Over the past few months, you may have read a few of the features our friends at XOJane.com have done inviting readers to submit photos of what women's bodies -- their bodies -- look like without airbrushing. The site's readers were game, submitting photos of their naked bellies, bare morning faces, and, most recently, plus-size figures in "fatkinis." We were mesmerized by the honesty of the project and the pride the women who contributed took in their bodies -- the ones they have, not the imaginary ones someone told them they should have.
To keep that momentum going, we decided to do a callout of our own. This time, instead of faces or bellies or swimsuits, we're focusing on a part of the body possibly more charged for women than their bellies:
You read that right. We want you to send us pictures of your upper leg region, un-retouched, and then we are going to post them on the Internet. Don't all bombard our inbox at once.
Thighs are fraught. Even those "ideal" in size resist perfection. There really isn't much you can do about cellulite or stretch marks, despite the promises of advertisers. But we often make them problematic in ways beyond the physical. For the most intelligent, self-aware women, they can come to represent inadequacy, failure, loss of control -- even though they are, after all, just part of your equipment for getting around.
We all know intellectually that the size of your thighs (or stomach or butt) has absolutely no bearing on how good a person you are, how successful you are at your job, or how easy it is to get someone to have sex with you. But sometimes it's important to show it.
This week, we'd like to give thighs some long overdue appreciation.
Send a picture of yours to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with a caption expressing what you like about them or how you came to accept them. No faces or last names required.
This is hard, even if we don't want it to be, even if it shouldn't be. But by putting your thighs out there, you'll help convince someone else that there's nothing wrong with her own, and that she has nothing to hide.
LOOK: Women's Real Thighs, Un-Airbrushed