The Body Is Not an Apology The Power of Radical Self-Love
Against a global backdrop of war, social upheaval, and personal despair, there is a growing sense of urgency to challenge the systems of oppression that dehumanize bodies and strip us of our shared humanity. Rather than feel helpless in the face of oppression, world-renowned activist, performance poet, and author Sonya Renee Taylor teaches us how to turn to the power of radical self-love in her new book, The Body Is Not an Apology. Radical self-love is the guiding framework that transforms the learned self-hatred of our bodies and the prejudices we have about other people's bodies into a vision of compassion, equity, and justice.
In a revolutionary departure from the corporate self-help and body-positivity movement, Taylor forges the inextricable bond between radical self-love and social justice. The first step is recognizing that we have all been indoctrinated into a system of body shame that profits off of our self-hatred. When we ask ourselves, “Who benefits from our collective shame?” we can begin to make the distinction between the messages we are receiving about our bodies or other bodies and the truth.
This book moves us beyond our all-too-often hidden lives, where we are easily encouraged to forget that we are whole humans having whole human experiences in our bodies alongside others. Radical self-love encourages us to embark on a personal journey of transformation with thoughtful reflection on the origins of our minds and bodies as a source of strength. In doing this, we not only learn to reject negative messages about ourselves but begin to thwart the very power structures that uphold them.
Systems of oppression thrive off of our inability to make peace with bodies and difference. Radical self-love not only dismantles shame and self-loathing in us but has the power to dismantle global systems of injustice—because when we make peace with our bodies, only then do we have the capacity to truly make peace with the bodies of others.