Remember that display that I startedThe “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.

The aforementioned boys made fun of the drawing in the upper right corner. I was pretty upset.

This one is darling. It always makes me smile.

This one is darling. It always makes me smile.

Lumpy Space Princess and I have similar body issues.

Lumpy Space Princess and I have similar body issues.

The fashion magazine statistic is actually a screenshot from a documentary I was watching.

The fashion magazine statistic is actually a screenshot from a documentary I was watching.

The e.e. cummings quote is my new mantra. It can be yours, too.

The e.e. cummings quote is my new mantra. It can be yours, too.

Cats. Cupcakes.

Cats. Cupcakes. Riots, not diets.

I never say anything negative about my body around kids because I don't want them to think that they need to have negative feelings about themselves. This infographic is a good reminder to be careful what we say about weight and body image in front of children.

I never say anything negative about my body around kids because I don’t want them to think that they need to have negative feelings about themselves. This infographic is a good reminder to be careful what we say about weight and body image in front of children.

I crossed out where they said fuck, but I just typed fuck here. So, you know.

I crossed out where they said fuck, but I just typed fuck here. So, you know. Anyway, still an important message.

That dog picture always makes me go "awwww".

That dog picture always makes me go “awwww”.

This chick is so rad.

This chick is so rad.

Can I get a witness?! I heart carbs.

Can I get a witness?! I heart carbs, too, girl.

The whole shebang, right across from the YA reference desk.

The whole shebang, right across from the YA reference desk.

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

About magpielibrarian

Youth Services Librarian, Mediocre Crafter, Urban Magpie, Glitter Addict, and Worshiper of Ridiculous Outfits, Emerging Leader 2012, Former Rainbow Book List Member, and GLBT RT Director-at-Large! This is what a librarian looks like, kids.

13 responses »

  1. I LOVE this and am contemplating doing a similar one here. This would have been SO great for me to have seen as a teen. Totes awesome.

  2. Sonia Hdz says:

    Congratulations. Excellent job Ingrid.
    Love the way you openly express your point of view, so positive, so fearless.

    Best, Sonia
    Librarian

  3. Kristen says:

    This just made my day. Like you, I’m bummed that body positivity isn’t part of our daily dialogue, but hopefully with more inspiring displays like this one it will be. I’m really interested to hear what the feedback on this display will be!

  4. I love this idea! I so wish there would have been more positive messages about body image when I was a teen. Sometimes it seems like fat hate is the last socially acceptable prejudice. I also like that you make displays that aren’t strictly about books or promoting events/collections.

    • Thanks!
      I agree, it’s not really related to books. I just want them to get their brains churning. They don’t need to agree with me. I just want them talking and considering different points of view.
      “Last socially acceptable prejudice”. I agree. 1000 times over.

  5. […] display boards with messages that should be in every teen area. One is on racism, and the other on positive body image. The display board on racism reminds me how important it is, even (especially?) as a white female, […]

  6. Brilliant display, I’m going to try and do something similar in our teen section!

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