I received a free copy of The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
You know, this book began to heal apart of myself that I thought I had healed. That part of yourself that you “find” in college. The part that you tell to stay quiet as your new “self” begins to emerge. That part that you know is easily triggered.
Guys, the details of the story-telling, the journaling notes at each passing chapter, it forced me to take a hard look at how I view myself in today’s society. The Self-Love Revolution by Virgie Tovar forced my younger self to heal.
I grew up in a community where lighter skin complexion, and being “thick” was better, or were one of two things someone aspired to be. I didn’t realize that this was the basis of why I was bullied and taunted by family members and peers alike.
For years I did not realize that because I was a light-skinned black girl that I was somehow “better” than others. Friends and family made me feel like an outcast. I didn’t have many friends and essentially I was a loner. I had a select few of people who really knew me beneath the surface. Somehow, with me being private about my life that further fueled the “she think she’s better than us” narrative.
I was also this skinny little thing, and most women in my family had curves! I mean beautiful curves that hit in all the right spots. Y’all know what I mean… I was constantly ridiculed about how skinny I was. Always being told that I wouldn’t get hips during puberty, which, of course, I didn’t. There were never ending comments about how I would never find a man that only wanted bones. I mean there wasn’t a family gathering that I wasn’t talked about.
As I got older I realized that those people were only projecting their own insecurities about themselves onto me. Someone who was soft spoken and did not want any conflict. I was an easy target.
Also, during high school I saw first hand how being a light-skinned black girl gave me privilege. I saw guys choose me over my darker-skinned friend. Or the teacher assuming my classmates were always the problem, but not me.
I wish I could tell my teenage self that none of the trauma I experienced was my fault.
I wish I could tell her that confidence is a must.
I wish I told her that she was beautiful more often.
I wish she knew that she would be confident enough to start her own business by age 25.
I wish she knew she would be breaking stereotypes within her family.
I wish she knew that I loved her.
What I am most excited about is sharing this book with my younger cousin, more like sister. She was the first baby and kid that I really enjoyed babysitting. She was the cutest thing, and all I wanted to do was protect her, well, I still do…but of course she’s grown up in American culture. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, commercials, ads, and lets not forget her high school peers have influenced her view of what beauty is. Her and I have the most intimate conversations about the real world, and just how huge it is. This book will give her the view that beauty is a construct, and that what she sees as beautiful is just that, beautiful, and the rest of the world can kick rocks.
This book, The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color, was so powerful because it will begin a revolution. I wish I had a book that was as detailed and real as this one when I was a pre-teen/teenager. My 12-13 year old self would have viewed the world in a different way.
Until next time family.