A Review of Body Talk

49151016It’s time to bare it all about bodies!
We all experience the world in a body, but we don’t usually take the time to explore what it really means to have and live within one. Just as every person has a unique personality, every person has a unique body, and every body tells its own story.
In Body Talk, thirty-seven writers, models, actors, musicians, and artists share essays, lists, comics, and illustrations—about everything from size and shape to scoliosis, from eating disorders to cancer, from sexuality and gender identity to the use of makeup as armor. Together, they contribute a broad variety of perspectives on what it’s like to live in their particular bodies—and how their bodies have helped to inform who they are and how they move through the world.
Come on in, turn the pages, and join the celebration of our diverse, miraculous, beautiful bodies!

If you’ve read Kelly Jensen’s other anthology, (Don’t) Call Me Crazy, you already know how wonderfully diverse the voices are inside. This one made me tear up and cry several times. Partially because I saw myself in some of these stories (who knew Tyra Banks would make me cry on a Sunday? Not I), and partially because you never know what someone’s life is truly like.

Eric Smith (whose Don’t Read the Comments was one of my favorite reads of this year) has a touching piece about being, well, kinda fuzzy as an 11-year-old. Sara Saedi’s essay is about getting braces at 13, and how being an undocumented immigrant tied in with that. But not everything is on the lighter side. There are some heavy things mixed in, too. There’s essays on body positivity, how sexuality ties in with bodies, and more.

Much like (Don’t) Call Me Crazy, the essays have facts and statistics interspersed throughout the book. Like a little blurb on how to talk about disabled folks, and accessibility, and the difference between body positivity and fat acceptance. (You can check out my instagram for possibly the most vulnerable picture I’ve ever posted of myself.)

This anthology is absolutely wonderful, and I highly recommend picking it up, regardless of how comfortable you are in your skin. I give Body Talk 5 out of 5 bear hugs. Thank you so much to Algonquin Young Readers for including me on the blog tour!

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