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The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

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A global movement guided by love. Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. Wo A global movement guided by love. Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world--for us all.


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A global movement guided by love. Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. Wo A global movement guided by love. Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies. The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world--for us all.

30 review for The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    thought provoking and full of good reminders. would definitely recommend giving it a shot if, i don't know, you have a body...maybe you don't feel awesome about it all the time...you get it. thought provoking and full of good reminders. would definitely recommend giving it a shot if, i don't know, you have a body...maybe you don't feel awesome about it all the time...you get it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Whitney Atkinson

    A book that makes you cry in chapter one is one that will stick with you, indeed. I loved this book. From the language of it to its message to its format, it spoke to me so much and I can envision just how wide-reaching this sort of messaging could be. I assumed this book was only going to be about body positivity and self love, but Sonya has spun all forms of diversity and marginalizations as aspects of the body. In this way, race, disability, sexuality, and gender are all intersecting forms an A book that makes you cry in chapter one is one that will stick with you, indeed. I loved this book. From the language of it to its message to its format, it spoke to me so much and I can envision just how wide-reaching this sort of messaging could be. I assumed this book was only going to be about body positivity and self love, but Sonya has spun all forms of diversity and marginalizations as aspects of the body. In this way, race, disability, sexuality, and gender are all intersecting forms and variations of types of bodies. In this way, racism/homophobia/sexism/etc. is a form of body terrorism (her coined term for prejudice against someone's body or their perceived appearance), and it can be corrected through being at peace with your own body (radical self love) and then creating a community that accepts their bodies and others' as well so that in the end, no one is judged by their body. Let me say, I just love that idea. I love that Sonya attacks these issues from the angle of acknowledging your own hypocrisy and privilege first. Most feminist books I read talk about how we, feminists, have one set of ideas we want to promote, but there are Others who are against our agenda, and the more opposed to one another we are, the more weaponized our vocabulary becomes. This book instead shows that often we're the perpetrators of the system because humans perpetuate the system and we ARE human. The writing of this book was just fantastic, as well. It's very mature and academic at times with the language and quotes that are punchy and poignant, but at the same time, Sonya inserts conversational bits and anecdotes to dispel too much of a lofty tone. Interspersed are little discussion questions to ponder and tidbits of information off to the side, and those interruptions almost made this read like a group book where I could stop and put the book down to discuss. I could see this being highly implemented in classrooms. Part of me is skeptical about whether even the toughest, most masculine men will ever buy into the idea of radical love solving all prejudice and hate, but it's that skepticism that this book encourages me to challenge. And I think that's an important focus of this book: question every thought and impulse you have. Don't let yourself be passive in a system that is upheld by the passivity of people who maintain default structures of white heteronormative body ideals. For that message alone, I was sold. Even though I'm pretty comfortable with my body so I think I'm already well on my journey, for such a short book, I think this is required reading no matter how you feel about yourself. This was validating in a personal sense but also gave me the inspiration to spread love instead of wielding my feminism like a sword. I anticipate that final chapter of advice will resonate with me for a long time.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    A solid introductory text about body positivity and its relations to social justice, oppression, and radical self-love. I appreciated Sonya Renee Taylor highlighting the role of capitalism, racism, and transphobia in promoting body shame. So many books and research articles about body image focus on cisgender, heterosexual white women’s experiences and often neglect the role of systems of oppression in making people dislike their bodies. Taylor draws several arguments about how various social in A solid introductory text about body positivity and its relations to social justice, oppression, and radical self-love. I appreciated Sonya Renee Taylor highlighting the role of capitalism, racism, and transphobia in promoting body shame. So many books and research articles about body image focus on cisgender, heterosexual white women’s experiences and often neglect the role of systems of oppression in making people dislike their bodies. Taylor draws several arguments about how various social inequities and injustices lead us to disdain nonnormative (e.g., nonwhite, nonthin or nonmuscular, etc.) bodies, as well as how we can cultivate radical self-love to view and treat our bodies better. She makes astute points about how professionalism promotes white supremacist and oppressive norms, how children’s bodies are not public property, and how color blindness blocks us from seeing each other and ourselves as who we truly are. I refer to The Body Is Not an Apology because I feel like there’s so much room for more writing about each of the topics Taylor presents in this book. While I loved pretty much all the ideas she raised, I wanted more depth about each of them, more intellectual richness and nuanced emotional exploration. For example, in one section she writes about how children’s bodies should not be treated as public property and then transitions right into the perils of color blindness, and I felt confused about how that transition happened, even though I appreciated both topics. Recommended to those who are interested in body image and want a quick foray into how social justice concepts and topics relate to body image. I so stand with Taylor’s message that we do not need to apologize for our bodies, no matter what they look like.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    If you are a person with a body, you should read this, even if you don’t think you have a bad relationship with said body.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sylwia

