I’ve known about Sonya Renee Taylor and her website The Body Is Not An Apology for a year or so now, so when I was sent The Body Is Not An Apology by her for review, I was psyched.
I’ve been on a self-love and body positivity journey for a few years now, and I’m always looking for new books or resources to further my knowledge and understanding.
Basically, it’s a book about radical self-love, what that is and isn’t, the history of oppression for a wide variety of people, how the media and society have programmed us to hate our bodies, etc. But it’s also about so much more than that.
To start, I just want to say that this is such a powerful and important book for anyone, regardless of age, gender or body type.
This book will likely make you feel very uncomfortable more than once. It forces you to face your own thoughts and ideals and figure where they came from. Some are obvious; some are mind-blowing.
However, if you’re looking for quick tips on self-love, this probably isn’t the book for you. It’s deep, tough, educational, honest, raw and real. It requires you to think deeply about your life and the world around you, and it will likely make you very uncomfortable at times. And that’s one of the main reasons I absolutely loved it.
I took my time reading this book. It’s full of so many gems, truth bombs, introspective questions and more, and I didn’t want to rush through it. I wanted to absorb all the information I could, and I reread some passages several times to fully comprehend them.
The best way I can describe this book is that’s it’s small but mighty. It didn’t need hundreds of pages to convey information, ask important questions and give you tools to find your own radical self-love.
Throughout the chapters, there are several challenging questions for you to reflect on and see how you’ve gotten to where you are in life, what outside factors have affected you, how you can change the course of your life and others, and more. There are also little tidbits of information that further explain the points she’s making within each chapter. I found both of these tools to be very helpful and give me a more well-rounded reading experience.
The cover features Sonya Renee Taylor naked with flowers covering parts of her body. It’s bold, brave and empowering, which is exactly how I felt after finishing this book. It’s inspired me to write a few other blog posts already and more ideas are already brewing. I’ve had some tough inner conversations with myself, and it’s made me make some hard decisions about myself and my life.
It’s more than a book; it’s a movement.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
— You can’t self-help your way back to radical self-love.
— If you decide to be at war with your body, how will you ever have peace?
— We keep our body-shame stories for such long periods of time because their pain is familiar.
I loved more quotes than just those, obviously, but those are a few that really stuck out to me. We’re surrounded by body shame every single day, whether we realize it or not. Body shame doesn’t care what size body you have, what you’ve done in your life, where you want to go or anything in between. Each and every one of us is affected by body shame, so why aren’t we doing more about it?
I could go on and on about how well-researched and -presented the information was, how relateable the content was, how educational it was without being hard to understand, etc., but I digress.
The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor was monumentally inspiring to me on several levels. I want to tell everyone I know to read this book, so please go read it.
If thinking about reading this book makes you uncomfortable, then I think it’s even more important that you seek it out.
* This book was sent in exchange for an honest review. Photos provided by Berrett-Koehler Publishers.