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.
As a middle-aged wife and mom, I’ve talked about self-care repeatedly on my parenting show. I’ve reminded women that it’s important to take breaks, go to the spa, carve out self-care time at home and generally be easy on themselves. But at the basis of self-care is self-love, something I struggled with from my teenage years to now. From the moment baby girls are introduced to the world – her looks, her demeanor, her clothes and everything about her are subject to public scrutiny.
For me, it was my deep, dark skin, and later my curves (hips, belly, thighs).
When my peers or family members didn’t feel my appearance worthy of compliments, they’d focus on my good grades.
I was harder on myself than they ever were. I was lovesick over stupid boys. I recognized the boys liked thinner girls, white girls, or girls with lighter skin.
I was way more weight conscious than I’d like to admit as a teenaged girl. The bathroom scale and I were in a never-ending face-off. The only thing I hated worse than the bathroom scale was the school scale. The elementary school nurse would weigh us, track our pounds and growth. As if that torture wasn’t bad enough, the gym teacher had the physical fitness tests at the ready. They felt like they were made just to embarrass you publicly. Your height, weight, and physical agility were all tracked in front of your peers.
I was always one of the heavier girls, mainly because I had more muscle mass like my African ancestors. I vividly remember being one of the first girls to reach 100 pounds in my class. How crazy that we all knew how much each other weighed in the ’80s!
The Self-Love Revolution Book could have influenced my perspective as a growing teenage girl.
Author Virgie Tovar shared stories from her childhood to her adulthood on how family, friends, and total strangers had no problem sounding off with their opinions about her appearance. They made it clear through their words and actions that they weren’t happy about her size. They critiqued her clothes, especially, since she describes herself as fat in the book. If she wore anything her grandmother interpreted as revealing, a guilt trip would ensue.
In the 16-chapter Self-Love Revolution Book, Tovar helps you re-think the messages young women receive about their bodies. Through her lens, you’ll be encouraged to reconsider your media intake. For example, women’s magazines are a common pain point for Tovar. Although she loves a professional salon manicure and pedicure like the rest of us, she realized that the magazines laid by the chairs we love to chill in – had a damaging effect. The models are overwhelmingly thin, white, and blonde. When she realized how hurtful it was to her soul to consume this content – she stopped reading them.
My experience with magazines was very different as a teenager. My Mother had Jet magazine and Ebony magazine around the house. Once I moved out on my own, I kept a subscription to Essence magazine. If you don’t know what any of these magazines are, it’s because they’re targeted to African-American women. They’re our version of Cosmopolitan, Elle and People.
Tovar recommends that you focus on spending your money with brands/products that make you feel seen, not invalidated. If a media message is one of guilt and shame because your body, hair or skin don’t meet the perceived beauty standards – turn it off. Don’t support it. Don’t buy it.
My A-Ha Moments
Don’t miss the gems on page 99 of the Self-Love Revolution: Forty Quick Things You Can Develop Self-Love. Tovar does a great job of breaking self-love down to achievable bites. It helps you re-evaluate your relationship with your “skinny jeans,” diet trends, friendships, and social media.
Since we’re all home self-distancing, the journal prompts in each chapter of the book are right on time. You have no excuses. Tackle them as you please. Talk to your “mom friends” and the teenage girl in your life about them. See where the conversation goes.
Win Your Self-Love Book
You can win one of thirty (30) copies of The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color.
Follow the instructions and enter by May 11, 2020. You must be 18+ and live in the United States.