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Summary

“To build a world that works for everyone, we must first make the radical decision to love every facet of ourselves.... ‘The body is not an apology’ is the mantra we should all embrace.” (Kimberlé Crenshaw, legal scholar and founder and executive director, African American Policy Forum)

Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies.

The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world - for us all.

This second edition includes stories from Taylor’s travels around the world combating body terrorism and shines a light on the path toward liberation guided by love. In a brand new final chapter, she offers specific tools, actions, and resources for confronting racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia. And she provides a case study showing how radical self-love not only dismantles shame and self-loathing in us but has the power to dismantle entire systems of injustice. Together with the accompanying workbook, Your Body Is Not an Apology, Taylor brings the practice of radical self-love to life.

©2018, 2021 Sonya Renee Taylor (P)2021 Sonya Renee Taylor

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What listeners say about The Body Is Not an Apology, Second Edition

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fantastic

fantastic fantastic?? fantastic fantastic fantastic did I say fantastic?? idk umm fantastic? yes fantastic. fantastic.

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Life saving

I dream of a world where everyone will have read this amazing, kind and so human book and embraced radical self love for their own and everyone else’s benefit. A deep revolution is possible and it starts with Sonya Renee Taylor’s words and tools. Thank you!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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Love to listen to Sonya

Sonya perfectly articulates the vastness of the issues surrounding marginalisation & how deeply rooted they are. The systems of oppression that exist will not dismantle themselves. Sonya discusses how we all need to act to uplift those in a less privileged position than ourselves. The way Sonya speaks is always without judgement and it always seems to me she expressing something deeply true. Love the focus on community and coming together at ground level as a way towards equity. Great book, great author, great movement.

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vital reading ...

... for anyone who wants to live in a more inclusive and compassionate world

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Incredible

Highly recommend

I so wish this type of book had been available 40 years ago

Would have saved me decades of anguish.

Simply brilliant

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upsetting but needs reading

Body shame is very real and is something I believe most people have experienced. From the bouncer who tells you you're not all that to look at as you a trying to help a drunk friend to the people who try to rip your inner soul to shreds because you are 'lovely but...' or 'you have it easy' 'you look so perfect' or 'you're so educated'. Or a workman who thinks it's ok to say hmmm yeah your bodies great, your bums a bit big but thats a good thing and you are flat on top...to which I didn't even bother saying I'm wearing a sports bra because who asked if he likes my 'form' anyway!!

From massaging I have seen so many beautiful people of different shapes and sizes and they are perfect advocates of why body's should be whatever they are meant to be and how that individual wants to enhance (or not).

I'm about if you are healthy in the sense of being able to carry out your day with ease.

I like Deepok Chopra as he says all this without kinda making me feel quite so shitty about the world we live in.

I found myself becoming very down listening to this but I stuck at it as she deserves to be heard. I like that she showed ways to be a decent human being. I found it so sad that we live in a world that needs this spelled out. I did learn from it and was glad to realise alot of it is stuff taught in meditation etc I also learnt why terminology was changed and agree with the reasoning.

I am lucky to have been brought up in an education system from the age of 5 where we were very diverse. Although it was a different issue. It wasn't body shame at that school, it was keep up with the learning speed or you are dumb culture and I was the one shamed by classmates, teachers and others! so I guess I was the one with the disability. I was given great coping mechanisms and it rarely holds me back as I find ways.

I love that the author is about the individual. That matters and I should listen again and has made me speak up more when people slag off other people who are trying their best to look good. who gives them the right to say if they look good or not and why is there not more emphasis on being a decent human being?!

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powerful

this is required listening for everyone with a body. I loved it absolutely. the message and the book were amazing.

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Radical or not

It seems that sometimes using loud words can help people thrive to do something loud, however sometimes it causes more harm.
Author talks about self love and how discrimination and differentiation becomes a powerful way of oppression, where everyone is in away oppressed, even when person might think person is free. And perhaps the book has great quotes to read in, but nevertheless there won't be answers. Why? Although author suggests that we need to speak, include the differences and celebrate them, we need to engage and want to talk, in reality sometimes talking is not an answer, everything should come from person, there is no need to include in a room people who are different, if one is not ready to design the room so that it's accessable and if people in there do so just to tick a box. These self love, body acknowledging movement are more than just "radical" discussion and changing mentality, it should be "radical" because we need to change everything around us. And there I catch myself to the thought "was this book about radical self love and body terrorism" or was it just a glimpse at what could have been a great topic?
I feel that author escaped of talking about religious and cultural impacts (yes, she mentions history but not as detailed), more so to talk about that there's somewhere white supremacy, fat shaming and body shaming because of perception, nothing too deep, just a grasp.
Perhaps some might find this book as a push to love oneself, but I doubt that it presents the necessary tools to understand how to change those who are body shaming - some people will never change their point of view and then where's the radical solution?
Yes, body is not an apology, but then also background and knowledge given when growing are not an apology. So what does it mean?

