“My life, my rules” with Emily Hampshire: this shame that women have for their bodies

Emily Hampshire becomes the mother of Maddie Ziegler, former muse of the singer SIA, in a sparkling comedy-drama My life, my rulesby Molly McGlynn, a film about the sexual and medical tribulations of a teenage girl.

Sexual and medical? Yes, because Lyndi (Maddie Ziegler) has MRKH syndrome (Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser). She discovers her condition by chance while she goes to consult a gynecologist, a man, which results in a scene that is both humorous and disgusting. She thus finds out that she does not have a uterus or cervix and that her vagina is atrophied.

Consequently, if she wants a “normal” sized vagina so that penetration is possible, she must use vaginal dilators… a program that is not necessarily pleasant when you are a teenager discovering your body and your only desire is to lose your virginity.

Emily Hampshire plays Rita, Lyndi’s mother and since Molly McGlynn wrote this film, because she herself suffers from MRKH syndrome, the Montreal-born actress did not hesitate for a minute before accepting the role.

“When I read the script, one scene caught my attention. When Lyndi looks for other women with MRKH syndrome, the only woman she finds is…Hitler’s wife! From that moment I knew that tone resonated with me,” explains Emily Hampshire during an interview with the QMI Agency.

body shaming

“I also focused on Rita’s relationship with her mother and held on to the shame we have about our bodies that is passed down from generation to generation. Rita in no way wants to convey this to Lyndi…and yet she realizes that she is her like her mother.”

Because Lyndi tries to adapt to this syndrome that embarrasses her and that she wants to hide at all costs. Betrayed by her body, the teenager tries to have a “normal” sex life and realizes that she must stop hiding what she is experiencing.

“We have long been accustomed to seeing films written, for the most part, by white men. This started to change recently. When a woman or a member of a community presents her story candidly, we gain another point of view. This is what attracted me My life, my rules. When you tell a story so precise and intimate, it becomes universal. The best way to reach people is to be completely honest and authentic,” emphasizes Emily Hampshire.

Inspired by Molly McGlynn’s mother, Rita’s character also battles her own demons and tries to help her daughter.

“This is the consequence of the #MeToo movement in a broader sense. When women show something they have been taught to be ashamed of, it allows other people to do the same, to say “me too,” so that the shame dissipates. Showing her daughter her mastectomy scar, Rita tells her, “me too,” and this helps ease her anguish and pain.

“I think what Lyndi says, ‘I’m a woman without a vagina,’ is taking back ownership of her body. Shame feeds on silence, as soon as we bring to light what shames us, this monster that is shame disappears,” she says.

My life, my rules hits the screens from February 2.

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