I love to read! I carry a book in my purse at all times and read it when I have a few seconds to spare. Each summer, I read through my To Be Read (TBR) pile that has accumulated during the school year. On vacation, nothing makes me happier than sitting on a sunny beach with a cold beverage and a good book, listening to the waves. You get it… reading is an important part of my life.
I enjoy books from many genres, but I will be honest, I usually find self-help books to be a little trite and vapid. Especially ones that deal with body image issues… they start off by being your sympathetic partner in crime and end with the writer becoming all they ever wanted to be because they did some diet or had a surgery that made the world a better place. But what if a book made it possible to love yourself and be your best self, EXACTLY AS YOU ARE? What if, for once, someone was willing to help you change your heart and not blame your body?Those books didn’t really seem to exist… until I found Jes Baker. http://www.themilitantbaker.com/
Jes Baker is a nationally celebrated author, mental health specialist, and a champion in the body positivity movement. In her book, Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living, Jes proposes that ALL bodies are good bodies. Right now. Exactly as they are. Say what?! With well-researched facts, compassionate advice, and the foul-mouthed humor of a kindred spirit, she challenges the reader to live in a way that audaciously breaks stereotypes.
This book gives you the tools to fight fat shaming and retrain your brain to speak kindness to yourself. It walks you, step by step, to the realization that every body is worthy of love and acceptance. It talks about the lies the health and beauty industry will tell you to make you their money-making prisoner. It gives you the power to reclaim the “f-word” and realize that being fat does not make you bad or decrease your value as a human. It gives you resources to all kinds of body positive people and mental health resources that can help support you on your body positive awakening. And it challenges you to do all sorts of activities that defy convention and just live an amazing life… as a gorgeously fat person.
Most importantly, the book emphasizes that body positivity is life-changing… not just for yourself, but everyone around you. “Body love really can contribute to the elimination of hate, competition, inequality, oppression, invisibility… creating opportunity and space for all. Believe it!” Awesome. Just think about that. When we stop hating ourselves, because we have been told that we are not enough for so long, and have the audacity to LOVE ourselves, we gain the empathy and compassion to see EVERYONE.
Honestly, reading this book was a game changer for me! It allowed to finally stop hating who I was and embrace my quirks. It prompted me to be bold and make changes that made ME happy, without having to please someone else. I started wearing the fashion that made me feel confident and happy. I rocked a two-piece Little Mermaid swimsuit at the beach. I started taking tap dancing lessons. I signed up for a 5K. I started standing up for myself and loving myself out loud, whether or not society agreed with me. It was freaking liberating!
Take the selfie. Enroll in the dance class. Wear the bathing suit. Go on the trip. Just go do all the things. Love yourself right now and stop apologizing for taking up space in the world.