Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2018
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Right up front Sonya Renee Taylor tells us that her book The Body Is Not an Apology is not meant to belong in anyone’s self-help library. Her book is about compassion, caring, and understanding. She means for us to start with ourselves. She has seen first-hand with herself and the important people in her life the devastation and disaster that comes from hating ourselves. Hating is not too strong a word given the context of many of the stories Sonya tells not only about herself, but about many of the people she meets in the workshops and seminars she has conducted all over the world.

If we start at the beginning, Sonya points out in example after example how little children are teased and taunted about their bodies by their families and children at school and on the playground. These hurts often last a lifetime and sometimes need therapy to be properly dealt with.

Big business often fuels the flames of self-doubt when it comes to women’s bodies. She points to the billion dollar cosmetics industry that sells women the lie that they are not good enough as they are and need hundreds of different products to hide their true selves. Just for the fun of it I went to our local CVS and walked down isle after isle of cosmetic products for women. From the top of a woman’s head to her toenails, every part of her body, inside and out, is an opportunity for profit for big business.

Each chapter of Sonya’s book gives us “Unapologetic Inquiries” and “Radical Reflections.” Let me share just a few of them with my readers. First, the Inquiries: “In what ways have you been asked to apologize for your body?” Perhaps Boot Camp in the Marine Corps is not the best example, but I remember well my drill instructor getting in my face as he attempted to break me down and either get me to quit or get with the program. Sonya then asks us: “What are you ready to stop apologizing for?” I thought immediately, “Not being good enough.” Then I thought, this must be a common response because being better at our jobs is a constant challenge in our lives. Not being good enough, when seen in the proper light, means that there is room to grow, not a bad thing.

A Radical Reflection that I think my readers will appreciate comes from Maya Angelou who says “When we know better, we do better. We can do better by giving ourselves more love.” Learning to love and praise ourselves is a constant theme in Sonya’s book and she makes clear that it is not only our responsibility to love ourselves, but to love and support our family, friends, and neighbors, unconditionally, whenever possible. One of the ways to begin changing ourselves and becoming more loving is to stop judging and criticizing others and to begin to be open to accept people as they are, not as we would like therm to be.

Perhaps readers of this review are now thinking that this book is sounding like self-help advice and I think that is correct. I felt that Sonya did a good job not only raising my consciousness, but also giving me much to think about in her Radical Reflections and plenty to act on with her many suggestions in Unapologetic Inquiries. Self-acceptance is certainly at the heart of her work and she suggests we go to her web site, which is included in her book. This web site is extensive and helpful if we want more information about Sonya, her colleagues, and their plans and programs. Sonya’s work is a positive force for good and her book reflects well her dedication to helping people help themselves and others at the same time.
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