“Positive body image isn’t believing your body looks good; it is knowing your body is good, regardless of how it looks.”
Book Description: Our beauty-obsessed world perpetuates the idea that happiness, health, and ability to be loved are dependent on how we look, but authors Lindsay and Lexie Kite offer an alternative vision. With insights drawn from their extensive body image research, Lindsay and Lexie—PhDs and founders of the nonprofit Beauty Redefined (and also twin sisters!)—lay out an action plan that arms you with the skills you need to reconnect with your whole self and free yourself from the constraints of self-objectification.
I recently read More Than a Body: Your Body Is an Instrument, Not an Ornament by Dr. Lindsay Kite and Dr. Lexie Kite. Their IG account, @beauty_redefined, is one I love to follow, so I have been looking forward to reading their book.
It’s a solid read about living in a world that tries to make us believe that how we look is the most important thing about us. They use a metaphor, the Sea of Self-Objectification, throughout the book to help readers understand the many ways, or waves, that we can be overwhelmed by how we view our bodies, as well as other people’s.
They weave together research and personal stories to offer actionable ideas to stop objectifying our bodies. I especially like their focus on building resilience as we practice facing our “feelings of body shame or embarrassment” and using them as “a catalyst for personal growth.” Their reflection questions, if answered thoughtfully, can help readers get very clear about how they feel about their bodies and why.
My favorite section was “Critiquing and Creating Your Media Environment” with “From Divided to United as Women” my second. Back in my classroom days, I taught media literacy to my students, so I was happy to see the way this book helps readers deconstruct media messaging about our bodies as well as offering tips about how to curate media experiences that don’t leave us filled with body shame. And helping women understand that we don’t have to push anyone else down to lift ourselves up, especially around how we look, is a message that I will always support.
I also appreciated their thoughts about school dress codes, as I navigate this gauntlet daily with my daughters. On this and many other topics, they helped me refine my own thoughts and provided language to support me in articulating the messages I want to share.
I think this would be a fantastic read for people new to the concept of body acceptance. But it’s also useful for people who have been treating their bodies with more kindness for a while to refresh and refine their thoughts.