    Why I Recommend Bumping This UP On Your TBR: This is a MUST READ educational novel about how to live your best life and how to improve this world. The author is intelligent, has an impressive way with words, inspires, validates, and address many important topics that revolve around our health, our community/ies, and our world. I cannot emphasize enough how much I got out of this and how much I know that you will too.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    My favorite reviews of this one is about how "surface level" it is. That's the point, but the "surface level" is SO HARD to access because of how deeply embedded the garbage is and it feels selfish, self-centered, and weird to work on the surface of the self, which is the body. But once you do that surface work, it is radical, and it embeds more deeply, and you do truly become a body capable of helping others to find their own light and power. I loved this deeply, and it's so rare to see a body My favorite reviews of this one is about how "surface level" it is. That's the point, but the "surface level" is SO HARD to access because of how deeply embedded the garbage is and it feels selfish, self-centered, and weird to work on the surface of the self, which is the body. But once you do that surface work, it is radical, and it embeds more deeply, and you do truly become a body capable of helping others to find their own light and power. I loved this deeply, and it's so rare to see a body positive book that's not about middle class, able-bodied, cis white ladies feeling good about themselves. It's about how every person needs to step into the truth of THEIR body in order to liberate the bodies of everyone. It's simple and straightforward. Really. But it's not easy work in the least, and that's precisely the point Taylor hammers home.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Overall, I acknowledge that this book does contain important themes that can be helpful for a variety of people. However, this was not the kind of book I expected. Personally, the author's fast-paced style of stating many different facts about how body-shaming affects us each individually did not go deep enough into the core problems that lead people to criticize themselves and others. The content seemed pretty surface-level stuff, things that seem fairly obvious, but rebranded in order to make Overall, I acknowledge that this book does contain important themes that can be helpful for a variety of people. However, this was not the kind of book I expected. Personally, the author's fast-paced style of stating many different facts about how body-shaming affects us each individually did not go deep enough into the core problems that lead people to criticize themselves and others. The content seemed pretty surface-level stuff, things that seem fairly obvious, but rebranded in order to make it sound more powerful.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I enjoyed this, for the most part, and the author has a lot of interesting and insightful discussions about society and body image, touching on all walks of life, sexuality and gender. I just wish she'd toned down the use of the phrase 'radical self love'. It was repeated about 15,000 times, and almost made me feel as though I was being indoctrinated. I enjoyed this, for the most part, and the author has a lot of interesting and insightful discussions about society and body image, touching on all walks of life, sexuality and gender. I just wish she'd toned down the use of the phrase 'radical self love'. It was repeated about 15,000 times, and almost made me feel as though I was being indoctrinated.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Naeemah Huggins

    I finished it! It was a feat, trust me. Took me 4 or 5 months. It was exhausting and times and I felt punished my the reading, constant exhortations. I don't think I can recommend it. This is an attempt to be honest rather than tear down the book or the author. I think that the content and the message are important, however the delivery system leaves some to be desired. I finished it! It was a feat, trust me. Took me 4 or 5 months. It was exhausting and times and I felt punished my the reading, constant exhortations. I don't think I can recommend it. This is an attempt to be honest rather than tear down the book or the author. I think that the content and the message are important, however the delivery system leaves some to be desired.

