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

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  4,633 ratings  ·  600 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
Paperback, 137 pages
Published February 6th 2018 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers (first published January 25th 2018)
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Average rating 4.28  · 
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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 get it.
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
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
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.
Sylwia (Wish Fulfillment)
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.
Jun 05, 2020 added it
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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,
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
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
>“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 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
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.

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

This was good! I enjoyed it. It had a good blend of styles (academically rigorous while still being casual). I found sometimes the metaphors fell a little flat, and I couldn't see the forest for the trees. I sometimes also felt like I wish she'd made the book a little more personal and a little less broad in scope, but I appreciated all the things she touched on.

I was grateful, towards the end, to finally have an answer to my questions around trans bodies and dysphoria (which really just remind
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.
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
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5-4 stars

I like how the author locates body shame not as originating within the individual but in wider social structures, such as capitalism, the media, and politics. I have never read a self-help book that tried to do that before. However, I also felt like the book could have been organized better, and the tips made more specific—it seems like the author was using a very layman’s version of cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness to address body shame but without fully explaining them,
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.”🤯
Six stars! Thoughts to come.
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Everybody with a body should read this book. Period.
Racism, sexism, ableism, homo- and transphobia, ageism, fatphobia are algorithms created by humans' struggle to make peace with the body. A radical self-love world is a world free from the systems of oppression that make it difficult and sometimes deadly to live in our bodies.

In her book The Body Is Not an Apology Sonya Renee Taylor has created a really useful resource to guide people through a journey of reevaluating the ways they see themselves and the world, and into thoughts and actions base
Lea (drumsofautumn)
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was brilliant. BRILLIANT! Like everyone should read it kind of brilliant. I love how much this focused on how radical self-love also changes how you see other people. As someone who has come a long way and is already doing a lot of the things mentioned in this book, I still found it incredibly inspiring and I honestly wanna quote at least half of this book.
This is just such an important read.
I read the ebook and listened to the audiobook of this one, and I definitely recommend both! I've been having trouble rating books lately, and this one is no exception. I really liked the things in here about society, the media etc. Those things are my absolute jam! Plus, this is one of the few non-disability studies books I've read where they mention DISABILITY. So triple bonus points for you, Sonya.

This is where it gets complicated. The radical self-love parts? I struggled.

So basically, I'm o
Shruti Ramanujam
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a book everyone should read!

Regardless of size, race, age, gender, or disabilities, we’ve all apologised for our bodies at some point, no matter how close to the “ideal” they appear. In this book, Sonya attempts to help readers drop that body shame through radical self-love. As she says in the very first chapter, “...your body is not an apology. It is not something you give to someone to say, ‘sorry for my disability.’”

This is a powerful read that covers topics such as concern trolling,
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Empowering, radical, imperative. I listened to the audio version and it’s fantastic, but I definitely want to get my own “to keep” physical copy. This is both a reference book and a to-do list on how to truly, really love your body as it is right now. Highly recommend.
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Deeper and more actualized than I thought it would be.

Very intersectional with an emphasis on compassion. A certain topic may not pertain to you, but it remains important regardless. A reminder that there is power in personal action rather than bemoaning the unfairness of the status quo (while acknowledging its impact).

Uncovered some painful truths but is necessary all the same. Important reading no matter the relationship you have with yourself.
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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

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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.” 17 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.” 17 likes
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