I often receive emails from women wondering the best way to kick-start their self love journey. My answer is always the same: surround yourself with body positive media.
The second I started reading body positive books, my life was transformed. While I have my reality challenged daily by wonderful online resources, there was something about holding tangible evidence in my hand that said "you are okay just the way you are". When I recently re-published my blog recommendations I was sure to include a list of books as well. The more you incorporate positive media into your life, the easier body acceptance will come. Books can be a support system all on their own! I compiled the best of the best for your perusing pleasure. Some I've read seven times, some I haven't yet, but the list is worth a browse regardless.
*It's important to realize that while some of these seem "fat focused", body positivity is for all shapes and sizes. I would recommend flipping through every book mentioned below no matter what body type you identify with. Self love is self love, yknowwhatimean?
Hot and Heavy: Second favorite body positive book. Virgie compiled absolutely transcendent essays by powerful body love voices and the writing in this is spectacular. Some of the best quotes in existence live in this book.
The Beauty Myth: A feminist standard. This book has enhanced my understanding about why we've learned to hate ourselves. History, economy, and body image are inextricably connected and Naomi outlines this perfectly.
The Fat Studies Reader: Fat studies in academia. It exists. The first chapter in this "textbook" re-framed everything I ever knew about American history and our fucked up view on body size. Highly highly highly recommended.
Fat!So? This book is an original. It reminds me of an even sassier Sark book who's sole focus is to help you embrace those rolls. Paper dolls, craft ideas, and bad ass reality check included.
Two Whole Cakes: After reading Lesley's article in Bitch Magazine on fatshion, I purchased this guy. It was a great call. Lesley is one of my favorite fatvocates of all time and I would hand this in a heartbeat to any person wanting an introduction to fat positive literature.
Health at Every Size: is the holy grail of fat + health lit. Read it. Two others that come recommended as well are The Fat Chick Works Out and especially The Unapologetic Fat Girls Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts.
Big Big Love and Fat Sex cover the simply-not-talked-about-enough subject of body positive sexuality. Rachele reviewed Big Big Love here. Read My Hips looks wonderfully promising as well.
There is only one book so far that I've hated: Fat Chicks Rule. I stopped reading it the instant she started putting down thin women in order to build fat chicks up. This is one of the most unproductive body love tactics that exists, and I'll have no part in any of it. Until we approach self acceptance with the idea that all bodies are good bodies, we will get absolutely nowhere. Straight up truth.
What books have altered your world lately? Do you have any reviews or recommendations for me while we're on the subject?