I’ve known LovesBooks online for years, and last week when we realized we were both at the same conference, we finally had a chance to meet in person. We met for breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and we plunged immediately into intimate conversation, talking about grief and death, kids and parenting, and our goals for the future. Then she came up to my hotel room, took off her clothes, and climbed up onto the windowsill so that I could take a photo of her naked.
It’s what I’ve come to expect from blogger meet-ups.
The naked photo project means that as soon as I meet someone who reads my blog, we begin talking about body image — and our relationship with our own bodies. LovesBooks and I talked about how our culture tends to focus so much on what our bodies look like and whether or not they fit into certain rigid stereotypes. “As I get older,” LovesBooks said, “I find that I am not focused on what my body looks like. I’m appreciating what my body can do. I like that I’m strong enough to carry a kayak or canoe.”
That sentiment resonated with me. Especially as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to value a body that is still strong enough to hike, swim, kayak, cross-country ski, and walk for hours in a city without getting tired. I rarely even think about what I look like or what I will look like as I continue to age. My health and how my body functions is my priority.
I snapped photos quickly while LovesBooks balanced precariously on the windowsill, with me yelling, “Don’t fall and get hurt! That would be missing the point of the project altogether.” After she climbed down, we looked at the photos on my laptop, and we talked about what pseudonym to use. The name LovesBooks was an obvious choice. She loves to read, she loves to write, and she even loves books so much that she’s made them herself: that is, making the paper. That's a real commitment to books.
Read more about the history of the naked blogging project and check out the gallery of photos.