During the winter months and after the holidays, it is easy to forget the need for self-care, and you may require a boost of body-positive inspiration. Scrolling through social media may be a go-to, but I feel that the best way to feel connected, inspired, and filled with self-love is to settle down in a quiet place with a book. This act of taking time for yourself and reading a book that promotes and inspires you towards self-acceptance and body-positivity has more of a personal impact than social media will ever have.
Here are three of my favorite books–each one is vastly different from the other, but they all hold a common objective and perspective in mind.
Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear. Get On the Mat. Love Your Body. by Jessamyn Stanley
Dedicated yogi, Instagram star, and yoga teacher, author Jessamyn Stanley shares in her book her body positive and fearless approach to her practice. She focuses not on how one looks, but how yoga makes you feel and how to weave that into your everyday life. Her book reminds you that yoga isn’t for one body or type, and further addresses concepts of body acceptance and our beauty standards. Her book provides directions for individual poses and a handful of sequences with titles like “I Need To Release Fear”. Her attitude is so positive and transcends the reader. When I pick it up I instantly feel inspired, and I concentrate more on my practice and loving what my body can do rather than what it looks like to others.
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
Since reading Bad Feminist, I have been a devoted admirer of Roxane Gay’s work. Hunger is a memoir that is particularly raw and honest–it speaks to your soul. Gay’s memoir embraces and shines a light on what we may consider what society deems as “imperfections,” making you acknowledge that what you are feeling is not obscure or at fault. Gay uses her own experience of feeling insecure and holding onto anxieties over appearance and brings a focus to the struggle of self-care and self-love. Her book invites you into Gay’s intimate thoughts, insecurities, and personal experiences, and creates a place of love and acceptance for the reader. Her memoir provides inspiration and a nudge towards self-love when you need it the most.
The Good Body by Eve Ensler
If you ever read the Vagina Monologues, you already know that Eve Ensler addresses body standards and feminism as a whole with a direct, humorous, and original approach. Her book The Good Body looks at beauty standards and self-acceptance through original stories; each one is relatable and far from sugar-coated. It begins with Ensler examining her own relationship with her body and her personal struggle with self-love. She shares the stories of numerous women, as they open up about their bodies and the strained relationship they hold with them. The focus is not only on the tainted relationship but the journey to self-acceptance and enlightenment. The book is filled with stories that provide recognition of the issue of self-love and the arbitrary beauty standards that continue to follow us in our society. The stories that fill the pages are relatable and honest, and Ensler shapes each story in a way that is personal and direct.
What books do you turn to when you need a self-love boost?
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