cool book. really cool cover.
"Dieting is the most potent political sedative in history. A quietly mad population is a tractable one" --Naomi Wolf
Sonya Renee Taylor did a reading for Magers and Quinn in late March (s/o to Magers and Quinn for hosting so many great events). Though I wasn’t able to attend Taylor’s talk, I recently got my hands on a copy of her most new book (The Body is Not an Apology). It’s great. In 120 pages (this does not take long to read), Taylor describes the culture of body shaming in the United States and argues that “radical self love” is the only effective antidote to a culture that has normalized body hatred. For those of you who have read Hunger (Roxane Gay), Taylor’s book is less personal narrative and more “self help” directive. Parts of the book read like a more traditional academic paper (with sections from Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth etc).
The whole section on the “Body-Shame Profit Complex” is great. Taylor posits that we must better connect the way we spend our money to what we really want in life. She suggests that women make too many purchases that serve as band aids for feelings of deficiency/ inadequacy. Consider the fact that the average American woman spends $3,770 on mascara over her lifetime (and the average American woman spends almost $20,000 on beauty products in her lifetime): “We humans are masters of distraction, using makeup, weight loss, and a finely curated self image to avoid being present to our fears…We are not bad or frivolous people for buying beauty products…I am proposing that reflecting on our purchases gives us an opportunity to investigate whether we are in alignment with out own unapologetic truth. Are we being manipulated by capitalism and the Body-Shame Profit Complex?”(42)THANK YOU, SONYA !! I feel like I’ve been trying to find the right words to say this for the last two decades.