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7 Books About Body Image From A Feminist Perspective

Learn to accept every body at any size.

Body image used to be a sensitive issue to many of us women out. There used to be a time where you’d be labeled and called names for the way you looked.

Serious damage was done to the self-esteem of many by the insensitiveness of those mean-spirited people. Persons who were ignorant of the progressive ways.

Let’s welcome the body positivity movement. It is here to stay! Today the issue is what’s on the inside, not what’s seen on the outside.

Check out these books on body image that are written from a feminist perspective. Not only will you finally accept your body at any size, but also extend equal empathy to someone that might be going through the same struggle.

#1 Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body by Connie Sobczak

Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and quiet that critical voice!), which brings to life The Five Competencies of the Be Body Positive Model that I developed with the co-founder of The Body Positive, Elizabeth Scott, LCSW, CEDS-S.

Our work is based on a feminist dialogical model (asking people what they need to feel better about their bodies instead of assuming anything about their struggles!) and 20+ years of hands on healing work with thousands of people of all ages and identities who suffer over their bodies. The book is filled with stories of diverse people who learned to make peace with their magnificent selves.

Prices across many e-commerce websites may vary, be sure to compare to get the best deal:


#2 Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

While at first glance, this might not seem to be about body image, the entire end of this book the author delves into her weight issues – and transformation – in a really powerful way.

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#3 The Resilient Woman by Patricia O’Gorman PhD

Which voice will you listen to? Competing voices vie for our attention: societal messages that tell us we aren’t thin enough, pretty enough, good enough—self-sabotaging ‘girly thoughts’ that tell us who we must be, how we must look, and how we must act — and the voice of our inner strength, our resilience, which helps us forge our own best solutions, helping us grow, build confidence, creating our own identify.

Noted Psychologist Dr. Patricia O’Gorman offers a thoughtful analysis of the causes of ‘girly thoughts’ as well as in-depth self-evaluation assessments any woman can use to identify her personal challenges as she learns to use the 7 steps to consciously grow her resilience.

Prices across many e-commerce websites may vary, be sure to compare to get the best deal:


#4 Project Body Love by Jessie Harrold

Loving your body is hard to do. Project Body Love is the story of my quest to find acceptance, respect, and maybe even love for my body after spending a lifetime counting calories and drops of sweat. What followed was a two-year series of experiments that had me mining the depths of my past, dismantling the effects of Diet Culture on my self-worth, taking up bellydancing, posing for nude photographs, and other daring feats of self-exploration.

Far from being a shiny tale of self-actualization, Project Body Love explores the complexity of being a fat person in a thin-obsessed world, and concludes with an entirely new perspective on the elusive body love – one that was surprising, even to me. This is my story, and so much of it is also the story of millions of other women.

And so, I wrote this for every woman who has spent too much time trying to make herself small. I wrote it for every woman who wants to love her body, but can’t figure out how. I wrote this for a world that needs its women committed to revolution and sovereignty and joy, not eating more salad.

Prices across many e-commerce websites may vary, be sure to compare to get the best deal:


#5 Beauty Redefined by Seline Shenoy

In our beauty-obsessed culture, women have become accustomed to using the standards set by society and the media as a barometer to measure their own worth. They perpetually wonder where they stand on the attractiveness continuum and question everything about their outward appearances, from their skin colour to their waistline, to their fashion sense.

They keep asking themselves, Am I good enough? Do I matter? Will others love and accept me for who I am? Beauty Redefined explores this critical issue by looking at beauty from a cultural, biological and historical perspective and provides solutions on what we can do on a collective and individual level to redefine what it means to be a beautiful woman.

By reading this book, you’ll be convinced that your voice matters and you’ll feel empowered to make your own unique mark in the world, no matter what your size, shape, colour or ethnic background is. You’ll learn how to love yourself (warts and all!) and embrace every unique aspect of your being and use it to make the world a better place.

Prices across many e-commerce websites may vary, be sure to compare to get the best deal:


#6 Girl Seeks Life: A Guide to Understanding Yourself

Girl Seeks Life is both reflective memoir and guidebook for a young woman navigating the muddy waters of growing from awkward teenager into fully functioning, successful and fulfilled woman. It unpacks the experiences of the author with the added benefit of hindsight, self-compassion and understanding, and discusses common mistakes, fears, desires and dreams of many during this confusing and conflicted period of personal development.

In society, where perfection is celebrated and authenticity is just a buzzword, the author exposes deeply personal and delicate issues with humour and frankness, encouraging the reader to uncover their own inner being and truly get to know themselves.

Girl Seeks Life aims to connect readers with their honest identities and provides practical tools for the discovery of unconscious thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviours which are contributing to a lack of confidence, issues within relationships and the fear of moving forward in life.

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#7 I Don’t Hate Me Anymore – Allison Rose Clark

Do you hate the person you see in the mirror? You can change the way you think about yourself. Allison Rose Clark uses her extraordinary personal story and experiences from her own life to guide you through a series of twelve exercises designed to change the way you think about yourself and your life.

By the end of this book you will have the tools you need to rebuild your self-esteem. You will learn how to value yourself and, in turn, the way you should expect others to value and treat you. You will learn how to think about the events in your life in a different way. Through Allison’s example you will see that changing your life and your negative thoughts is possible, no matter what difficult things you have been through. Changing the way you think will change your life for the better.

Prices across many e-commerce websites may vary, be sure to compare to get the best deal:


Contributors to this article
Connie Sobczak from The Body Positive

Kate Mura from Kate’s Theatrics

Patricia A O’Gorman from Patricia A O’Gorman, PhD

Jessie Harrold from Project Body Love

Lily Ryan from Austin Macauley

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