Best Body Positive Books That Will Inspire Self-Love
Body positivity is about accepting the body you have and having a positive body image regardless of how society views your physical body.
Even though body positivity has its roots in the fat acceptance movement, it’s much wider than that. The movement advocates that no matter what shape, size, color or appearance your body is, your body is acceptable and should be celebrated. We shouldn’t feel ashamed of how our body looks or judge how other people look.
Body positivity also challenges the unrealistic standards that society has on beauty and the messages we receive from the media. Body shaming affects our mental health and how we perceive ourselves. It can cause eating disorders, depression, low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness.
Below are 10 best body positive books. Choose one that inspires you to accept and love your body.
10 Best Body Positive Books
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1. The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
Do you apologize for how you look because you are ashamed of your body? If so, read this book.
In this book, the author advocates radical self-love. Radical self-love is much more than having a high self-esteem, self-confidence or self-acceptance. It’s our natural state of being and it’s not just about loving yourself. It operates at both the individual and systemic levels.
When you are judging your body or comparing it with others, you are judging other people’s body too. We unknowingly participate in body shaming due to the conditioning of the social, political and economic systems. Reading this book will open you to new perspectives and set you free.
2. Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe
If you think you need to reach your ideal weight and shrink yourself in order to be happy, read this book.
Written by an Instagram star (@bodyposipanda), the author advocates that the real path to happiness is loving the body you have. After spending years battling anorexia and weight fluctuations, the author decided to quit dieting and overcome her feelings of body shame and self-hatred.
A believer in fat acceptance and intersectional body positivity, the author shares her struggles and her journey to self-acceptance. She also gives tips on how to see yourself in a different way. People who struggle with eating disorders will relate to this book.
3. Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon
Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. Weight loss isn’t the benefit. Health is the benefit.
Written by a health professor and researcher, this anti-diet book is scientific-researched and tells you why it is difficult to lose weight biologically. As per the author, dieting is not only ineffective at producing long-term weight loss and satisfaction, but it actually induces weight gain.
If you are obsessed with losing weight and dieting or you are constantly restricting what you eat and feeling guilty for eating something you are not supposed to eat, this book is suitable for you. It helps you to dispel myths with regards to weight.
4. Embody by Connie Sobczak
This book emphasizes acceptance and celebration of the unique beauty of individuals regardless of age, size, sexual orientation, gender or ethnicity.
Everyone has the inherent wisdom and ability to make healthy choices and live a balanced life. In this book, the author offers a gentle approach to dealing with appearance and body image. Rather than giving you a set of rigid steps or rules, the author takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery to find what works for them.
By practicing mindfulness and mastering certain competencies, every person can lead a healthy, positive and fulfilling life. This book is best suited for those who are looking for something beyond a step-by-step guide.
5. Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley
In this book, the author emphasizes that yoga is for everybody and EVERY BODY. No matter what shape, size or color you are, you can practice yoga.
This book provides easy-to-follow directions to 50 basic yoga poses and 10 sequences to practice at home, all photographed in full color.
But this is not just a how-to book. The author also shares her personal journey in practicing yoga as a plus size. The book will inspire all beginners to attend yoga class despite their size.
The author has an open, honest and fun personality and uses profanity in the book, so only read this book if you are open to such writing style.
6. Body of Truth by Harriet Brown
Do you feel the pressure to be thin? Have you wondered why we buy into every new fad diet, gimmick or quick fix promise that comes along?
In this book, the author explores the dynamics of weight and body image as shaped by society and science. As a science journalist, she exposes the ways in which information has been manipulated and the impacts it has had on society’s idea of beauty, weight and health.
Reading this book will help you to think objectively and separate fact from fiction, so that you can make healthy choices for yourself and change your perspective on beauty.
7. Love Your Body by Jessica Sanders
Written for young girls aged 8-12 years old, this book is full of beautiful illustrations and body positive messages.
Growing up as the tallest student in her class, the author struggled to accept and love her body. It wasn’t until she was 12 when her mother signed her up to play volleyball that she learned that different bodies brought different skills to the team and all these bodies were valued.
Inspired by her own journey, the author wrote this book to educate and empower young girls with the message of self-love and self-care. This is a book that every young girl can relate to.
8. Wonder by R. J. Palacio
This bestseller novel is about acceptance of facial differences.
August Pullman was born with a rare medical facial deformity and he was home-schooled. When he entered the fifth grade in a mainstream school for the first time, he stood out from the rest and was initially ostracized by nearly all the students.
Made into a movie starring Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson, this heartwarming story touches several themes such as family, friendships, courage, identity and kindness. It is an interesting read for a wide audience, both children and adults.
If you have been judged for how you look or you feel different from others, this book will resonate with you.
9. I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
This book has been a staple in African-American picture books for 20 years.
Updated with a new cover, this modern classic celebrates the beauty of African-American hair and encourages black children to be proud of their heritage.
Parents will have fun reading this book with their children. Both of you will relate to the little girl Keyanna and her mom in this whimsical story.
This book will help young children to embrace their uniqueness and increase their self-confidence. It also shows various ways in which little girls can style their natural thick and curly hair and some of the challenges they faced during the styling process.
10. Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons
In this memoir, the author reminds us that being chubby your whole life doesn’t mean that you will end up alone or unhappy.
Full of hilarious and painful true stories about her life as an overweight girl, this nationally recognized body advocate shares how she struggled with dating and relationships. You will learn how to be comfortable in your skin no matter what size you are.
The author is extremely frank and transparent. She talks about things that make people feel uncomfortable and awkward. For example, she writes a lot about her sex life and what her body looks like. So only read this book if you are open to this kind of raunchy and raw writing style.