New Children’s Book Wants to Teach Kids Body Positivity and Self-Love

“Her body is beautiful—strong, kind and wise. All bodies are lovely no matter their size.”
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By Nehal Aggarwal, Editor
Updated March 2, 2020
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While browsing through children’s books, you’ll find a lot of colorful books filled with powerful messages on kindness, acceptance, friendship and diversity. But, when it comes to body positivity, there is little available in the children’s books market. Now, two moms are changing that.

Ady Meschke and Katie Crenshaw are both Atlanta-based moms and bloggers noticed nine months ago the lack of kids’ books around body positivity. Last week, in an effort to fill that gap, they released their new children’s book Her Body Can.

Image: Courtesy East 26th Publishing

“Her body is beautiful—strong, kind and wise. All bodies are lovely no matter their size,” the description of the book on Amazon reads. “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.”

According to reports, by the time girls turn 13, 53 percent are “unhappy with their bodies.” Her Body Can is geared towards kids aged 8 and under in an effort to show them how to look at their bodies positively before being affected by mainstream culture.

The issue is one that’s close to the authors’ heart, they shared in an interview with Glamor. “We wanted to portray a plus-size kid living her best life, with no apologies,” Crenshaw stated. “My daughter has a large facial birthmark, so lack of representation has always been at the forefront of my brain, and 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.”

Meschke, who herself has been a victim of “internet trolls calling her fat,” added that, had she had this book as a kid, she might have started to be confident and comfortable in her own skin sooner. “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…The book is definitely about teaching kids not only to accept and love themselves, but accepting and loving others for their differences too,” she stated in the interview. “It was really important to us to address specific restrictions that were imposed upon us growing up because of our size, and negate them. My whole life I heard, ‘Don’t wear two-piece bathing suits, don’t wear white, don’t wear color, don’t wear crop tops,’ so we made it a point to have our heroine wear every single thing we were told we couldn’t wear because of our size. We want to change that narrative for the next generation of children.”

The illustrations also show different types of friends, including 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,’” Meschke stated.

While Her Body Can is geared towards girls, the authors are currently in their first round of edits for a second book, His Body Can, which will feature a male protagonist and focus on the insecurities and gender roles little boys may face. The book should be coming out later this year.

Her Body Can is now available on Amazon and is coming soon to major retail stores.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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