It goes without saying that raising girls who not only appreciate, but accept their bodies in today's society is no easy task. There is so much going against body positivity, from impossible standards in pop culture, to unrealistic representation in the media, to bullies at school, and so much more. As parents, you have the important (and slightly terrifying) job of teaching your daughters and any girl in your life that their bodies are beautiful, not shameful. Luckily, there is a growing number of books that will help your daughter love her body and make a huge difference in the way young girls see themselves.
A mother of two daughters myself, I more aware than ever of the huge barriers to body acceptance our culture has set in place. With unrealistic standards, impossible social media trends, pressure from classmates, it's vital that we set the example at home, and these books are the perfect place to start.
Some of them are geared towards young children, others are more suitable for pre-teens or teens, but either way they celebrate all bodies and the little quirks that make them unique. From freckles to natural hair to being bigger than the rest, these books tackle real body image issues your child may face, in a relatable and fun way.
1'Harriet The Spy' by Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet The Spy is quirky, odd, and not your typical kid, but that's what makes this series so popular. She isn't stereotypically feminine, and wears whatever she likes, always accompanied by her spy gear.
2'Brontorina' by James Howe
Brontorina is about a dinosaur who dreams about being a ballerina. When she's told she's too big to dance with the rest, she does it anyways, and wows everyone while she's at it.
3'Eleanor And Park' by Rainbow Rowell
Perfect for older kids or read-aloud, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is about a pair of teenage misfits who are learning to accept who they are in 1987 Omaha, NE.
4'No Mirrors In My Nana's House' by Ysaye Maria Barnwell
No Mirrors In My Nana's House is about a little girl who discovers her own beauty through her nana's eyes, not through looking in mirrors.
5'Freckleface Strawberry' by Julianne Moore and LeUyen Pham
The little girl in Freckleface Strawberry has two things that makes her feel different: freckles and red hair. It offers a cheerful and humorous approach to being different that many kids can relate to.
6'I Like Myself' by Karen Beaumont
An ode to self esteem, I Like Myself teaches kids to accept everything about themselves, from messy hair to stinky breath, and everything in between.
7'What I Like About Me' by Allia Zobel Nolan
What I Like About Me proves to kids that being different, in a world full of many different kinds of people, is what makes us special.
8'Little Miss Jessica Goes To School' by Jessica Smith
Based on the author's experiences with disability, eating disorders, and cripplingly low self-esteem, Little Miss Jessica Goes to School is a game changer. Told in a child-friendly manner, the story addresses big issues in a heartfelt and relatable way.
9'Big Hair Don't Care' by Crystal Swain-Bates
Big Hair Don't Care is about a girl named Lola whose hair is much bigger than all of her friend's. But she loves it and tells everyone who asks that it's part of what makes her beautiful.
10'It's Okay To Be Different' by Todd Parr
With bold and bright colors, and easy to relate to descriptions, It's Okay To Be Different helps kids see that their differences should be celebrated.
11'Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon' by Patty Lovell
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is a sweet story about an unconventional girl. Even though she's short, has buckteeth, a deep voice, clumsy feet and messy hair Molly Lou Melon doesn't care. Her grandma tells her that she's beautiful, no matter what, and to "walk big, smile proud, and sing loud".