Body Neutral: A Revolutionary Guide to Overcoming Body Image Issues

Penguin Life. Jun. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9780593491768. pap. $20. SELF-HELP
As a survivor of sexual violence and disordered eating, life coach and former personal trainer Kneeland has experienced significant trauma, and their TED Talk on body neutrality offered up those experiences in order to suggest that the currently buzzy trend of body positivity isn’t just elusive: for many, it’s impossible and even triggers additional feelings of self-recrimination. Their new book is action-oriented and accessible, organized first around a debunking of body myths and then a classification of archetypes or “avatars” (dominant body image types) and culminating with a step-by-step approach to achieving body neutrality, which is not a fixed goal but rather an adaptable, fluid outcome. From body checking and self-objectification to validation, humiliation, shame, and much more, this book strips away the socially constructed rules that govern our valuing of bodies and provides highly individualized pathways into body neutrality that anyone can add to their lives.
VERDICT A must-read for anyone interested in wellness trends, trauma and embodiment, and gender theory. It’s as suitable for academic libraries as it is for everyday readers tired of fighting against their desire to be or seem a specific way.
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