Finally, A Body Positivity Book For Kids Is Here
Ady Meschke and Katie Crenshaw have published the first body positivity book for kids, “Her Body Can”
Once upon a time, the children’s section of the book store mostly featured illustrations of stereotypically beautiful people — white and slender like the Barbie dolls of our youth. However, over the last few decades things have evolved a bit and there is much more diversity in children’s literature. Despite the fact that there are lots of new children’s stories focusing on friendship, accepting others who look different than you, and kindness in general, for whatever reason there hasn’t really been a children’s book tackling one of the most important conversations society is having right now — body positivity. Nine months ago Atlanta-based bloggers and moms Ady Meschke and Katie Crenshaw decided to change this, and this week, their new book Her Body Can was released.
“Her body is beautiful — strong, kind and wise. All bodies are lovely no matter their size,” reads the description of the book on Amazon. “Her Body Can is a book of poetic self-love and body positivity declarations for all young girls. Its aim is to encourage our young girls to create a reality for themselves in which they love themselves and their bodies for exactly who and what they are, instead of learning to judge themselves and hate their bodies for what they are not. Our girls should know that their bodies are absolutely amazing and CAN DO incredible things — and that their worth is not measured by anything except how big they love themselves.”
“The very first book of its kind, written for girls ages newborn to 8, this book intends to teach all young girls their bodies CAN DO ANYTHING and that what they look like is irrelevant — we are all beautiful exactly the way we are.”
The authors explained to Glamour that the reason they opted to target their book at younger girls is because they wanted to help internalize positive messages about bodies before the biases of mainstream culture seep in. After all, reports have found that by the time girls are 13, over half express dissatisfaction with their body. Additionally, up to 50% of girls in grades K through 8 are already concerned about their weight.
In an interview with the magazine, Meschke and Crenshaw explained that while most of the books out there teach kids how to “overcome bullying or other adversity,” they wanted theirs to “be about representation without there being anything negative in our girl’s life.”
“We wanted to portray a plus-size kid living her best life, with no apologies,” said Crenshaw.
Crenshaw, whose daughter has a large facial birthmark, explained that lack of representation has always been “at the forefront” of her brain. “I have always been hyper aware of making sure she knew that what made her physically different didn’t define her happiness or success. Having atypical-looking children represented in the media our children consume is incredibly important.”
This is why it was crucial for them to portray “friends” of all different types: kids with different physical abilities, different hairstyles, different races, different sizes, and different religions. “The pictures in this book say loud and clear, ‘Everyone is equal.'” added Meschke.
Now, more than ever, this book is what the world needs.
“Body positivity is a movement right now in our space as adults, and I love it, but it needs to be taught at a young age, and that’s our goal,” Meschke continued, revealing that she had been trolled the day prior. “I really believe that if I’d had a book as a kid that taught this type of message, maybe it wouldn’t have taken me until I was 34 to be that confident. The book is definitely about teaching kids not only to accept and love themselves, but accepting and loving others for their differences too.”
The authors hope their book will quell the “fatphobic” atmosphere that surrounds body image, and help make it easier for parents and educators to teach their children self-love.
Her Body Can is available on Amazon for $16.