What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat


Aubrey Gordon - 2020
    In What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat, Aubrey Gordon unearths the cultural attitudes and social systems that have led to people being denied basic needs because they are fat and calls for social justice movements to be inclusive of plus-sized people's experiences. Unlike the recent wave of memoirs and quasi self-help books that encourage readers to love and accept themselves, Gordon pushes the discussion further towards authentic fat activism, which includes ending legal weight discrimination, giving equal access to health care for large people, increased access to public spaces, and ending anti-fat violence. As she argues, I did not come to body positivity for self-esteem. I came to it for social justice.By sharing her experiences as well as those of others--from smaller fat to very fat people--she concludes that to be fat in our society is to be seen as an undeniable failure, unlovable, unforgivable, and morally condemnable. Fatness is an open invitation for others to express disgust, fear, and insidious concern. To be fat is to be denied humanity and empathy. Studies show that fat survivors of sexual assault are less likely to be believed and less likely than their thin counterparts to report various crimes; 27% of very fat women and 13% of very fat men attempt suicide; over 50% of doctors describe their fat patients as awkward, unattractive, ugly and noncompliant; and in 48 states, it's legal--even routine--to deny employment because of an applicant's size.Advancing fat justice and changing prejudicial structures and attitudes will require work from all people. What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat is a crucial tool to create a tectonic shift in the way we see, talk about, and treat our bodies, fat and thin alike.

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living


Jes Baker - 2015
    Among the many Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls that you don't want to miss:1. It's Possible to Love Your Body (Today. Now.)2. You Can Train Your Brain to Play Nice3. Your Weight Is Not a Reflection Of Your Worth4. Changing Your Tumblr Feed Will Change Your Life5. Salad Will Not Get You to Heaven6. Cheesecake Will Not Send You to HellWith her trademark wit, honesty, and rallying spirit, veteran blogger and advocate Jes Baker makes the case for embracing a body-positive worldview, changing perceptions about weight, and making mental wellness a priority. Alongside notable guest essayists, Baker calls on all people to reject fat prejudice, fight body-shaming at the hands of marketing and media, and join the life-changing movement with one step: change the world by loving your body. If you're a person with a body, this book is for you.

Women Don't Owe You Pretty


Florence Given - 2020
    In a world that tells women we're either not enough or too much, it's time we stop directing our anger and insecurities onto ourselves, and start fighting back to re-shape the toxic structures of our patriarchal society.Florence's book will help you to tackle and challenge the limiting narrative you have been bombarded with your whole life, and determine feminism on your own terms. After all, you are the love of your own life.

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice


Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha - 2018
    Powerful and passionate, Care Work is a crucial and necessary call to arms.

How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community


Mia Birdsong - 2020
    They have family, friends, and colleagues, yet they still feel like they're standing alone. They're "winning" at the American Dream, but they're lonely, disconnected, and unsatisfied.It seems counterintuitive that living the "good life"--the well-paying job, the nuclear family, the upward mobility--can make us feel isolated and unhappy. But in a divided America, where only a quarter of us know our neighbors and everyone is either a winner or a loser, we've forgotten the key element that helped us make progress in the first place: community. In this provocative, groundbreaking work, Mia Birdsong shows that what separates us isn't only the ever-present injustices built around race, class, gender, values, and beliefs, but also our denial of our interdependence and need for belonging. In response to the fear and discomfort we feel, we've built walls, and instead of leaning on each other, we find ourselves leaning on concrete.Through research, interviews, and stories of lived experience, How We Show Up returns us to our inherent connectedness where we find strength, safety, and support in vulnerability and generosity, in asking for help, and in being accountable. Showing up--literally and figuratively--points us toward the promise of our collective vitality and leads us to the liberated well-being we all want.