  10. 5 out of 5

    lucy black

    I loved her message and some ideas really stood out for me. Generally I didn’t like the writing though, I found it hard to follow, I kept zoning out. Maybe it was the mix of academic and conversational tone. I think I’d much prefer to see her speak or do a workshop.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarina M

    I like how Taylor concentrated on self love instead of self esteem/acceptance. One major deterrent I have felt in the past is that if I accept my body for how it is, I will lose motivation for improvement of it. It has been hard to rectify this cognitive dissonance (trying to be body positive while holding onto the idea that SOMEDAY I will make some change that will result in being perfectly fit and thin). Loving yourself and your body is not so limiting. Loving yourself leads to improving yours I like how Taylor concentrated on self love instead of self esteem/acceptance. One major deterrent I have felt in the past is that if I accept my body for how it is, I will lose motivation for improvement of it. It has been hard to rectify this cognitive dissonance (trying to be body positive while holding onto the idea that SOMEDAY I will make some change that will result in being perfectly fit and thin). Loving yourself and your body is not so limiting. Loving yourself leads to improving yourself. A major theme in this book is that there is no ‘normal’ body and that most of the unfavorable body perceptions result from the societal pressure and resulting desire to fit into the ‘normal’ body standards. I somewhat agree; ideally differences should be celebrated and not scorned. The shame of not fitting in is truly awful and the perceptions we have about beauty are almost all learned. Even so, the problem with Taylor’s theory is that societal ideas are real. Money and law are social constructs, and are real because we agree they are real. Beauty is real and we are treated differently based on how we look. Self love will not necessarily change that. One other thing (and I am not accusing Taylor of this, but just feel like ranting about it because the topic overlaps), is that I feel a bit disheartened by the whole "every woman is beautiful” movement. My responses are Why do women HAVE to be beautiful? Saying that all women are beautiful is putting a nice lens on the same sexist principle; that women don't have value if they are not physically attractive. Ugly women have value too. Don’t get me wrong, I much prefer ‘big is beautiful’ and plus sized / diverse models to the alternative (especially alongside hateful judgey rhetoric), but still the whole underlying message is irritating. I believe Taylor when she says that a step toward self love is to stop asking other people to apologize for their bodies. Trying to not judge other people will make not judging myself much easier.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Francisca Ashley

    This is my first written review as I usually only give star ratings. However, this (audio)book was near impossible to get through. I had high hopes for this book, being that I am a woman that is all about empowerment, self awareness, and loving oneself entirely, as well as others. By no means have I always been this way. I am a 34 year-old Cuban mulatto with medium-toned skin that doctors deem as morbidly obese. I was raised in a racist neighborhood and experienced being bullied, abused, and aba This is my first written review as I usually only give star ratings. However, this (audio)book was near impossible to get through. I had high hopes for this book, being that I am a woman that is all about empowerment, self awareness, and loving oneself entirely, as well as others. By no means have I always been this way. I am a 34 year-old Cuban mulatto with medium-toned skin that doctors deem as morbidly obese. I was raised in a racist neighborhood and experienced being bullied, abused, and abandoned by my parents and others through most of my life. I say this to give perspective that I've, like almost everyone else, experienced negative things from outside forces that I internalized for a huge chunk of my life. It took a lot of reflection, self awareness, and internal conversation to transform to being a better person. My main dislike is Sonya's approach. I didn't appreciate the way she lumped everyone together as hateful people that need her to become better human beings. When she wasn't making people feel bad for doing something they may or may not have even done, she contradicted herself and turned us into victims of the aforementioned people's actions and words. Instead of writing this solely from her perspective and experiences, she says "everyone" or "you" or "we", seemingly to make herself not feel so alone when she was still a work in progress. She hasn't really acknowledged that people are capable of embracing others that are different. Instead she makes it seem like it's this impossible feat that we need her radical self-love "program" to be able to achieve it. It was like an infomercial in (audio)book form. People that already love, respect, and embrace themselves and others don't need something nonapplicable repeated to them. Shaming people to be better or telling them they're something they're not is not helpful. Not only is all of this daunting to listen to on repeat, it distances readers/listeners from being able to both relate to her and respect her views beyond the fundamentals of respecting her simply because she's a human being with an opinion. I wish she would have simply told us her entire story thus far from her point of view only, allowing us to see our similarities and personal wrongs on our own so we could consciously choose to make a change that has potential to be successful, using her advice only if we choose. Readers/listeners are not really given a chance nor choice with this book. I wholeheartedly agree that our society needs to be more accepting of everyone, advertisers convince us we need beauty products when we truly don't need anything, implicit bias is irrefutable, and there are people that shame and abuse others for being different to make themselves feel better about whatever it is they're going though. I do recognize what Sonya hopes to accomplish and truly respect her for not sitting silently on the sidelines. However, none of the above can change the fact that this (audio)book was challenging to get through.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    There are a lot of good words to live by in here. I read this book after hearing her interview with Brene Brown on her podcast. I kept thinking about the podcast after I heard it because there was a lot of insight in there. I didn't feel exactly the same way about the book There are a lot of good words to live by in here. I read this book after hearing her interview with Brene Brown on her podcast. I kept thinking about the podcast after I heard it because there was a lot of insight in there. I didn't feel exactly the same way about the book

