What we're about

When the whole world seems designed to tell you that your body isn’t “right” or “good enough” it is a transformative and empowering act to reject those messages and learn to love yourself exactly as you are right in this moment; and that every single unique, diverse, and beautiful person on this earth deserves that self-love. The intention of BoPo Book Club & More is to be a group that creates spaces free from the default buy-in of harmful and pervasive social messaging that keeps people constantly at war with their bodies, and to create enriching experiences that build a community dedicated to the idea of fighting diet culture (and other oppressive systems) and promoting body positivity (BoPo for short). That could mean events like book club, movie nights, discussion groups (maybe around my bonfire pit? S’mores are delicious AND empowering), joyful movement and other ability-inclusive experiences in nature, and anything else that presents itself as a way for us to celebrate ourselves exactly as we are! To take up the space that diet culture tells us we don’t deserve, and to unlearn the things that keep us from our highest and best forms of happiness!

I’m not especially qualified to do this, I’m just one fat woman who got as exhausted as you can get with hating herself, who learned that diet culture is NOT the only way to live, and who wants to create safer spaces where diet culture and all the (systemic and otherwise) forms of hate and bigotry are not welcome and are not the default.

If this sounds good to you, if you’re even just the smallest bit curious about body positivity, or you just want to celebrate how amazing you are, then I really hope you’ll come on out!

DEFINITIONS: These are by no means the only or even the best definitions of some of these terms, but hopefully they can help us all be on the same page.
Body Positivity: A social movement centered on the idea that ALL people deserve to accept and love the bodies they are in, despite how society defines beauty, health, or worthiness. (This comes from me personally as a concise amalgamate of what I understand BoPo to be).
Diet Culture: “Diet Culture is a system of beliefs that: worships thinness and equates it to health and moral value” (via Brenna O’Malley at alissarumsey.com)
Joyful Movement: Is giving yourself permission to move your body or engage in physical activity that focuses on what makes you happy and encourages a positive experience. It specifically discourages and rejects moving your body for weight loss or as a “punishment” for eating. (From me, based on my own experience)
What creating a “safer space” means: there is no way to make any space 100% safe, so I use the word “safer” and as the moderator of these events will do my very best to follow and enforce the rules of a Body Positive Zone (as created by Nalgona Positivity Pride, www.nalgonapositivitypride.com)

BoPo Book Club and More will be a Body Positive Zone, which means:
No Diet/Weight Talk (we’ll be discussing topics that relate to these, but no talk that reinforces or assumes the default acceptance of diet culture)
No Body Policing (criticizing appearances)
No Food Shaming (judging food options or eating habits)
No Health or Concern Trolling (keep your health advice to yourself) (we’ll be discussing health and healthism as a topic, but promoting or defending healthism, diet culture, or your own moralistic health advice won’t be tolerated)
No Gender Policing (reinforcing gender norms)
No Ableism (discrimination against people with disabilities)
No Racist Beauty Standards
My addition to the Body Positive Zone list: No violence, harassment, hate, or bigotry

Together we can create something affirming and uplifting for all!

P.S. - If you read all the way down to here, then you are the full on awesomesauce. If you come to one of the BoPo Book Club and More events and say “I am the full on awesomesauce” then you’ll even get a special treat! From me to you as a way to say thank you for imbibing all the information!

Upcoming events (2)

VIRTUAL BoPo Book Club & More - Embodiment Discussion via Pixar's Soul

For the June BoPo Book Club event, let's have a movie discussion! Many of the books and conversations we've explored touch on the idea of "embodiment". Not just making nebulous ideas concrete actions, but the more mental and spiritual sense of being "in our bodies" and living "inside our heads". Most notably we've exposed how there's a facet of systems of oppression (like racism, diet culture, beauty standards and patriarchy) which is dedicated to forcing us to believe that our bodies are "bad" and we're failures if we can't meet "ideals". This is what turns feeding ourselves into daily horror shows of guilt, anxiety, and destructive restriction, turns exercise into hideous self punishment, and makes it literally unsafe for us to feel like we're present and fully realized inside our own bodies and minds.

These are the topics that ran thorough my mind as I watched this movie, Soul, by Disney/Pixar. Pixar's "Soul" is about a jazz pianist who has a near-death experience and gets stuck in the afterlife, contemplating his choices and regretting the existence that he mostly took for granted. For the June BoPo Book Club, let's combat these systems of oppression by discussing how to heal and grow though joyfully and mindfully reconnecting with our bodies, and how that's depicted in this movie.

If access to watching this movie is not financially feasible for you, just send me a message and we'll work out a way for you to gain access. I also don't want to proceed without acknowledging some of the cultural critique of this movie, an excellent article on which can be found here: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/pixars-troubled-soul?utm_source=onsite-share&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=onsite-share&utm_brand=the-new-yorker

I am so excited for us to cover this movie and this topic, and I hope to see you there!

Casey (she/her) is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: VIRTUAL BoPo Book Club & More - Embodiment Discussion via Pixar's Soul
Time: Jun 16,[masked]:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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VIRTUAL BoPo Book Club & More - The Body Is Not an Apology

July's selection for the virtual BoPo Book Club & More book discussion is The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor, the updated 2nd edition (though if you have the first edition, that's still perfectly applicable for our discussion, whatever works for you!). This book is so critical to fighting diet culture and other forms of body terrorism that I'm excited to make it an annual event for our club. I am particularly excited about sharing this with y'all since it takes a hard and knowledgeable look at our culture and how body acceptance can (and should!) play a part on a much bigger scale than just ourselves.

Description of The Body Is Not an Apology (from Amazon): Humans are a varied and divergent bunch with all manner of beliefs, morals, and bodies. Systems of oppression thrive off our inability to make peace with difference and injure the relationship we have with our own bodies.

The Body Is Not an Apology offers radical self-love as the balm to heal the wounds inflicted by these violent systems. World-renowned activist and poet Sonya Renee Taylor invites us to reconnect with the radical origins of our minds and bodies and celebrate our collective, enduring strength. As we awaken to our own indoctrinated body shame, we feel inspired to awaken others and to interrupt the systems that perpetuate body shame and oppression against all bodies. When we act from this truth on a global scale, we usher in the transformative opportunity of radical self-love, which is the opportunity for a more just, equitable, and compassionate world—for us all.

The book can be found on Amazon here:

Casey (she/her) is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: VIRTUAL BoPo Book Club & More - The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
Time: Jul 21,[masked]:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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