Header image by Isi Parente.
If you have worked with me, you have probably heard me talk about body image as activism work. You have also heard me stumble my way through trying to explain that. Activism has been a framework I have been reflecting on in the context of body image but have not had the time (made the time?) to dig deeper into this. Instead, I have posed it to clients and we explore it together, learning from each other, trying to figure out this VERY complicated issue in a quest to love our bodies or at the very least to not feel disgusted, shame, and disconnection from this part of ourselves.
Then I discovered My Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor and this brilliant human put words to the idea of body image as activist work in such a way that broke my heart open. I wanted to share this book with you all because we ALL have internalized messages about which bodies are good and which are bad - there really are no in-betweens in our culture and the ‘good’ category is infinitesimally small (I’ve been practicing the pronunciation of this word since Bonnie Henry said it on tv). In her book, The Body is Not an Apology, Taylor (2018) writes “it is through our own transformed relationship with our bodies that we become champions for other bodies on our planet” (pg. 5). I refuse to buy into the bullshit that some bodies are better than others. I deserve better. You deserve better.
I recently caught myself doubting a tattoo that I have wanted for several years because: ‘what will people think?’ ‘Will I look feminine enough with it?’ ‘Will people not see me as professional?’ ‘Will I be perceived as masculine? Ugly? Trashy?’…..’will others approve of MY body? This line of questioning led me to ‘what would I do if I only cared about my own approval?”