Your Back-to-School Reading List: Body Positive Books
It’s September, which means the office supply stores are full of fresh notebooks and pencils, the kids are lining up to catch buses, and parents are vacillating between bittersweet feelings of their children growing up and excitement that the summer is over. It’s the perfect time to make your own back-to-school reading list.
Yes, it is back-to-school time, and that means it is time for some learning! What better topic to do some learning on than how to really enhance your self-love and dismantle all the societal messages we’ve been fed about our bodies? And I’ve made it easy by putting together some of my favorite body positive books and readings for you to consider.
Let’s start this off right with one of my all-time favorite poems, “The Body is Not an Apology” by Sonya Renee Taylor! (Feeling extra academic? After listening, write your own poem. Think about if your body isn’t an apology, then what is it? Start your poem with “My body is a…” and keep writing!)
Then, dig into these juicy memoirs:
- Hunger: A Memoir of (my) Body by Roxane Gay
- Shrill by Lindy West
- And to finish up your literature class, give a listen to Lily Myers’ poem Shrinking Women.
Ready to delve into some deep thoughts on why we think the way we think? These body positive book are perfect starting point. Check out Brene Brown’s I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t): Making the Journey from ‘What Will People Think’ to ‘I Am Enough.’ This book investigates the idea of shame and summarizes some of Brown’s research and studies on the topic. She thoroughly discusses the topic of shame, specifically relating to women and women’s experiences. She also talks about ways to build resilience and overcome shame.
Then, do some introspective thinking with Being in Your Body: A Journal for Self-Love and Body Positivity by Fariha Roisin and Monica Ramos!
Feeling a bit more creative? Check out Jade Beall’s The Bodies of Mothers: A Beautiful Body Project. Then, maybe get out your camera and take some self-portraits showing just how beautiful your body is!
For body positive books that focus on health, start with dismantling diet culture reading Linda Bacon’s book Health at Every Size: Surprising Truth About Your Weight.
Then, let’s delve into sex ed…but this isn’t the sex ed you remember from school! Check out Curvy Girl Sex: 101 Body-Positive Positions to Empower Your Sex Life by Elle Chase for a fat-positive, trans and queer-inclusive sex education!
Finally, throw on some stretch pants and pull out these two books!
The Unapologetic Fat Girls Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts by Hanne Blank not only gives great exercise information but also does it while helping to dismantle the body-shame so often associated with working out.
Or, if you’re feeling more in the mood for an exercise like yoga, grab Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get on the Mat, Love Your Body by Jessamyn Stanley which will walk you through not only the how-tos, but also will help to unravel deeper messages around what bodies can and can’t do yoga (hint: it’s anybody that wants to).
So this year, as kids all over settle back into a school routine, assign yourself some homework too. Grab yourself a new notebook, find a favorite pen, and get ready for some education! What will you be reading this year?