For a lot of our lives, and during lockdown especially, our minds are preoccupied with thoughts about our bodies. How they look, what we put in them, how we feel about them. I’ve written about body positivity on this blog before and how, for me, it’s something I’m still learning.
Megan Jane Crabbe (@bodyposipanda on social media) explores the concept of body positivity in this book, a book I started reading ages ago but completely forgot I’d hadn’t finished it! Luckily, I finished reading it in the sun yesterday and I’m so glad I did.
We’ve been convinced that happiness is something that only comes once we hit that goal weight, get those washboard abs, shrink ourselves down and change every part of ourselves. We believe that our bodies are the problem, but the truth is that our bodies are not the problem. How we’ve been taught to see them is the problem… it’s time for us all to stop believing the lies, and take our power back.
Megan’s body image issues began when she was five years old. She spent her childhood chasing thinness, and at fourteen found herself spiralling into anorexia. After recovery she spent years dieting, binging, losing and gaining weight. Then she found body positivity, quit dieting, and finally escaped the cult of thin. Now she’s determined to let as many people as possible know the truth: that we are all good enough as we are. If you’re tired of being at war with your body, then this book is for you.
With her inimitable flair, whip-smart wit and kickass attitude, Megan argues for a new way of seeing ourselves, and a world where every body is celebrated. Where there is no such thing as a ‘bikini body diet’ and 97% of women don’t hate the way they look.
A powerful call to arms as much as it is inspirational and practical, this book is the life-changing answer you’ve been looking for.
From the pretty pink cover, adorned with the smiling face of colourful-haired Megan, you’d think we were in for a sweet story.
Except, from the offset, you realise it’s not all sweetness. Body Positive Power talks about Crabbe’s own experience with body positivity and how she came across this popular social movement at a time when, she felt, her body was her worst enemy.
In many ways, finding this social movement, this community of people celebrating their bodies, saved Crabbe. Through the course of this book, though, she unpicks how we feel about our bodies (and have felt about them for generations) and how this influenced and determined by the world we live in. There was a lot of information crammed into this book (and a handy list of sources to come back to, should you want to educate yourself a little bit more), but the friendly, uplifting tone of the writing made me feel hopeful rather than defeated.
The book talks about eating disorders, eating in general and our bodies in a way I’ve never seen before. I’m so used to reading about skinny, blonde white girls coupling up with tall, dark, well-built boys that it was refreshing to read another perspective, a voice that isn’t afraid to question the toxic beauty standards we’ve lived with for ages and probably never noticed its flaws.
Body Positive Power feels like a history lesson, taking us through the decades, telling us how much (or, worrying, how little has changed). Sometimes I’d get to a chapter and feel my heart sink as I prepared myself to read something that would upset, anger or annoy me. By the end of the chapter though, Megan cracked a joke, made a sassy comment or (essentially) flashed her middle finger at the negativity, and I could relax.
Body Positive Power is a hard hitting read (luckily, Megan makes it easy for anyone who may potentially be triggered by a story in the book to avoid their triggers and move on) but a necessary one. It’s sad, thoughtful but it makes you realise how wonderful every single body is. If you haven’t already, I’d definitely suggest reading this book.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Alternatively, what are you reading? I’d love to chat in the comments 😊.