Review: The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

Sonya Renee Taylor is an advocate for a body-shame free society. She’s not just talking about fat, but also any kind of body-shame or “body terrorism” (as she calls it) that is perpetrated in our world. This is a second edition, but it wasn’t clear to me what has changed since the first. There is also an accompanying workbook, so that might be helpful if you want to do more work around this issue.

Taylor wants us to embrace “radical self-love”, which is no easy task given the body-negative messages most of us have taken in over our lifetimes. She talks about our “origin” stories – the first time we remember feeling ashamed of our own bodies for whatever reason. But then also talks about media messages and governmental sanction of discriminations for various reasons. This isn’t just about fat-shaming, but shaming for all kinds of body-related reasons: disability, race, sexual orientation and so on.

She asks us to make peace with our own bodies and the bodies of others, and gives lots of practical advice about how to practice “shame free inquiry” of ourselves and others. This book challenged a lot of my thinking, and made me go “huh” several times, so in that sense I recommend it to everyone. I do feel like it left me wanting more, though, for reasons I can’t put my finger on. It could be that the workbook would give me the additional reflections that I was kind of longing for.

I received this book from Net Galley for my review, and the 2nd addition will be available for purchase on February 9, 2021.

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