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John Mayer thinks "your body is a wonderland," and the Office of Health Education wants you to tell them why.

For "The Body Project," a collaboration between the OHE and Guidance for Understanding Image, Dieting and Eating, students, faculty and staff will be invited to submit video testimonials about body image.

Participants can talk about almost anything that relates to the body - the point is to "create a real full picture of the variety of issues that affect and influence body image and our self-perceptions," said Matty Lehman, associate director at OHE.

"It's not solely focusing on your weight," added OHE intern and Graduate School of Eduation student Sara Rosenberg, who works with Lehman on the project. "It's everything that makes up who you are and your body, and the way you present yourself."

Potential subjects could include skin color, hair and age - even the "way you decorate your body" is fair game, said Rosenberg.

The project is intended to complement OHE's monthly campaigns, such as the previous "Love Your Body" campaign, said Lehman. "We really wanted to do something different."

Contributors can either film their own videos or make an appointment to film with Lehman at OHE. They can also opt to remain anonymous by having their face blurred or obscured to preserve their identity.

Filming began in early December, and Lehman estimated that about 25 filming requests have been submitted to date.

"We hope to have enough participants that we have a really broad spectrum of different issues that come up," said Lehman. "Some are really funny, some are really serious, some are really touching." She added that she aims to have at least a half-hour of video footage for the final compilation.

In an effort to preserve anonymity, Lehman declined to reveal participants' names.

At the earliest, the project will debut in late March as part of GUIDE's routine presentations and workshops on body image.

Submissions will be accepted "at least" through early March, according to Lehman.

The project evolved from "The Body Monologues," a prior OHE video compilation presented in spring 2001.

OHE director Susan Villari said the earlier project was a success.

"I think people were intrigued," she said, explaining that "The Body Project" is more inclusive and "more contemporary," and adding that she hopes the new project touches on a wider range of topics.

"It's a personal narrative," said Lehman. "It's the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings with other folks, and provide a common experience among Penn students."

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