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Nixon

    Def. one of the most important books you'll ever read. I struggle with the "body positivity" movement. On the one hand, yes, I agree that health and beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and no one should ever be shamed for their body, apologize for their body, or be kept from reaching their potential because of their body. That said, I have also seen this 'movement' used as a weapon to shame people who want to change their body in any way. My personal opinion is: If someone wants to wear makeup, Def. one of the most important books you'll ever read. I struggle with the "body positivity" movement. On the one hand, yes, I agree that health and beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and no one should ever be shamed for their body, apologize for their body, or be kept from reaching their potential because of their body. That said, I have also seen this 'movement' used as a weapon to shame people who want to change their body in any way. My personal opinion is: If someone wants to wear makeup, color their hair, get plastic surgery, change their body composition, wax/shave, or wear barely-there clothing, that's their business and their choice and it's not mine or anyone else's and we should not comment or tell them what to do or expect them to confirm to whatever we personally prefer or believe is "right". A few people have said to me "but what if they are doing that as self-harm! what if they have been "brainwashed" into doing the supressive/white/hollywood/privilege/whatever. YEP, still not our place to step in and parent or police. Keep the focus on yourself. THAT SAID, I am so glad Sonya took that approach with her book--it's informative and educational but comes down to #1 your body is not an apology and #2 practice radical self-love. Just focus on loving yourself and then loving everyone else without judging their choices or desires. Just LOVE. Personally and professionally I have been told I was too fat, too skinny, too this to that. The internet trolls are never happy! and youknow what? it's not my job to appeal or conform to their sexual preferences. Even if I work as a model.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Radical >“advocating or based on thorough or complete political or social change” >“designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased tissue” >“supporting massive, unmeasured, and rapid change” SELF-love Self-love in this sense is not to be confused with having a positive self-image nor to be likened to body positivity. It is much more than that. Radical self-love requires action to be put behind the thought process. It takes work. In The Body is Not An Apology, Taylor uses the body as a const Radical >“advocating or based on thorough or complete political or social change” >“designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased tissue” >“supporting massive, unmeasured, and rapid change” SELF-love Self-love in this sense is not to be confused with having a positive self-image nor to be likened to body positivity. It is much more than that. Radical self-love requires action to be put behind the thought process. It takes work. In The Body is Not An Apology, Taylor uses the body as a construct to bring about change. It outlines how we are programmed from a young age to take on toxic negative images about ourselves from the media, society and even our families. We have come to accept thin white cis- gender as the acceptable morphology for a body. In order to bring about understanding Taylor puts forth anecdotal evidence of our life as toddlers. During these early stages we are fascinated with our bodies – our tummies, our feet, our genitalia. Our younger years are full of the wonderment of self-discovery. By the time we have reached adulthood we have stopped accepting ourselves as being these glorious creatures, these miracles. Instead of acknowledging the human body -- our body -- as this beautiful miraculous invention, our mindset has shifted. Our noses are too wide. We have too much fat around our middle. Our hair is too curly, too straight, too thin, too short. You begin to feel self-conscious as you spend more time comparing your body to other bodies and attempting to hold yourself to this one “golden” aesthetic. You also concede to your implicit biases, projecting these images onto other people’s bodies. In this manner, our differences are used as vehicles as oppression. “Radical self-love demands that we see ourselves and others in the fullness of our complexities and intersections and that we work to create space for those intersections.” In The Body is Not An Apology, Taylor puts forth an action plan to dismantle this indoctrination process and what she calls “body terrorism”. While reading this book I became fascinated with Sonya Renee Taylor and felt compelled to learn more about her. In my internet search I came across this TED talk she did in October 2017. Bodies As Resistance Special thanks to Sisters With Aspirations for a copy of this awesome book. I would implore everyone to pick up a copy today!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sunny

