Banishing Body Shaming
Are you one of the many people who have trouble accepting their bodies? Perhaps when you were a child, you were teased because of your body, or you're frustrated with not having the body you dream of. There's a lot that could be said about this, but I've just read a book that I would like to recommend to anyone who is struggling with their body. The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love, by Sonya Renee Taylor.
What I liked about this book is that it is overtly political. It points out that we are making radical self-love impossible when we tolerate unjust structures that shame our or others' bodies for being anything that isn't the "default human". Since a very small number of us are young, athletic, svelte, white, blond, and able-bodied, we are in essence constantly shaming ourselves and others at the same time. And all of this is in service of a bunch of people who want to make you miserable because then you'll buy their stuff.
She writes, "When our personal value is based on the lesser value of other human beings, radical self-love is impossible." And “Living in a female body, a Black body, an aging body, a fat body, a body with mental illness is to awaken daily to a planet that expects a certain set of apologies to already live on our tongues. There is a level of “not enough” or “too much” sewn into these strands of difference.”
This book helped me see my own and others' bodies differently, with less judgment and more empathy. I hope it will do the same for you.