friendship

The secret benefits of a bloody great belly laugh.

Comedian Jackie Loeb explains just why the laughter of women is our most powerful weapon.

Listen! Frolicking about in the sky. It’s loud, contagious, can permeate through any bad situation. High pitched, guttural, resonant, bellowing. No one can resist or repel it. Look out… It’s women’s laughter. Everyone run for cover!

I just read the above paragraph to a friend of mine. She told me it sounded a bit “abstruse”. She then asked me what abstruse meant. I said I didn’t know. We both started laughing. Such is the power of laughter: Able to make vocabulary challenged ladies like ourselves forget our own language limitations, albeit for just a couple of giggles.

Women attend a self-help group meeting in Ma Gyi Cho village, Burma.

Laughter is an expression of a communal understanding. When we laugh we acknowledge the nuances of our relationships, our flaws, strengths and clout. Laughter is what unifies all women. It’s an all-inclusive involuntary action we all experience and it sounds pretty much the same regardless of where we live in the world. How empowering to know all women are bilingual and can laugh in any language. We really are a smart gender!

Laughter has been scientifically proven to have numerous health benefits. According to a medical website I just perused, laughter can strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Laughter has the potential to eliminate the need for doctor’s appointments and waiting in line at the chemist, thus leaving us women more time to wait in line at the bank, post office and outside the school principal’s office. See, laughter is the only time management app any woman really needs.

Nazma in Bangladesh, two years on from the Rana Plaza incident.

I have a friend who due to a physical ailment is forced to use a walking stick. She was pointing out all the perks of being out in public with her stick.

“My walking stick is like a magic wand, it gets me a seat on the bus, a discounted movie ticket and keeps undesirable men away.”

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I grabbed my friend’s stick and performed a truly inane dance routine with it. Life can take away my friend’s mobility but somehow it cannot take away her sense of humour or my appalling sense of timing.

Laughter has the power to diminish the seriousness of a situation. We can feel helpless, hopeless and completely overwhelmed, but somehow by laughing at our own problems we can reconnect, recharge and trick our brain into thinking everything is ok. Laughter is healing, cathartic, whips floppy abdominal muscles into shape and probably does something beneficial for our nether regions too, although I have nothing factual to base this on.

Jackie Loeb and Gretel Killeen.

‘Frocking Hilarious’ is a comedy event that features a dazzling array of Australia’s brightest and funniest female comedians. This humour-filled event uses comedy as a way to raise awareness to the plight of women around the world. Frocking Hilarious reinforces that women are strong in the face of adversity and laugh together as a way of getting through tough times. Who needs wine and chocolate when you’ve got fabulously funny woman on stage to belly laugh along with! Although wine and chocolate might enhance the experience. I’m not making any judgments.

Frocking Hilarious celebrates women’s rights through the power of women’s laughter. And as the old adage goes laughter is the colonic for the soul.

Frocking Hilarious is an uplifting night of entertainment featuring women who can laugh at themselves and the world around them. An important part of Frocking Hilarious’ work is building solidarity between people in Australia and women around the world.

“We believe laughter is a strong symbol of solidarity.”

As is chocolate!

I barely have the power to withstand the power of my own laughter.

Watch the video here.

Frocking Hilarious – Wed 13th May, Enmore Theatre
Gretel Killeen & Jackie Loeb -12th  -17th May, Factory Theatre

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