    So wonderful! I want everyone who wants to be better and wants the world to be better to read this book

  17. 5 out of 5

    Niki

    DNF @23%. A classic case of "it's not the book, it's me", because this was nothing like I thought it'd be and that's the reason for my disappointment; the book is what it is, it's not its fault it's not what I wanted. I was expecting more of a memoir writing style instead of a pseudo-motivational, this-could-be-one-of-those-tapes-you-listen-to-in-your-sleep/ a self help seminar that uses a lot of "we" language to emphasize that we're all in this together. It's not "you", it's us~ I'm not giving t DNF @23%. A classic case of "it's not the book, it's me", because this was nothing like I thought it'd be and that's the reason for my disappointment; the book is what it is, it's not its fault it's not what I wanted. I was expecting more of a memoir writing style instead of a pseudo-motivational, this-could-be-one-of-those-tapes-you-listen-to-in-your-sleep/ a self help seminar that uses a lot of "we" language to emphasize that we're all in this together. It's not "you", it's us~ I'm not giving this a rating even though I usually give my DNFs a 1 star, because I think that someone could really benefit from this book. I just wasn't that person, and that's okay.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bre (Loc'd Booktician)

    So, this is my new bible! I need to be kinder to my body, and to other people’s body and be careful how I’m speaking “French.” I need to be mindful of the advertisements and things I say in front of the little ones in my life about my body. I need to stop avoiding or “being nice” around other bodies. Radical self love is a road and the length is unknown but I’m focused on staying on the road as much as I can!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Danika at The Lesbrary

    This would have been an amazing book to have as a teenager. I've read other fat-positive books, but I liked that this included all kinds of body shame/hatred. It also makes clear that we have to not only stop hating our own bodies, but also understand how body shame/hatred plays out on other people's bodies, and how it's incorporated into our laws and culture. Sonya Renee Taylor made for a great, entertaining narrator, but I do wish I had read the physical copy so that I could pause and reflect This would have been an amazing book to have as a teenager. I've read other fat-positive books, but I liked that this included all kinds of body shame/hatred. It also makes clear that we have to not only stop hating our own bodies, but also understand how body shame/hatred plays out on other people's bodies, and how it's incorporated into our laws and culture. Sonya Renee Taylor made for a great, entertaining narrator, but I do wish I had read the physical copy so that I could pause and reflect a little more as I read it. Highly recommended!

  20. 4 out of 5

    farith

    thanks to netgalley and berret-koehler publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. when the author began the book with the statement of radicalism, i feared that her narrative would focus on the exclusion of certain groups, but to my great surprise, she addressed the problem of body terrorism without leaving out people who often suffer from discrimination [from activism] (yes, i'm talking about trans exclusionary radical feminists,) and identified the real perpetrato thanks to netgalley and berret-koehler publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. when the author began the book with the statement of radicalism, i feared that her narrative would focus on the exclusion of certain groups, but to my great surprise, she addressed the problem of body terrorism without leaving out people who often suffer from discrimination [from activism] (yes, i'm talking about trans exclusionary radical feminists,) and identified the real perpetrators and promoters of body shame: harmful media and capitalism. that's what i really liked about "the body is not an apology." this isn't a book that only focuses on self-love and how to change your perspective about body positivism, but also goes beyond that and emphasizes the actual issues that oppress people who don't fit the "default" look that the media has been responsible for giving importance to. it's nice how she doesn't just display the problem but also gives solutions to it, for example limiting our media ingest because advertisers have an erroneous idea of how we, the consumers, look. this causes a lot of racial and gender stereotypes that are harmful to everyone and stops society from progressing. even if you feel comfortable with your body, i would recommend you read this book. radical love is for everyone and self-acceptance is something we all should practice. in the words of sonya renee taylor: "we must build in us what we want to see built in the world."

