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The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  11,384 ratings  ·  1,421 reviews
A global movement guided by love.

Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies.

The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. Wo
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Paperback, 137 pages
Published February 13th 2018 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers (first published January 25th 2018)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,384 ratings  ·  1,421 reviews


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Kat
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
thought provoking and full of good reminders. would definitely recommend giving it a shot if, i don't know, you have a body...maybe you don't feel awesome about it all the time...you get it. ...more
Whitney Atkinson
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book that makes you cry in chapter one is one that will stick with you, indeed. I loved this book. From the language of it to its message to its format, it spoke to me so much and I can envision just how wide-reaching this sort of messaging could be.

I assumed this book was only going to be about body positivity and self love, but Sonya has spun all forms of diversity and marginalizations as aspects of the body. In this way, race, disability, sexuality, and gender are all intersecting forms an
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Thomas
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A solid introductory text about body positivity and its relations to social justice, oppression, and radical self-love. I appreciated Sonya Renee Taylor highlighting the role of capitalism, racism, and transphobia in promoting body shame. So many books and research articles about body image focus on cisgender, heterosexual white women’s experiences and often neglect the role of systems of oppression in making people dislike their bodies. Taylor draws several arguments about how various social in ...more
Jessica
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are a person with a body, you should read this, even if you don’t think you have a bad relationship with said body.
Kelly
My favorite reviews of this one is about how "surface level" it is. That's the point, but the "surface level" is SO HARD to access because of how deeply embedded the garbage is and it feels selfish, self-centered, and weird to work on the surface of the self, which is the body. But once you do that surface work, it is radical, and it embeds more deeply, and you do truly become a body capable of helping others to find their own light and power.

I loved this deeply, and it's so rare to see a body
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Sarah
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
Overall, I acknowledge that this book does contain important themes that can be helpful for a variety of people. However, this was not the kind of book I expected. Personally, the author's fast-paced style of stating many different facts about how body-shaming affects us each individually did not go deep enough into the core problems that lead people to criticize themselves and others. The content seemed pretty surface-level stuff, things that seem fairly obvious, but rebranded in order to make ...more
Sylwia
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why I Recommend Bumping This UP On Your TBR:
This is a MUST READ educational novel about how to live your best life and how to improve this world. The author is intelligent, has an impressive way with words, inspires, validates, and address many important topics that revolve around our health, our community/ies, and our world. I cannot emphasize enough how much I got out of this and how much I know that you will too.
Sara
Jun 05, 2020 added it
Shelves: non-fiction, lgbtq, adult
I enjoyed this, for the most part, and the author has a lot of interesting and insightful discussions about society and body image, touching on all walks of life, sexuality and gender. I just wish she'd toned down the use of the phrase 'radical self love'. It was repeated about 15,000 times, and almost made me feel as though I was being indoctrinated. ...more
Naeemah Huggins
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
I finished it! It was a feat, trust me. Took me 4 or 5 months. It was exhausting and times and I felt punished my the reading, constant exhortations. I don't think I can recommend it. This is an attempt to be honest rather than tear down the book or the author. I think that the content and the message are important, however the delivery system leaves some to be desired. ...more
lucy  black
Sep 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fic
I loved her message and some ideas really stood out for me. Generally I didn’t like the writing though, I found it hard to follow, I kept zoning out. Maybe it was the mix of academic and conversational tone. I think I’d much prefer to see her speak or do a workshop.
Sarina M
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a
I like how Taylor concentrated on self love instead of self esteem/acceptance. One major deterrent I have felt in the past is that if I accept my body for how it is, I will lose motivation for improvement of it. It has been hard to rectify this cognitive dissonance (trying to be body positive while holding onto the idea that SOMEDAY I will make some change that will result in being perfectly fit and thin). Loving yourself and your body is not so limiting. Loving yourself leads to improving yours ...more
Francisca Ashley
Mar 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is my first written review as I usually only give star ratings. However, this (audio)book was near impossible to get through. I had high hopes for this book, being that I am a woman that is all about empowerment, self awareness, and loving oneself entirely, as well as others. By no means have I always been this way. I am a 34 year-old Cuban mulatto with medium-toned skin that doctors deem as morbidly obese. I was raised in a racist neighborhood and experienced being bullied, abused, and aba ...more
Mehrsa
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are a lot of good words to live by in here. I read this book after hearing her interview with Brene Brown on her podcast. I kept thinking about the podcast after I heard it because there was a lot of insight in there. I didn't feel exactly the same way about the book ...more
Lindsay Nixon
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Def. one of the most important books you'll ever read.

I struggle with the "body positivity" movement. On the one hand, yes, I agree that health and beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and no one should ever be shamed for their body, apologize for their body, or be kept from reaching their potential because of their body.

That said, I have also seen this 'movement' used as a weapon to shame people who want to change their body in any way. My personal opinion is: If someone wants to wear makeup,
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Michelle
Radical
>“advocating or based on thorough or complete political or social change”
>“designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased tissue”
>“supporting massive, unmeasured, and rapid change”


SELF-love
Self-love in this sense is not to be confused with having a positive self-image nor to be likened to body positivity. It is much more than that. Radical self-love requires action to be put behind the thought process. It takes work. In The Body is Not An Apology, Taylor uses the body as a const
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Sunny
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
So wonderful! I want everyone who wants to be better and wants the world to be better to read this book
Niki
Nov 21, 2020 added it
Shelves: dnf, nonfiction
DNF @23%. A classic case of "it's not the book, it's me", because this was nothing like I thought it'd be and that's the reason for my disappointment; the book is what it is, it's not its fault it's not what I wanted. I was expecting more of a memoir writing style instead of a pseudo-motivational, this-could-be-one-of-those-tapes-you-listen-to-in-your-sleep/ a self help seminar that uses a lot of "we" language to emphasize that we're all in this together. It's not "you", it's us~

