Love the Skin You’re In

Need a little help? See the "In My Body" project this weekend

Whether it comes in the form of shockingly thin TV stars, Photoshopped models, family, peers, or the reflection in the mirror, the societal pressure to look better, thinner and more youthful is all around us. On Sunday, December 12, 2010, the KatherineAlexandra Foundation and the Wexler Gallery will host the “In My Body” project, a part-photo exhibit, part-concert, part-discussion event that raises the important question: Are we truly at home in our bodies?

Inspired by local artist Leah Macdonald’s photos and by award-winning musical artists Dan Martin and Michael Biello’s song, “In My Body” (which tells of a journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance and pride), the event will inspire Philadelphians to love and respect their own bodies.

“The overall theme is diversity and how unique we all are,” says Macdonald. The 40 black-and-white photos, which Macdonald then painted over with beeswax and oil paint, highlight both our similarities—mainly, that we all go through life with only one body—and our many differences. “My goal was not to photograph everyone with a big, smiling face,” says Macdonald. “My goal was to tell the truth about their struggles and experiences.”

The event will start with an hour-long roundtable discussion on self-esteem, learning to love one’s body and changing the image of the “perfect body” to a more realistic, healthy body in the 21st Century.  “I especially hope that people with body issues or who are struggling with their mental health will make the time to come out,” says Macdonald. The expert panel will include a plus-size clothing designer, fitness experts, and the head of the art therapy program at the Renfrew Center, the country’s first residential eating disorder treatment facility.  — Kelsey Stone

$20, brunch included. December 12, 11:30 a.m. at the Wexler Gallery, 201 North 3rd Street

For more information about the “In My Body” project and upcoming events, please visit Join the In My Body group and community page on Facebook and follow updates on Twitter @inmybody.