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hissa

    It felt a little bit preachy at times, which I totally get. But I felt like I was screamed at and lectured and maybe that was the intention of the author! There was some illuminating parts. Especially this quote:“Hating your body is like finding a person you despise and then choosing to spend the rest of your life with them while loathing every moment of the partnership.”🤯

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tomes And Textiles

    This book was exactly what I needed in this very moment. Empowering and impactful. Full review to come soon. Full review now up on TOMES AND TEXTILES. “Radical self-love demands that we see ourselves and others in the fullness of our complexities and intersections and that we work to create space for those intersections.” –Sonya Renee-Taylor, The Body Is Not An Apology 💛 R A D I C A L S E L F L O V E 💛 If you read this phrase once in this book, you read it a thousand times, and it feels like you are b This book was exactly what I needed in this very moment. Empowering and impactful. Full review to come soon. Full review now up on TOMES AND TEXTILES. “Radical self-love demands that we see ourselves and others in the fullness of our complexities and intersections and that we work to create space for those intersections.” –Sonya Renee-Taylor, The Body Is Not An Apology 💛 R A D I C A L S E L F L O V E 💛 If you read this phrase once in this book, you read it a thousand times, and it feels like you are being indoctrinated into a radical group of individuals who unequivocally love their bodies and it’s literally one of the most transformative feelings I have had reading in a long time. 💛 Sonya Renée Taylor The Body is Not an Apology literally challenges you to love yourself, unequivocally and tears down fatphobia, body hatred and societal pressures on the body. Renee even provides questions and worksheets in every chapter so you can literally do the work along the way! I felt loved in a way I hadn’t before and discovered so many myths and unknown facts about the body and advertising I hadn’t been aware of before. If you loved how Feminasty drilled into the capitalist nature of feminism, this book specifically tightens the conversation to just body acceptance and it’s GLOROUS. This may become a book I read every year just to refresh my understanding and learning. Like my review? Buy my a k0-fi!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Oyinda

    Book 33 of 2021 What's a book that has had the most impact on you? It's one thing for a book to evoke emotions in you, like make you cry, laugh, feel deep things etc. It's another thing for a book to teach you things - basically every book I read teaches me one thing or another has taught me one new thing, and a few have taught me many new things. It's totally something else when a book completely touches your soul and changes your life. I'm not even being dramatic. When I started this book, I didn Book 33 of 2021 What's a book that has had the most impact on you? It's one thing for a book to evoke emotions in you, like make you cry, laugh, feel deep things etc. It's another thing for a book to teach you things - basically every book I read teaches me one thing or another has taught me one new thing, and a few have taught me many new things. It's totally something else when a book completely touches your soul and changes your life. I'm not even being dramatic. When I started this book, I didn't know what to expect. I had seen some amazing reviews and from the blurb, the title, and the cover, I could deduce that it was a book about loving yourself no matter what. This book is a lot more than that. It's so open and raw and honest and pushes the readers to be completely honest with themselves as well, regardless of how painful that honesty might be. The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor is a book that makes you reflect on a lot, and the way its structured with questions and all, causes you to ask yourself those questions. And for me, when I read this and asked myself those questions, the answers weren't pretty. I cried a lot while I read this book, and I reconsidered a lot about my lifestyle choices in relation to my body. This book opened my eyes to a lot, and made me cry ugly tears. I was forced to ask myself so many hard questions and just like the author said, I didn't like a lot of the answers. I am not a stranger to a lot of the things mentioned in this book and while I have been able to free myself from a lot of body shame, there's still so much ingrained in me. Body terrorism and body shame were discussed at length in this book. She also dives into how lots of industry and political policies are basically always down to our bodies, and how the world is uncomfortable with many things about our bodies that confirm to norms or the binaries. There are a lot of things which we do consciously or unconsciously, which is basically us "apologizing" for our bodies. This realization stuck with me, and it's been a long and hard journey towards being better to myself and not "apologizing" for how I look anymore. She also examines the beauty industry, the gym and diet lifestyle, and how they are harmful. They basically thrive in this harmfulness and when they continue to make us feel bad for how we naturally look, we continue to pour millions of dollars into these industries to fit a certain standard. I'm glad I read this book and I'm so grateful for its existence. If you read one self help book this year, let it be this one. You won't regret it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Corvus