I'm not giving t
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Grace✨
May 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this! I don’t know if I got as much from it as I have from other books about stopping hate, but I haven’t read a book like it and it gave me specific ways to change behaviors I possibly hadn’t considered, which I appreciate. Definitely read this to analyze your own behavior to other bodies and your own! I loved the updated second edition audiobook, I would highly recommend you read that!
Bre (Loc'd Booktician)
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So, this is my new bible! I need to be kinder to my body, and to other people’s body and be careful how I’m speaking “French.” I need to be mindful of the advertisements and things I say in front of the little ones in my life about my body. I need to stop avoiding or “being nice” around other bodies. Radical self love is a road and the length is unknown but I’m focused on staying on the road as much as I can!
farith
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
thanks to netgalley and berret-koehler publishers for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

when the author began the book with the statement of radicalism, i feared that her narrative would focus on the exclusion of certain groups, but to my great surprise, she addressed the problem of body terrorism without leaving out people who often suffer from discrimination [from activism] (yes, i'm talking about trans exclusionary radical feminists,) and identified the real perpetrato
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Danika at The Lesbrary
This would have been an amazing book to have as a teenager. I've read other fat-positive books, but I liked that this included all kinds of body shame/hatred. It also makes clear that we have to not only stop hating our own bodies, but also understand how body shame/hatred plays out on other people's bodies, and how it's incorporated into our laws and culture. Sonya Renee Taylor made for a great, entertaining narrator, but I do wish I had read the physical copy so that I could pause and reflect ...more
Allison
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m familiar with and always working on self love, so I didn’t think I “needed” this book - but I did, and I’m so grateful I picked it up on a whim. This book is about more than liking the way you look, it’s about how social change and societal transformation starts with loving ourselves & our bodies, radically. It’s about the many ways oppression wreaks havoc on our bodies and how we can combat it - with practical tips and guided self inquiry. I want to reread this book slowly, working my way t ...more
Hissa
Jun 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
It felt a little bit preachy at times, which I totally get. But I felt like I was screamed at and lectured and maybe that was the intention of the author! There was some illuminating parts. Especially this quote:“Hating your body is like finding a person you despise and then choosing to spend the rest of your life with them while loathing every moment of the partnership.”🤯
Tomes And Textiles
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was exactly what I needed in this very moment. Empowering and impactful. Full review to come soon.

Full review now up on TOMES AND TEXTILES.

“Radical self-love demands that we see ourselves and others in the fullness of our complexities and intersections and that we work to create space for those intersections.” –Sonya Renee-Taylor, The Body Is Not An Apology
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R A D I C A L S E L F L O V E
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If you read this phrase once in this book, you read it a thousand times, and it feels like you are b
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Oyinda
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Book 33 of 2021

What's a book that has had the most impact on you?

It's one thing for a book to evoke emotions in you, like make you cry, laugh, feel deep things etc. It's another thing for a book to teach you things - basically every book I read teaches me one thing or another has taught me one new thing, and a few have taught me many new things. It's totally something else when a book completely touches your soul and changes your life. I'm not even being dramatic.

When I started this book, I didn
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Corvus
This little book manages to be quite an inclusive guide and radical self love manifesto, especially for its size. Sonya Renee Taylor wrote her book with all kinds of people in mind- especially those predominantly left out of many self-love conversations- and she makes this clear regularly throughout the text. She catalogues a bit about her journey towards creating The Body Is Not An Apology website, and then delves into tackling radical self love as an attainable concept and lifelong journey.

Tay
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Jenn "JR"
You may have read a lot of books on mindfulness, personal transformation and working on your own personal roadblocks -- and you still need to read this book. Sonya Renee Taylor writes in a super friendly, accessible style and uses brilliant metaphors to help persuade you that you are not your thoughts and not all your thoughts were put in your head by yourself.

One of the examples she uses to talk about radical self-love is the pot pie her mom would make for her when too busy to make dinner. She
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Erin Glover
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
A must-have book for people who have fallen trap to body-shaming themselves. It's also for those who have been sucked up into the cultural norms that define a perfect body and need help softening their attitudes toward people who inhabit different types of bodies. The book explores the negative reactions to gay bodies and transgender bodies, along with fat bodies. Taylor encourages everyone to be more open toward people of different body types. ...more
Rebecca
4-2-2018 -- Six stars! Thoughts to come.

2-10-2021 -- Although I still haven't properly expressed my love of this book here on Goodreads, I'm adding here that I just saw the 2nd edition came out on 2-9-2021: 9781523090990. Maybe this is the one I'll buy for my bookshelf. :)
...more
Never Without a Book
Nov 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Short, but powerful.
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Sonya Renee Taylor is the Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, a digital media and education company promoting radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. Sonya's work as a highly sought-after award-winning Performance Poet, activist, and transformational leader continues to have global reach. Sonya i ...more

Articles featuring this book

  The cohosts of the By the Book podcast, Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer, are hitting the bookshelves themselves this spring with...
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“Systems do not maintain themselves; even our lack of intervention is an act of maintenance. Every structure in every society is upheld by the active and passive assistance of other human beings.” 33 likes
“Equally damaging is our insistence that all bodies should be healthy. Health is not a state we owe the world. We are not less valuable, worthy, or lovable because we are not healthy. Lastly, there is no standard of health that is achievable for all bodies.” 29 likes
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