Living Out Loud Volume 2: your body is a wonderland

After the great success of our first Living Out Loud Project, let's try it again! Lately, I've noticed a lot of people lamenting their bodies. Maybe we've all reached that cold weather slump after our New Year's Resolutions and we're disillusioned with what we see in the mirror. We've been diligent with our grapefruit diet, we've gone to the gym, we got a new hairstyle and it's still just not cutting it. I'm sad, though, to think so many people would give their own bodies an annual evaluation of "Needs Improvement" year after year without any sort of positive reinforcement. You wouldn't do that to an employee, you wouldn't do that to your child, and yet your tell yourself every day that you've been measured (perhaps literally) and found lacking.

Our body is our closest companion and the relationship we have with it shapes every other relationship we have with the outside world. So now is the time for us to snuggle up and write down what we love about ourselves physically. You don't have to pick a certain body part, but you can if you choose. Maybe you love the way your hair looks fresh out of the shower. Maybe you relish in being double-jointed or missed your calling as a hand model. Maybe God graced you with a great rack. Maybe you take for granted that you can heft a 40lb. bag of dog food by yourself and not fall over.

Tell us what makes you hot stuff. Perhaps just putting the words down will affirm them in your heart. Everyone has something that sets them apart physically. It's part of the magic of our diverse species. So revel in it for a bit and share it with the rest of us.

This project has a second part to it as well. With your submission, I'd like you to provide a current photo of yourself that pleases you. This means don't submit your baby portrait, but a photo that when you look at it you think, "yeah, I should probably print that out." The photo doesn't have to compliment your essay about your aforementioned hot stuff (or exemplify how you can carry a bag of dog food unassisted). It just has to be a photo that pleases you. I realize this means some of you will have to pull out the camera and take a photo of yourself, but that's part of the fun!

To make it a little less confusing than last month, once you have written your entry (with photo), email me the link to your blog post. If you don’t have a blog or web site to publish your submission, feel free to email the text and photo to me instead. Any email entries I receive that aren't blog posts, I will publish (with credit to you) on my site so everyone can read them. Remember that if you are using LiveJournal and normally lock your entries, please make this one entry public.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm eastern on Sunday February March 1 (whoops). Once I have compiled all the submissions, I will make a list of them with links for you all to enjoy. And again, like last month, one writer will receive a prize for his or her efforts.

So have at it and flaunt what your mamma gave you!