Two Moms Release Body-Positive Children's Book: 'We Just Want This to Be About Representation'
A new children’s book written by two moms is all about the power of celebrating body positivity.
Written by two bloggers from Atlanta, Katie Crenshaw and Ady Meschke, the newly released Her Body Can features an illustration of a plus-size little girl on the cover and, according to its description on Amazon, “is a book of poetic self-love and body positivity declarations for all young girls.”
“Its aim is to encourage our young girls to create a reality for themselves in which they love themselves and their bodies for exactly who and what they are, instead of learning to judge themselves and hate their bodies for what they are not,” the description continues.
Crenshaw and Meschke spoke to Glamour about their joint authoring project, revealing that their inspiration came from a desire to teach “kids not only to accept and love themselves,” but to accept and love others “for their differences too,” Meschke said.
“Body positivity is a movement right now in our space as adults, and I love it, but it needs to be taught at a young age, and that’s our goal. Just yesterday I got trolled on the internet and called fat, and that’s not going to stop me from being me, but that confidence in myself is very new,” she added. “I really believe that if I’d had a book as a kid that taught this type of message, maybe it wouldn’t have taken me until I was 34 to be that confident.”
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Crenshaw, a mom of three, told Glamour that she and Meschke “wanted to portray a plus-size kid living her best life, with no apologies,” and that the message of the book resonates with her family in a special way.
“My daughter has a large facial birthmark, so lack of representation has always been at the forefront of my brain, and I have always been hyper aware of making sure she knew that what made her physically different didn’t define her happiness or success,” Crenshaw explained. “Having atypical-looking children represented in the media our children consume is incredibly important.”
“There are books out there that teach kids how to overcome bullying or other adversity, but we thought, ‘Why do we have to show bullying to teach kids to be nice?'” said Meschke, who is mom to 8-month-old son Colton August. “We just want this to be about representation without there being anything negative in our girl’s life.”
“I read somewhere that there are more monsters in children’s books than people of different sizes and ethnicities. We want to change that!” she proclaimed.
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Ahead of the book’s launch, Meschke (who runs a blog called Verbal Gold) posted on Instagram that she was “so proud of” how she and Crenshaw “made some powerful statements in this book in our character choices.”
“Each character, each outfit, each color, each hairstyle, every little detail came to life so beautifully with the help of our amazing illustrator Li Liu. This book is for EVERYONE,” she wrote.
Crenshaw captioned the same photo of the pair and wrote, “Last summer, my friend Ady (@verbalgoldblog) came to me and said ‘Are there any PLUS sized princesses in children’s books?’ I didn’t know of any and neither did she.”
“We talked about how stupid that was and then she said, ‘We should write a children’s book for girls together where the main character is plus sized,'” Crenshaw continued, recalling of her reaction, “No brainer. I’m all in. Let’s go.”