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Book Journaling

Book Journaling: ‘Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy’ by Kelly Jensen

by KB Meniado

I personally don’t know anyone who hasn’t been body shamed. For one, many of us Filipinos are still notorious for this. “Oy, tumaba ka!” or “Oy, pumayat ka!” is our “Kumusta?” Get offended, and you risk being called “pikon.” Try to educate that person, and you risk being called “daming alam.” You laugh along, and you risk… well, your self. Body acceptance then becomes a continuous struggle. And this is why it’s important to constantly have conversations about real bodies. To have stories about real bodies, and to celebrate real bodies. Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy by Kelly Jensen is one book that does these things.

THE STORY

It’s time to bare it all about bodies!
 
We all experience the world in a body, but we don’t usually take the time to explore what it really means to have and live within one. Just as every person has a unique personality, every person has a unique body, and every body tells its own story.
 
In Body Talk, thirty-seven writers, models, actors, musicians, and artists share essays, lists, comics, and illustrations—about everything from size and shape to scoliosis, from eating disorders to cancer, from sexuality and gender identity to the use of makeup as armor. Together, they contribute a broad variety of perspectives on what it’s like to live in their particular bodies—and how their bodies have helped to inform who they are and how they move through the world.
 
Come on in, turn the pages, and join the celebration of our diverse, miraculous, beautiful bodies!
Get a copy: Amazon / Read reviews: Goodreads

It’s BoJo-worthy but is it also Bookshelf-worthy?

Anybody who has a body will see themselves in this book, so yes, definitely bookshelf-worthy. Each story carries a significant weight of vulnerability, and it would be hard not to relate to every pain and to celebrate every victory, big or small. These are real people talking about their very real bodies as they are (zero bullshit, zero preaching), from back braces and amputations to chronic pain and “invisible” illnesses, and sometimes they would be funny or heartbreaking or even educational, but they would always be familiar. So many things and lessons that do not only hit home but also serve as a snap back to what lies true, and the hope is that, the message of this book gets spread to more people so we can fully embrace the fact that our bodies have always been enough all along. ☁️

Special thanks to Algonquin Books and Algonquin Young Readers for the ARC and media assets. Excerpts and quotes may not reflect final version (but this review reflects honest thoughts). Body Talk comes out August 18.

3 replies on “Book Journaling: ‘Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy’ by Kelly Jensen”

Loving every word written here, but the intro before the book smack me hard in the face. It’s so weird why us Filipino do that, after leaving in Europe for more than a decade now, I realize more and more how this body-shaming way to greet is really hurtful. I have no idea how many times I wanted to throw it back, ugh, enough, I feel like I’ll end writing my own essay in the comment section if I keep going.
I will check out the book, sadly with COVID lockdown, I’m jobless for months and we’re barely scraping by. This book like others I wanted to buy because of Bookbed reviews got to stay in TBL (to buy list 😂)

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Jessica! It IS indeed a toxic part of your culture, but it does help to sometimes throw it back. People need to be more aware of how seemingly “weightless” words can be hurtful. Btw, if you have a NetGalley account, you can try requesting an ARC for free! 🙂 Keep safe and healthy!

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