The Man They Wanted Me to Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Making


Jared Yates Sexton - 2019
    Jared Yates Sexton alternates between an examination of his working class upbringing and historical, psychological, and sociological sources that examine the genesis of toxic masculinity and its consequences for society.As progressivism changes American society, and globalism shifts labor away from traditional manufacturing, the roles that have been prescribed to men since the Industrial Revolution have been rendered as obsolete. Donald Trump's campaign successfully leveraged male resentment and entitlement, and now, with Trump as president and the rise of the #MeToo movement, it’s clearer than ever what a problem performative masculinity is.Deeply personal and thoroughly researched, The Man They Wanted Me to Be examines how we teach boys what’s expected of men in America, and the long term effects of that socialization—which include depression, suicide, misogyny, and, ultimately, shorter lives. Sexton turns his keen eye to the establishment of the racist patriarchal structure which has favored white men, and investigates the personal and societal dangers of such outdated definitions of manhood.

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good


Adrienne Maree Brown - 2019
    Drawing on the black feminist tradition, including Audre Lourde’s invitation to use the erotic as power and Toni Cade Bambara’s exhortation that we make the revolution irresistible, the contributors to this volume take up the challenge to rethink the ground rules of activism. Writers including Cara Page of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice, Sonya Renee Taylor, founder of This Body Is Not an Apology, and author Alexis Pauline Gumbs cover a wide array of subjects— from sex work to climate change, from race and gender to sex and drugs—creating new narratives about how politics can feel good and how what feels good always has a complex politics of its own.Building on the success of her popular Emergent Strategy, brown launches a new series of the same name with this volume, bringing readers books that explore experimental, expansive, and innovative ways to meet the challenges that face our world today. Books that find the opportunity in every crisis!

Beyond Beautiful: A Practical Guide to Being Happy, Confident, and You in a Looks-Obsessed World


Anuschka Rees - 2019
    This stylish and practical handbook takes a deep-dive into all of the factors that make it hard to feel good about yourself, and offers sage answers to tricky questions, like:- Why do I hate the way I look in pictures?- How can I stop feeling like a total slob compared to everyone on social media?- How exactly does this self-love thing work?- How do I find the confidence to use less make up, stop shaving, or wear what I want?- Is body positivity really the answer?Illustrated with full-color art, Beyond Beautiful is a much-needed breath of fresh air that will help you live your best life, know your worth, and stop wasting any more precious energy and mental space worrying about the way you look.Praise for Beyond Beautiful"This compact book delves into every aspect of the body-image problem and sets forth feasible ideas for accepting one's physical appearance to enhance confidence and joy."--Library Journal (starred review)"Rees's emboldening message will surely help any reader struggling with self-confidence."--Publishers Weekly

Love and Rage: The Path of Liberation through Anger


Lama Rod Owens - 2020
    In American culture at large, anger--particularly among people of color--is delegitimized, demonized, or "supposed to be" suppressed. Social activist and Kagyu lama Rod Owens offers a different understanding. For Owens, the coauthor of Radical Dharma, anger is one of the most important aspects of his personal identity as a Buddhist, social activist, African American, and gay man. Anger serves as a bodyguard for our personal pain and suffering. When recognized and handled with attention, love, and compassion, it can be a powerful mobilizing factor in our solidarity and commitment to enacting social change. However, too many activist communities have an ill-informed, immature, and romanticized relationship to it. What is needed, says Owens, is a relationship to the heartbreak of anger that is embodied, nondestructive, and deeply healing for all. Here he offers personal insights, stories from others, as well as Buddhist teachings and meditations for tapping into anger's liberating potential.

Body Positive Power: How learning to love yourself will save your life


Megan Jayne Crabbe - 2017
    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.

Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do


Jennifer L. Eberhardt - 2019
    With a perspective that is scientific, investigative, and personal, Jennifer L. Eberhardt offers a reasoned look into the effects of implicit racial bias, ranging from the subtle to the dramatic. Racial bias can lead to disparities in education, employment, housing, and the criminal justice system--and then those very disparities further reinforce the problem. In Biased, Eberhardt reveals how even when we are not aware of bias and genuinely wish to treat all people equally, ingrained stereotypes infect our visual perception, attention, memory, and behavior.Eberhardt's extensive work as a consultant to law enforcement, as well as a researcher with unprecedented access to data, including footage from police officers' body-worn cameras, informs every aspect of her book and makes it much more than a work of social psychology. Her research occurs not just in the laboratory but in police departments, courtrooms, prisons, boardrooms, and on the street. Interviews are interwoven with memories and stories from Eberhardt's own life and family. She offers practical suggestions for reform, and takes the reader behind the scenes to police departments implementing her suggestions. Refusing to shy away from the tragic consequences of prejudice, Eberhardt addresses how racial bias is not the fault of, or restricted to, a few "bad apples" in police departments or other institutions. We can see evidence of bias at all levels of society in media, education, and business practices. In Biased, Eberhardt reminds us that racial bias is a human problem--one all people can play a role in solving.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body


