Primary Genre(s): Children’s Nonfiction
Published: 3 Mar 2020 by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Page count: 40
My Format: eARC via NetGalley
Pacing: Not Applicable
Ending: Not Applicable
Would I recommend it: Maybe
Commission Link: Buy Love Your Body
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Synopsis from Goodreads
What if every young girl loved her body? Freedom is loving your body with all its “imperfections” and being the perfectly imperfect you! This book encourages young girls to admire and celebrate their bodies for all the amazing things they can do, and to help girls see that they are so much more than their bodies. It introduces the language of self-love and self-care to help build resilience, while representing and celebrating diverse bodies, encouraging girls to appreciate their uniqueness. This book was written for every girl, regardless of whether or not they are exhibiting signs of negative body image. All girls deserve to be equipped with the tools to navigate an image-obsessed world.
I think this book has a great message in general, but is missing one huge component. Here are my pros and cons for Love Your Body:
- Encouraging anyone, but girls in particular, to have confidence in themselves in spite of any real or perceived “imperfections” is a good message.
- The book encouraged girls to support one another.
- I liked that the book included specific suggestions for girls to try if they are ever having mental health issues.
- The book encouraged girls to ask for help if they ever felt frustrated or just needed someone to listen to them. There is even information included in the back of the book about organizations that are available to help.
- The one gaping hole in this entire book is the need to reinforce physical health!
- Super repetitive.
- The font was unusual and I found it a little difficult to read.
I am all for teaching girls that accepting themselves as they are, flaws and all, goes a long way toward promoting confidence and well-being. However, when we omit the discussion about physical health, I think we are doing girls and women a disservice. We need to be able discuss improving our physical health (when appropriate) along with loving ourselves.
I feel like I can say that because I have spent a large portion of my life telling myself that just because I am fat doesn’t mean I ever should doubt or criticize myself. I told myself that as long as I am happy I shouldn’t have to change just because others don’t like to look at fat people. They are the ones with the problem, not me, right??! I am a strong, confident, educated, and funny person, and if others can’t see past my body, so what! But as I got older, I started to realize that I was using that mantra as a crutch. I didn’t have to be obese. The fact is I was lazy, not eating well, and not taking care of my physical health even if my mental health was just fine. Unfortunately, after years of ignoring my physical health, I became morbidly obese, a pre-diabetic, and suffered from super high blood pressure. I started realizing I was harming myself by “loving myself as I am” and that was not okay. No body confidence in the world was going to help me if I had a massive heart attack and died due to obesity. [Note: This isn’t just about obesity. I used to be friends with a woman that was super thin. She exercised all the time, was super active, and she ate very little. She had a lot of confidence in herself and took pride in how she looked, but in reality she was destroying her organs due to lack of nutrition and was slowly killing herself.]
I guess what I am trying to say here is that body confidence is definitely a good message. I just don’t believe it is a complete message. Yes, we should learn to accept ourselves in all the different forms and abilities that we come in. But, when our “imperfections” can impact our actual lifespan (like being overweight or underweight) we have to talk about steps we can take to be physically healthy, too. Why are we so afraid of encouraging physical health as well as mental health?? We have to be able to discuss both, and in almost every book I read like this one, physical health isn’t openly and specifically addressed. There has to be a balance.
Thank you NetGalley and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for a free eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy Love Your Body. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
Click here for a description of my rating scale.
(image from Goodreads)