Remember that display that I started? The “Stop Hating Your Body” display? Well, it’s done and officially up in the library.
I’m a little bit more nervous about this display than I was about the Pride Month one. I don’t know. I mean, we have such a long way to go as far as LGBTQ* rights are concerned, but at the very least I feel like it’s something you hear about on a daily basis. Am I wrong? Maybe it’s because I’m in a super liberal NYC bubble or maybe it’s due to the company I keep, but I feel like at least we’re talking about homophobia and equality. Are we talking about body image? Are we telling people, girls especially, that it’s OK to not hate your body? Has that discussion even begun?
It needs to be an every day discussion. Not just in zines and blogs. Body acceptance has to become part of mainstream dialogue. Otherwise, we have no hope against beauty magazines and the media. Zero chance for kids to have a healthy body image.
Sometimes I feel like it’s still so radical to let people know that it’s not OK to make fun of fat/obese/insert euphemism people (of which I count myself as one of). I want tweens and teens to realize that it’s alright to be fat. It’s OK to have big hips or thick legs. It’s alright to not have a supermodel body. And this isn’t just a display for the bigger teens, it’s for all of them. The thinner ones also need to be aware that they don’t need to be constantly dieting for no apparent reason. It’s not necessary to be permanently dissatisfied with your appearance.
I really needed someone to tell all of this to me when I was a (really, really thin) teenager. No one did. I was a mess. So, I’m making it known now.
I’ve already seen two tween boys pointing and laughing at a part of the display that features a fat girl in a bathing suit. It’s disheartening.
I’ve also seen a handful of girls read over the entire display.
Here it is. It’s got lots of tiny details. The ones I didn’t photograph for this post can be found here.
I’ll let you know how it’s received by our tweens and teens. I think for my next display, I’ll talk a bit about racism and cultural appropriation.
~Love and Libraries, Ingrid