    This little book manages to be quite an inclusive guide and radical self love manifesto, especially for its size. Sonya Renee Taylor wrote her book with all kinds of people in mind- especially those predominantly left out of many self-love conversations- and she makes this clear regularly throughout the text. She catalogues a bit about her journey towards creating The Body Is Not An Apology website, and then delves into tackling radical self love as an attainable concept and lifelong journey. Tay This little book manages to be quite an inclusive guide and radical self love manifesto, especially for its size. Sonya Renee Taylor wrote her book with all kinds of people in mind- especially those predominantly left out of many self-love conversations- and she makes this clear regularly throughout the text. She catalogues a bit about her journey towards creating The Body Is Not An Apology website, and then delves into tackling radical self love as an attainable concept and lifelong journey. Taylor differentiates between radical self love and concepts such as self-esteem or self-acceptance, seeing the latter two as a "cease fire" with one's body. She invites us to seek out something more rewarding than a "truce" and that is radical self love. This involves things like tackling shame and guilt as well as creating a world that is supportive of all bodies- including those often pushed into the margins such as disabled people, trans people, people of color, and others. Taylor also explains much of the indoctrination and abuse against us and our bodies in this world as all part of a system of "body terrorism," which I believe is a term coined by the author and her organization (correct me if I am wrong.) I believe she did an excellent job of explaining just how entrenched toxic default societal expectations of how to have a body are in our culture. We are taught our entire lives that the "right" body is white, thin (but not too thin,) healthy, young, non-disabled, cis, heterosexual, and so on. Radical self love is for everyone- even including those who meet all of those characteristics, as this "ideal" is never attainable. Taylor teaches us that we must stand up for all bodies targeted by body terrorism- even if they are not our own- because, "When our personal value is dependent on the lesser value of other bodies, radical self-love is unachievable." Where I found Taylor going above and beyond many "body positive" thinkers do was the way she talked about health: "Equally damaging is our insistence that all bodies should be healthy. Health is not a state we owe the world. We are not less valuable, worthy, or lovable because we are not healthy. Lastly, there is no standard of health that is achievable for all bodies." This was a nice and more radical break from the "but fat/disabled/trans/etc people are normal and healthy!" trope that I often see that- while very well-intentioned and existing for obvious reasons as a response to oppressive pathologizing- tend to leave out those of us who aren't healthy. It was nice to see someone acknowledge that people dealing with chronic illness or other health issues fit into the equation of radical self-love. Even though this book is super radical and comprehensive, it is also exceedingly kind, patient, and loving. It continuously encourages the reader to keep going, to allow for and recover from mistakes, and to continue growing. It is a short read and a great companion to anyone interested in existing more comfortably in this world and especially at one with their body.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jenn "JR"

