Hello oh lovely real women (and the men who love them)! I am so fired up about the I Am Project because I believe it can and will truly change lives. That may sound dramatic but I don't think it is. Picture this...I am 14 years old and my friend and I are staring at the contestants for the teen model search in some magazine. We are scrutinizing their flawless and (at the time) air-brushed faces in awe. Next, we look in the mirror and talk in great detail about what is wrong with us and about how jealous we are of those other girls. We discuss with disgust our blackheads, our pimples, our cellulite, our yucky hair...we really got into it! And this wasn't the first time either...we spent perhaps thousands of teenage hours fretting both verbally and internally about what is wrong with the way we look. I was well trained by the media (and other influences) to despise my appearance. I cannot begin to express how terribly sad this is to me now, for so many reasons. Sometimes I think about what I could have been doing with all of those lost hours and its just too tragic to really entertain. Once I was in college and began taking sociology, anthropology, and women's studies classes, I could see how I'd been duped. I've spent the last 17 or so years rebuilding my idea of what a woman actually looks like and training myself to understand that there is beauty in all of us. I've become a celebrator of what is natural in life. My involvement in this project is the culmination of so much anger, soul-searching, journaling, accepting, and down-right WORK that I've been doing for nearly two decades. How is it radical or revolutionary to think/see/say that all women have "imperfections" like blobs of fat, pimples, moles, freckles, hair in "odd" places, stretch marks, etc...? For this to be revolutionary talk is just proof of how far from reality we've come! So anyway, I believe the I am project can bring on much needed change because it will show people the truth of what women look like. Some of us are tall, some of us short. Some of us are very thin, some medium, some large. Some of us have pale skin while some of us have dark skin. Some of us have wrinkles and some of us don't yet...you get the picture. I'm going to have to write much more about this later - so very much to say!