Roxane Gay - 2017
    I buried the girl I was because she ran into all kinds of trouble. I tried to erase every memory of her, but she is still there, somewhere. . . . I was trapped in my body, one that I barely recognized or understood, but at least I was safe.”In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

The Inner Work of Racial Justice: Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness


Rhonda Magee - 2019
    When conflict and division are everyday realities, our instincts tell us to close ranks, to find the safety of our own tribe, and to blame others. The practice of embodied mindfulness--paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an open, nonjudgmental way--increases our emotional resilience, helps us to recognize our unconscious bias, and gives us the space to become less reactive and to choose how we respond to injustice.For victims of injustice, embodied mindfulness calms our fears and helps us to exercise self-compassion. Magee shows us how to slow down and reflect on microaggressions--to hold them with some objectivity and distance--rather than bury unpleasant experiences so they have a cumulative effect over time. She helps us develop the capacity to address the fears and anxieties that would otherwise lead us to re-create patterns of separation and division.It is only by healing from injustices and dissolving our personal barriers to connection that we develop the ability to view others with compassion and to live in community with people of vastly different backgrounds and viewpoints. Incorporating mindfulness exercises, research, and Magee's hard-won insights, The Inner Work of Racial Justice offers a road map to a more peaceful world.

My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts


Resmaa Menakem - 2017
    In this groundbreaking work, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of body-centered psychology. He argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. Our collective agony doesn't just affect African Americans. White Americans suffer their own secondary trauma as well. So do blue Americans—our police.My Grandmother's Hands is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not about the head, but about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide.Paves the way for a new, body-centered understanding of white supremacy—how it is literally in our blood and our nervous system.Offers a step-by-step solution—a healing process—in addition to incisive social commentary.Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, is a therapist with decades of experience currently in private practice in Minneapolis, MN, specializing in trauma, body-centered psychotherapy, and violence prevention. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil as an expert on conflict and violence. Menakem has studied with bestselling authors Dr. David Schnarch (Passionate Marriage) and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score). He also trained at Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.

Fed Up: Emotional Labor, Women, and the Way Forward


Gemma Hartley - 2018
    In relationships, we initiate the hard conversations. At home, we shoulder the mental load required to keep our households running. At work, we moderate our tone, explaining patiently and speaking softly. In the world, we step gingerly to keep ourselves safe. We do this largely invisible, draining work whether we want to or not—and we never clock out. No wonder women everywhere are overtaxed, exhausted, and simply fed up.In her ultra-viral article “Women Aren’t Nags—We’re Just Fed Up,” shared by millions of readers, Gemma Hartley gave much-needed voice to the frustration and anger experienced by countless women. Now, in Fed Up, Hartley expands outward from the everyday frustrations of performing thankless emotional labor to illuminate how the expectation to do this work in all arenas—private and public—fuels gender inequality, limits our opportunities, steals our time, and adversely affects the quality of our lives.More than just name the problem, though, Hartley teases apart the cultural messaging that has led us here and asks how we can shift the load. Rejecting easy solutions that don’t ultimately move the needle, Hartley offers a nuanced, insightful guide to striking real balance, for true partnership in every aspect of our lives. Reframing emotional labor not as a problem to be overcome, but as a genderless virtue men and women can all learn to channel in our quest to make a better, more egalitarian world, Fed Up is surprising, intelligent, and empathetic essential reading for every woman who has had enough with feeling fed up.