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This will hit you down to the core

I heard Sonya on Brené Brown's podcast and downloaded this audio book immediately (after checking to make sure Sonya narrated it, her energy is infectious). I then proceeded to dedicate my whole day to it. That all sounds extreme, but Sonya has that way about her, where you can't stop listening/reading. The title alone was enough to stop me in my tracks, but the power of this book doesn't end there. This isn't just a 'how to love yourself' more book, though that may be a side effect. This is a pulling back of the guises that we've been wearing, as humans living in a capitalist world. Sonya shares how deep that 'apology' can run, how cornered into spaces we are without being aware of it, how much of this is how we feel about others, as well as ourselves. I am so much more clued in to myself now, as if Sonya has shown me the thorn in my side that I couldn't find before. I'm very grateful to have found my way to this book!

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  • Sarah vdw
  • 16-02-21

YES YES YES

This book has changed me in such profound ways I barely have the words. I have already pre-ordered the workbook and am excitedly awaiting arrival. For anyone who has dealt with the scourge of body terrorism, body shame, and has lost their sense of radical self love, read this book. I cried in revelation throughout every chapter. Wonderful wonderful wonderful.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-04-21

Mothers and Fathers and everyBODY should read!

Amazing and revolutionary and right to the heart. I recommend this book for parents and teachers who guide children to feel natural in their bodies and keep the radical self love that Sonya says we had when we were babies. There’s still a lot for me to process from this book. I want to be a part of a community of people who work with these concepts. I want to be a part of a community who will help more people be respected and recognize for our different beautiful qualities in all shades, abilities, sizes and sexual choices and identity. Read it! The more the better. Thank you Sonya❣️

11 people found this helpful

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  • KKelly2
  • 05-04-21

Important And Yet Sadly Hurtful.

Ms. Taylor at times speaks such beautiful hope and the truth of our individual beauty . Unfortunately at other times this book doesn’t seem to recognize it’s own thumping down of anyone who doesn’t agree with the political opinions of the author.
If this book were truly about love of self and others, would we not strive to radically love OTHERS ?! Even those with whom we would not choose to grow friendship? The “all welcome “ flag flies here, with the small print asterisk *unless you dare to be other than...

9 people found this helpful

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  • Beverly Collins Parnell
  • 08-03-21

Revolutionary

As the mom of a child who is not neuro-typical this book hit me so hard for all of the ways we've apologized and contorted and carried shame. #FREEDOM

6 people found this helpful

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  • Yolanda
  • 27-07-21

Perspective changing

I was fascinated by the stunning cover of this book on the shelf in Barnes and Noble, and I wanted to know more of the audacious confidence. I ordered it on Audible. The author challenged what our culture says about bodies, and she doesn't stop with the superficial. The deeply embedded defaults of body size, race, physical abilities, gender and sex are all disrupted by this concept of self-love. I think its a great book to read and recommend for anyone, especially anyone who is aware of body shame - and after this book, may view themselves in a more loving and compassionate context. This compassionate view to applies to oneself and others.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Brandy Gill
  • 20-04-21

Fresh, compassionate truth

I love this book. I’m so blown away by the author’s ability to inform, question, reflect, challenge, change, and adjust harmful “normal” narratives that are injected into every aspect of life. As soon as I finished, I wanted to start the audiobook over from the beginning because the wisdom and compassion imparted throughout each chapter gave me so much hope and outlook. Highly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Petty
  • 08-06-21

must read

absolutely mind-blowing, I had no idea how deeply this book would affect how I look at the world.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Shannon
  • 22-02-21

Loved this!

A must-read for all. Highly recommend. Eager to check out the workbook that accompanies this.

2 people found this helpful

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  • SEAN M
  • 28-02-22

Life Changing

Devoured TWICE! Sonya is an artist in bringing to light why radical self love is the only way back to self, not only for the self, but for the world at large. This is important work.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Davena Wellington
  • 25-02-22

Revolutionary and enlightening

I found this book to reawaken some truths I've known and revealed some truths I had not thought about.

1 person found this helpful