstrual pain, severe morning sickness, postnatal depression, weight gain and hair loss. She had been catcalled, ogled, propositioned, judged, dismissed. In other words, she’d gone through things many women can relate to. And she’d responded with dieting, fasting, shaving, plucking, tanning, toning, covering up in baggy or too-tight clothes, and finding ways to hide.

Of course, she’d had plenty of joy and laughter, too. She’d had far more freedoms than her mother. But had things been easier or better for her daughters, so far? And how did her path through cancer treatment alter her feelings about her body?

One Body is the frank and very often funny story of how Catherine came to appreciate the skin she is in – to be grateful for her body and all that it does and is.

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