A Body Positive booklist for the New Year

It’s January and that means we’re being bombarded from all angles with diet ads, fitness challenges, and the endless “New Year, New Me” messages.  It can be hard keeping these negative body messages at bay, especially after the Christmas/New Year period when we’ve all been enjoying the celebratory kai and chilling out over summer.

Thankfully, there are plenty of excellent books available to help you get back to loving your body and feeling good about yourself.  Here are a few we have in our collection:


Body positive power : how learning to love yourself will save your life / Crabbe, Megan Jayne
“We’ve been convinced that happiness is something that only comes once we hit that goal weight, get those washboard abs, shrink ourselves down and change every part of ourselves. We believe that our bodies are the problem, but this is not true. It’s how we’ve been taught to see our bodies that’s the problem… It’s time for us all to stop believing the lies we’ve been fed about what it means to be beautiful, and take our power back. Megan’s body image issues began when she was five years old. She spent her childhood chasing thinness, and at fourteen found herself spiralling into anorexia. After recovery she spent years dieting, binging, losing and gaining weight. But then she found body positivity, quit dieting, and finally escaped the cult of thin. Now she’s determined to let as many people as possible know the truth: that we are all good enough as we are.” (Catalogue)

The body is not an apology : the power of radical self-love / Taylor, Sonya Renee
“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” (Catalogue)

Size sexy : how to look good, feel good, and be happy – at any size / Ellis, Stella
“”I like to say that my hourglass figure is more like an hour and a half”–Stella, as quoted in O Magazine. To become a “muse” to Jean-Paul Gaultier, you have to be someone special, and Stella Ellis filled that role when she rocked the modeling world.” (Catalogue)

More than a body : your body is an instrument, not an ornament / Kite, Lexie
“Positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good; it is knowing your body is good, regardless of how it looks. How do you feel about your body? Have you ever stayed home from a social activity or other opportunity because of concern about how you looked? Have you ever passed judgment on someone because of how they looked or dressed? Have you ever had difficulty concentrating on a task because you were self-conscious about your appearance? Our beauty-obsessed world perpetuates the idea that happiness, health, and ability to be loved are dependent on how we look, but authors Lindsay and Lexie Kite offer an alternative vision.” (Catalogue)

Embrace yourself / Brumfitt, Taryn
“Body positivity from the maker of documentary Embrace – how to love the skin you’re in and embrace yourself.” (Catalogue)

Screw inner beauty : lessons from the fat-o-sphere / Harding, Kate
“A sassy, sexy, no-holds-barred book for everyone – fat or thin – who’s tired of being told they are too big, thin, tall, short, wrinkly.” (Catalogue)

Fattily ever after / Yeboah, Stephanie
“Twenty-nine-year-old plus-size blogger Stephanie Yeboah has experienced racism and fat-phobia throughout her life. From being bullied at school to being objectified and humiliated in her dating life, Stephanie’s response to discrimination has always been to change the narrative around body-image and what we see as beautiful. In her debut book, Fattily Ever After, Stephanie Yeboah speaks openly and courageously about her own experience on navigating life as a black, plus-sized woman telling it how it really is and how she has managed to find self-acceptance in a world where judgment and discrimination are rife.” (Catalogue)

Happy fat / Hagen, Sofie
“‘I am a fat person and I love my body. I feel lucky to be able to say that – it has taken a lot of work and a lot of time. I want to tell you what I have learned and how I got here.’ In Happy Fat, comedian Sofie Hagen shares how she removed fatphobic influences from her daily life and found self-acceptance in a world where judgement and discrimination are rife. Part memoir, part social commentary, Happy Fat is a funny, angry and impassioned look at how taking up space in a culture that is desperate to reduce you can be radical, emboldening and life-changing.” (Catalogue)

And a few titles for kids:


Bodies are cool / Feder, Tyler
“Illustrations and easy-to-read, rhyming text celebrate bodies of all shapes, sizes, ages, and colors, with different kinds of hair, eyes, spots, scars, and more.” (Catalogue)

All bodies are good bodies / Barkla, Charlotte
“Bold and beautiful, loud and proud, All Bodies are Good Bodies is an uplifting book about different body features and types. Through playful rhyme, it promotes the development of body acceptance and celebrates inclusivity and individuality.” (Catalogue)

Beautifully me / Noor, Nabela
“Zubi, a happy Bangladeshi girl, is excited about her first day of school, but at breakfast she is puzzled by her mother and older sister worrying about being “too big,” and even at school she hears other people criticizing each other’s bodies, and she starts to worry that maybe something is wrong with how she looks–until her declaration at dinner that she is on a diet makes her family realize what they have been doing wrong.” (Catalogue)

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