Body Positive: A Guide to Loving Your Body

Familius. Jan. 2021. 208p. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781641702676.
Gr 7 Up–A guided workbook for girls to celebrate body positivity and learn about harmful messages from the media, complete with full-color photographs of women of a variety of sizes and abilities in their underwear. Author Dick celebrates girls of all kinds, and attempts to empower them to love their bodies regardless of negative external messaging. Quotes from real-life girls about trying to love their body pair with passages about body image, the media, self-improvement, fat talk, thinspiration, mental health, bullying and sexual harassment, and what to look for in the media. Workbook sections offer opportunities to reflect, sketch, and interrogate social media and advertising. The photographs showcase a refreshing range of body types, visible disabilities, and skin colors. While the presentation and layout of the workbook are both very strong, it falls short on content. Though it’s clear that there are attempts to be inclusive, the content is focused largely on issues that may be facing genuinely average-sized, able-bodied, white, heterosexual, cisgender women. The author fails to unpack issues that may affect women of color, fat women, or disabled women, and focuses heavily on heterosexual beauty standards and girl power. The quotes from real-life “average girls” may trigger readers dealing with eating disorders or other serious trauma.
VERDICT Ultimately, this text offers no real solutions or tools for readers who may be dealing with serious issues. An additional purchase.

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