“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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Prologue
  8. 1 Making Self-Love Radical
    1. What Radical Self-Love Is and What It Ain’t
    2. Why the Body?
    3. Why Must It Be Radical?
    4. What Have We Been Apologizing For? What If We Stopped?
    5. The Three Peaces
  9. 2 Shame, Guilt, and Apology—Then and Now
    1. When Did We Learn to Hate Them?
    2. Body-Shame Origin Stories
    3. Media Matters
    4. Buying to Be “Enough”
    5. A Government for, by, and about Bodies
    6. Call It What It Is: Body Terrorism
  10. 3 Building a Radical Self-Love Practice in an Age of Loathing
    1. Mapping Our Way out of Shame and into Radical Self-Love
    2. Thinking, Being, Doing
    3. Four Pillars of Practice
  11. 4 A New Way Ordered by Love
    1. A World for All Bodies Is a World for Our Bodies
    2. Speaking French and Implicit Bias
    3. Beating Body Terrorism from the Inside Out
    4. Changing Hearts
    5. Unapologetic Agreements
  12. 5 How to Fight with Love
    1. Radical Self-Love Transforms Organizations and Communities
    2. Freedom Frameworks for an Unapologetic Future
    3. Fighting Oppression, Isms, and Phobias
  13. Conclusion
  14. Notes
  15. Radical Resources
  16. Acknowledgments
  17. Index
  18. About the Author
  19. About TBINAA