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Teaching my Daughters Self-Love: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color

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.

The Self-Love Revolution. Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color. Virgie Tovar

One of the silver linings of quarantine is that I finally have time to read! I recently finished an amazing, and dare I say life-changing, book called “The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color” by Virgie Tovar. 

Now, this book is easy to read as it is very relatable however, it is not what I would consider light reading as it is very thought-provoking. The author, Virgie Tovar, is an exceptional body positivity advocate. In The Self-Love Revolution, she unapologetically shares her unique perspective of growing up as a woman of color in America, which sparked a very interesting conversation regarding pop culture and its representation of various body types and nationalities with my daughters Emi and Chloe who are, respectively, 16 and 13 years old. As a mother, I am grateful that this book helped me address this uncomfortable subject with my two teenage daughters.

The Self-Love Revolution. Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color. Virgie Tovar

My hope, as a parent of three children, is that my kids define themselves not by what they look like physically, but who they are as a person and who they strive to be. This is an impactful book for young (and not so young) women of color as the author shares relatable personal experiences which makes you reflect on the events and challenges that you may have faced yourself throughout your life. 

The Self-Love Revolution. Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color. Virgie Tovar

Growing up, I struggled with what my classmates thought about me and how people in our neighborhood treated my family. Looking back, this has probably made me a better and tougher person, but it definitely was not easy to deal with.

About the Author: Virgie Tovar

Virgie Tovar, MA, is one of the nation’s leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She holds a master’s degree in sexuality studies with a focus on the intersections of body size, race, and gender. She is the founder of Babecamp, a four-week online course designed to help people who are ready to break up with diet culture, and creator of the hashtag campaign #LoseHateNotWeight. Tovar edited the anthology Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, 2012) and is the author of You Have the Right to Remain Fat (Feminist Press, 2018), which was placed on the American Library Association’s Amelia Bloomer List. She is a contributor for ForbesWomen and Bedsider, and in 2018 she was named one of the top 50 most influential feminists by Bitch Magazine. She is a recipient of the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale. Tovar has been featured by the New York Times, Tech Insider, MTV, Al Jazeera, and Yahoo Health. She lives in San Francisco, CA.

I am a first-generation American; my family left their home country of Cambodia to find refuge and freedom in America during the Vietnam War. I grew up in Utah, living in a house with my entire extended family and raised by my grandparents while my mom worked two full-time jobs to provide for us. Kids are cruel and, because of my dark hair and skin color, my classmates referred to me as Chinese (even though I am not) and called me monkey. I didn’t have many friends and always felt like my family and I didn’t fit in. 

The Self-Love Revolution. Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color. Virgie Tovar

My daughters are half Cambodian and half Caucasian. They too have unfortunately experienced various forms of discrimination due to having different religious beliefs and by being called Mexican when they are not. I am truly excited about this book because it will help them learn to love and to embrace their unique qualities and beautiful features – just the way they are. Emi and Chloe are ballroom dancers and feel the pressure to have what they consider to be a perfect dancer’s body. I have taught them that all dancers come in different shapes and that their bodies are beautiful just the way they are, but The Self-Love Revolution simply reinforces my point. 

The Self-Love Revolution. Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color. Virgie Tovar

One of the things that I love about it is that it contains journaling prompts; now I’m a big fan of journaling to process my everyday emotions but I feel like this will be especially interesting for my daughters. I don’t want Emi and Chloe to live in a society in which they feel less than, and I think that putting pen to paper will help them reflect on their own experiences and learn how to cope and react when faced with discrimination. I trust that this book will inspire a new generation of young women of color to feel happy in their bodies and embrace themselves just as they are.

The Self-Love Revolution. Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color. Virgie Tovar

We are so used to feeling different that sometimes we forget that it shouldn’t be that way; Americans come in all shapes and sizes. I want to teach my daughters that all bodies are beautiful and that, while different cultures have different beauty standards, you don’t have to fit into a specific mold. More and more kids will grow up in biracial families so this is a new reality that needs to be discussed. This book gave me the tools to broach the subject with my daughters and for that I am eternally grateful. 

While I know that this is an uncomfortable topic for many, I’m not one to shy away from addressing women issues. I want to empower my daughters to feel confident in their own skin and proud of being a woman, whether through sharing my own self-love and body acceptance journey or by teaching them to be comfortable with their menstrual cycle and to work with it, rather than against it. We need to stop acting like we can or should change anything about the bodies that we were given; beauty cannot be defined and that is what I want to teach my daughters. 

Enter to win your own copy of The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color!

The Self-Love Revolution. Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color. Virgie Tovar

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Giveaway Details:

  • Prizes: One of 30 copies of The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color ($10.50-$17.00 ARV)
  • Dates: April 14 – May 11, 2020
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15 Comments

  1. Tina Fidler
    May 4, 2020 / 9:08 pm

    I love this. Wow, your daughters are both beautiful, as are you! Thank you for sharing. I think this would be a great book to read for both myself and my biracial daughter when she’s old enough to understand it.

  2. Thavy
    May 5, 2020 / 7:17 am

    I need to pick up this book! Thanks for sharing, Debbie! So proud of you and my “little big” girls! You’re all beautiful inside and out!!

  3. May 17, 2020 / 6:32 am

    What a beautiful family! I am sorry for all you went through growing up. I was thinking that surely in this day and age your daughters would not have experienced the same thing, then you talked about the fact that they did. I feel like sometimes the world is so unnecessarily cruel about things that have no basis in bullying and meanness.
    That being said, that is an awesome book! My daughters are all adults now, but I can share this book with them for their daughters.

  4. May 17, 2020 / 10:17 pm

    You have beautiful kids. Teaching self love is very important especially now that we see a famous people in social media. we should love our self more!

  5. May 17, 2020 / 10:18 pm

    You have beautiful kids. Teaching self love is very important especially now where social media is very popular.

  6. May 18, 2020 / 11:17 am

    They are pretty inside and out! Always remember to love yourself. Be authentic and love whatever God gave you.

  7. Lavern Moore
    May 18, 2020 / 8:40 pm

    Your daughters are very fortunate. These are some excellent parenting tips that I can put to great use right away!

  8. Monidipa
    May 18, 2020 / 11:20 pm

    You are doing a great job by doing this. I will check this one out for my neices.

  9. May 19, 2020 / 12:18 am

    Exactly ~ and I think there are lots of people on earth still struggle with “self-love” and they have doubts and questions about what they deserve. Thanks for sharing it with the world, and hopefully it will help the reader. – Knycx Journeying

  10. May 19, 2020 / 4:13 am

    If you are teaching your daughter about self-love, you are raising them well. Cheers!

  11. May 19, 2020 / 4:14 am

    If you are teaching your daughter about self love, you are raising them well!

  12. Amy
    May 19, 2020 / 4:52 am

    I always waiting for this blog to post something to feed our minds and heart. Love this kind of post where we know that it can give us positive wisdom about life.

  13. May 19, 2020 / 7:59 am

    I love the bond between you and your girls. not all mothers have the same freedom as yours. when I become a mother, i wish to be like you as well. 🙂

  14. Steven Morrissette
    May 19, 2020 / 8:02 am

    Self-love is the key to everything. You can’t be happy with others if you can’t learn to love yourself first. Also, love your self the way you are it doesn’t matter what others think it’s only their opinion, not yours.

  15. May 19, 2020 / 12:19 pm

    A great lesson for your daughters. It is so important that girls know to love themselves and understand different types of confidence.

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