Tag Archives: body image

Body Positivity Reading List

Abbey’s recent post on Jes Baker’s new book, Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Guide for Unapologetic Living, inspired me to write a longer post on body-positivity. I think that Baker’s book is great, but if I had a criticism, I’d say that the title is misleading. Body positivity is emphatically not just for girls and women, nor is it just for fat people.

Contrary to what you see in the media, we are not all supposed to look the same.

Contrary to what you see in the media, we are not all supposed to look the same.

Simply put, the body positivity movement is about feeling good about your body in a culture that constantly sends all of us messages about how we’re not good enough. Body positivity goes way beyond fat and thin; it’s about intersectionality — the ways that different aspects of our lives and identities intersect with our body image; it varies for everyone, but this might include race, disability, size, age, sexuality, gender presentation and more.

Again, I think Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls is a dynamic and accessible introduction to and exploration of the concept of body positivity, but as Baker herself points out, it’s far from the only book out there on this subject. Here’s a look at some additional options:

Children’s Books for Talking about Body Image

Disability and/or Health and Body Image

Gender and/or Sexuality and Body Image


Media and/or Advertising and Body Image

Race and Body Image


Art by Carol Rossetti – Click through for source.

This isn’t a fully comprehensive list, but it’s my hope that this is a good starting place for those interested in these topics. I also highly recommend spending some time with nontraditional  media; amazing things are happening in the body positive community online. Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls has a fantastic online resource list in an appendix, and  the #bodypositive, #bodypositivity, #medialiteracy and #effyourbeautystandards tags on Instagram and Tumblr are another good place to start.

Riots not diets,



Filed under Uncategorized

Occasionally Full of Awesome

I was crammed into a tiny dressing room; sweaty and tangled in my pants, trying on swimsuits in the most unflattering light possible. Because when you are trying on bathing suits, ten mirrors and 1000 watt fluorescent lighting is exactly what you need.

As I was trying on yet another top, I heard a girl crying because she was, “so fat,” and “so disgusting.” When I came out, I saw a girl who was all of 12 years old and was the tiniest little thing. This is the girl who thought she was disgusting and fat. How totally depressing.

Sadly, I realized I was doing the same exact thing in my head. The whole time I was trying on swimsuits, I had a running commentary of all the things “wrong” with my body. Instead of appreciating how strong and healthy my body is, I was focusing on perceived flaws. No amount of milk drinking is going to make my legs longer. I’m never going to be willowy at 5′ 5″ or have straight hair. These are genetic facts. I have a Masters Degree, a fulfilling, successful career and an amazing circle of family and friends…and I’m worried about cankles. OMG.

This is not the attitude that I want to pass on to the next generation of young women!

Thankfully, people smarter than me are working on it.

Melissa Wardy, creator of the website Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies is one of those people. When her daughter was 9 months old, she had an epiphany:

“Why in the world is my generation, the most educated, most well-traveled, most worldly generation of women ever…why are my contemporaries still raising our girls to wish upon a star in hopes that her prince may someday come? Why aren’t we teaching our girls to get into her rocket ship and find that star all on her own?”

Her website is devoted to changing the way we think about girls (“Redefine Girly”) and also educating us about media literacy, marketing, sexualization, gender stereotypes, and body image. It is home to the Waking Up Full of Awesome blog post that went viral and is currently hanging in my office. Feel free to buy me the t-shirt.

And there are people like my busy, busy, busy friend, Megan “Madge” Dietz, who writes about body image at Be Less Crazy, which includes the astonishingly helpful post Be Less Crazy While Shopping. She also released a book in June, Be Less Crazy About Your Body. Read the intro here at the Hairpin. I wish I could post the entire book right here, but I’ll give you some favorite highlights. Make sure you don’t miss the story, “The Best Time I Was A 200 Pound Beauty Queen.” Try the cringe therapy. I did it with my wedding video. Write a list of all the cool things your body does. If you’re lucky, someday you’ll see my list.

“Let me ask you this: 40 years from now, when you and I are rad old ladies cruising around the solar system in extravagant glowy caftans, do you want to hear girls asking Does this jetpack make me look fat? I swear to Mars, I will [xxxx] lose it. I will flip over a table and terrify everyone with my freakish oldster strength. Hold me back!”

The answer is NO. I’m done slinking around the pool, worrying about knee wrinkles and my butt.


-suzy, who swears her next couple of posts won’t be so heavy


Filed under Uncategorized