Sometimes we come across books that make us stop in our tracks because the message they have for readers is so powerful.
One of these is “The Body Is Not an Apology” by Sonya Renee Taylor. Her message of self-love and accepting and celebrating your body is so strong, and so relevant to today’s society (not just women, but everyone), that we had to share it.
We can’t share the whole of what she talks about, there’s not enough room in this post to look at everything she says in the book, but we wanted to look at a few of the hard-hitting points she makes.
The overall message: no human being should be ashamed of being in a human body. That’s just a road to self-destruction, and also, there’s no need! There is no “ideal” body. Which leads us to…
Overall message part two: binary thinking. This is where we think certain aspects are part of the perfect body (e.g. big boobs), while thinking that others aren’t part of the perfect body (e.g. stretch marks). This thinking should be done away with. Who says what is a good body and a bad body?
One way to break out of this damaging binary way of thinking is to be aware of your biased thoughts as they come up. Acknowledge that you have them and be aware of where they came from and why you think that way. What effect does thinking this way have on you? There are no perfect bodies, just human bodies. We should celebrate differences and make peace with our bodies
Next; how can we make peace with our bodies?
- Stop making comments that put you down, or that compare you to others.
- Reframe your perceived flaws as assets.
- Give yourself the gift of self-love. This is practically a revolutionary act in a world which is too often shaming us for not being the right size, shape, or colour.
- Spend time with your body shame origin stories. What made you feel bad about your body, and what was really at the root of it all? Probably it stemmed ultimately from a societal need to keep people in a hierarchy (e.g. for me to be on top, I need to belittle someone else). That, or a need to sell you products that can “fix” you or make you “better”.
Finally, this last point brings us to this: you should feel free to express yourself through things like wearing makeup or dying your hair if you choose to, but do you do these things because you enjoy doing it, or because you connect your makeup and your hair to your own feeling of self-worth? If you’re spending lots of money dying your hair blonde and putting in highlights, are you doing it because you like doing it, or because if you didn’t, you’d feel you were worth less in the eyes of others?