These Books Will Give Your Kids (And You) A Great Message About Body Positivity
Body positivity… It’s a concept we’ve seen explode on social media over the past decade. And it’s fantastic to see people standing up against “accepted” beauty standards and promoting the much-needed message that ALL people deserve to have a positive body image. But those of you who have struggled with your body image can understand that being body positive is an easy concept to understand, but not always the easiest thing to practice.
Like many, I have struggled with body image for most of my life. And as much as I would like to believe otherwise, body positivity is something I had to actively teach myself. It’s hard not to compare yourself to the images of “beauty” that are pushed down our throats every day as we browse social media. And having children made me even more aware of that.
The truth is that our children are also constantly exposed to messages about their bodies and how they compare to others. Studies show that children start talking about bodily problems at the age of five. And in the digital age, it’s almost impossible to protect our children from all of this. So the best thing we can do as parents is to empower our children to love their bodies and recognize that good bodies come in all sizes, shapes, colors, abilities and more.
And one of the best ways to teach valuable lessons and start important conversations about body positivity to young children is to read books. So here is a diverse list of books for young children that help build body confidence and promote acceptance of all bodies.
This is a cheerful picture book for young children that celebrates bodies of all shapes, colors and sizes. It celebrates everything from scars and body hair, missing limbs, freckled bodies and even insulin pumps. The vivid illustrations instill body acceptance and confidence in younger readers.
This bilingual book is an “ode to self-esteem”. He uses silly descriptions like “Beaver Breath” that highlight the joy of loving yourself and will make your little one laugh.
Trans activist Jazz Jennings co-wrote this story about a transgender child. It’s an autobiographical picture book sharing his experience of embracing his real self.
This cute little picture book celebrates diversity beautifully. It celebrates the differences, whether someone is tall, short, curly, straight, loud, quiet, smooth or wrinkled, to come to the conclusion that we are all BEAUTIFUL!
This empowering and inclusive book is aimed more at girls. However, it’s a great read regardless of gender or sexual orientation, filled with affirmations and encouragement to take care of yourself, love yourself, and accept others.
It’s the perfect book for little boys who are feeling “too girly” or “too”. It tells the story of a young boy Julián, starting to show his love for mermaids and wanting to dress like them. It’s a great story celebrating individuality and the importance of loving support.
This children’s book shares a message of unabashed self-love! “Her Body Can” tells the story of a “plus size” child who lives his best life. Authors Katie Crenshaw and Ady Meschke wanted to create a positive body story that does not stem from self-hatred and shows that “all bodies are inherently good, capable, and miraculous.”
This positive body picture book tells the story of a young American Indian girl coming to terms with her body hair and celebrating her heritage. When they laugh at his mustache, Laxmi’s parents help him love not only the hair that grows on his head, but also the hair that grows everywhere.
This picture book focuses on self-love and empowerment. Ho beautifully celebrates Asian shaped eyes and family heritage with powerful and poetic phrases such as “I have eyes that kiss in the corners and shine like hot tea.”
This book teaches boys that it doesn’t matter if they don’t fit a particular mold. They don’t need to like sports or “keep a stiff upper lip.” It celebrates all the wonderful ways of being a boy and encourages readers to be unique.