    You may have read a lot of books on mindfulness, personal transformation and working on your own personal roadblocks -- and you still need to read this book. Sonya Renee Taylor writes in a super friendly, accessible style and uses brilliant metaphors to help persuade you that you are not your thoughts and not all your thoughts were put in your head by yourself. One of the examples she uses to talk about radical self-love is the pot pie her mom would make for her when too busy to make dinner. She You may have read a lot of books on mindfulness, personal transformation and working on your own personal roadblocks -- and you still need to read this book. Sonya Renee Taylor writes in a super friendly, accessible style and uses brilliant metaphors to help persuade you that you are not your thoughts and not all your thoughts were put in your head by yourself. One of the examples she uses to talk about radical self-love is the pot pie her mom would make for her when too busy to make dinner. She rhapsodizes about the crispy flaky crust with little chopped up bits of chicken in gravy - but she hated the mixed vegetables. Radical self-love is loving the whole pot pie -- even if you hate peas -- because that's just a small part of a greater whole that you love and which makes you feel good. She also talks about erasure -- a concept that isn't easily understood by the white majority who insist they are "color blind" and don't judge people based on skin color. Racism is institutional -- while you as an individual may not be prejudiced, people of color still experience disadvantage and poor treatment. By denying that race/skin color matters -- you're erasing the actual, current experiences of others instead of offering to be an ally and working to collaborate on effective solutions by opening people's hearts. Starting with, of course, radical self-love! She also offers a very compelling explanation of implicit bias (aka intrinsic/inherent) by comparing it to the language a human baby learns from their environment. Taylor offers three pillars for moving forward into a world of radical self love: "1. Make peace with not understanding. 2. Make peace with difference. 3. Make peace with our bodies." She also provides a list of 14 practical ways to practice and a 10-item toolkit in the last chapter. Essentially, she is providing access to a whole pile of Buddhist/New Age information but in a language that can be more easily accepted by an audience who might feel left out of that world because of perceived differences. Taylor emphasizes getting to know oneself, as well as getting to know and accept others, without judgement and with much listening and acceptance. Taking time to meditate and observe without judgement, including mantras for fostering radical self-love and an emphasis on self care are all excellent advice. Compassion for oneself and for others is a great place to start making change in the world around you.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I’m familiar with and always working on self love, so I didn’t think I “needed” this book - but I did, and I’m so grateful I picked it up on a whim. This book is about more than liking the way you look, it’s about how social change and societal transformation starts with loving ourselves & our bodies, radically. It’s about the many ways oppression wreaks havoc on our bodies and how we can combat it - with practical tips and guided self inquiry. I want to reread this book slowly, working my way t I’m familiar with and always working on self love, so I didn’t think I “needed” this book - but I did, and I’m so grateful I picked it up on a whim. This book is about more than liking the way you look, it’s about how social change and societal transformation starts with loving ourselves & our bodies, radically. It’s about the many ways oppression wreaks havoc on our bodies and how we can combat it - with practical tips and guided self inquiry. I want to reread this book slowly, working my way through & journaling with all the questions she has us ask ourselves throughout the book. Highly recommend!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erin Glover

    A must-have book for people who have fallen trap to body-shaming themselves. It's also for those who have been sucked up into the cultural norms that define a perfect body and need help softening their attitudes toward people who inhabit different types of bodies. The book explores the negative reactions to gay bodies and transgender bodies, along with fat bodies. Taylor encourages everyone to be more open toward people of different body types. A must-have book for people who have fallen trap to body-shaming themselves. It's also for those who have been sucked up into the cultural norms that define a perfect body and need help softening their attitudes toward people who inhabit different types of bodies. The book explores the negative reactions to gay bodies and transgender bodies, along with fat bodies. Taylor encourages everyone to be more open toward people of different body types.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    4-2-2018 -- Six stars! Thoughts to come. 2-10-2021 -- Although I still haven't properly expressed my love of this book here on Goodreads, I'm adding here that I just saw the 2nd edition came out on 2-9-2021: 9781523090990. Maybe this is the one I'll buy for my bookshelf. :) 4-2-2018 -- Six stars! Thoughts to come. 2-10-2021 -- Although I still haven't properly expressed my love of this book here on Goodreads, I'm adding here that I just saw the 2nd edition came out on 2-9-2021: 9781523090990. Maybe this is the one I'll buy for my bookshelf. :)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    Short, but powerful.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Roxie |The Book Slayer| Voorhees

    A quick read into the power of self-love. Pieces seemed redundant, but overall a great reminder to unleash my power within.

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