Mr. Webster defines ''stomach" as the organ into which food passes from the esophagus or gullet for storage, while undergoing the early processes of digestion.
Eve Ensler, creator of ''The Vagina Monologues," used to define her stomach as the part of the body that needed to be flat in order for her to think of herself as good. Now she thinks of her stomach as a part of her body that, like the rest of her, should be celebrated.
After seeing her latest monologue, ''The Good Body" at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, I would define Eve Ensler's stomach as a vagina without a well-developed sense of humor.
''The Vagina Monologues" was a breakthrough piece of theater that catapulted Ensler to fame in the late 1990s. In it she alternated bits like ''If your vagina could talk, what would it say?" -- One answer was ''Slow down" -- with deadly serious poems about rape. The result was a program that felt liberating in every sense of the word.
Ensler makes no bones about her radical feminism, but ''The Vagina Monologues" always felt driven by art and communalism. ''The Good Body" feels driven by agendas and self-absorption.
Ironically, it's self-absorption that seems to most rile Ensler. She is irate that all those days in the gym in search of firmness would have been better spent in political activism. Her self-loathing, centered in her stomach, stems, in large part, from ''moving away from my body in order to get away from my father" whom she charges with invading her.
It's a terrible story, as are many of the stories of abuse that she tells during the course of the 80 minutes or so. Dramatically, the most effective parts of the monologue are her recounting the tales of other women, many of whom Ensler began envying for the firmness of their bodies. Eventually she would discover that they had been molested in other ways -- surgery to remove fat, surgery to tighten vaginas, surgery to remove breasts.
Ensler's own self-analysis, though, seems like lame skit comedy (working out with the fascist physical trainer, breaking down and inhaling three bowls of pasta) mixed with predictable politics (real women have curves and roundness, ''Cosmopolitan" magazine offers a false ideal).
It's as if the whole show is heading toward declaring: I am woman with flab, hear me roar.
In the introduction to the published version of ''The Good Body" she says, ''I am stepping off the capitalist treadmill." And sure, there's no doubt that many Americans are overly consumed with staying thin while others are caught in what is questionably called the obesity epidemic.
Ensler had an epiphany of sorts in Africa where a Masai woman told her that all the trees are different shapes, why should women be all of one shape? ''You've got to love your tree," she says.
But did she need to travel so far for such wisdom?
How about, moderation in all things.
Healthy body, healthy mind.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes a diet and exercise program is a source of good health and not a patriarchal form of oppression.
We can all cheer that Ensler can celebrate her stomach along with her vagina in ''The Good Body," but this journey feels more like a forced march.
Ed Siegel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.