Yes, I can admit that throwing the topic of body diversity at an audience of young readers is a huge task, but that's also the point. If children's book authors never tackle the hard topics, then parents are left to fend for themselves. And kids are left without the soft introduction to a complex topic.
Value What's Within, our next book to launch Summer 2021, tackles body diversity, because no matter what body you walk this earth in, you've been affected by body biases. And the only way to break down body biases is to start recognizing them and stop permitting them.
We gave this a lot of care and attention while writing the book, so I wanted to explain a few of things you can expect:
No pronouns-- We realized they added nothing to the story. So why use them. Additionally, this start normalizing the lack of need to call out someone's gender or assign behaviors to gender. It was an easy fix once we caught it.
Dietary Biases-- We worked to not label any food as good or bad, just different. Bigger meals and smaller meals for different appetites. A healthy relationship with food is something many of us struggle with. Placing stigmas on meal size, meal type or value only perpetuates that. Unhealthy relationships with food are the backdrop to disordered eating.
Body Size Biases-- Big one! We removed any mention of fat or skinny! Bigger or smaller bodies are all great and all capable. We took it a step further to point out that your body size does not dictate what types of activities you engage in. Many people with bigger bodies face a lot of discrimination in careers, healthcare, athletics, and more. That leads to loss of wage opportunity, misdiagnosis, oversight of talent, and mental health issues.
Self-Image-- Again, wow, this was hard. Self Image is the perception we have of our own body. There are no qualifiers to what you need to look like to have self-image distortions. Self-Image distortions are hard on confidence and self-esteem. We know that and we hope to do an entire book on that at some point.
Race Biases-- We know that Biracial/People of Color face many discriminations based on skin color every moment of every day and we want to demonstrate early in kids lives that we see the beauty in the colors of all people's skin. We recognize that there is priveldge in the world for all, but more for some than others. And we want to showcase as many diverse faces in our books as possible so our readers can see themselves represented positively.
Diability Biases-- Again, your unique abilities that come with a disability are not a limitation, simply a difference. We celebrate those. So, we aren't shying away from showcasing them in the stories.
It's a lot. I know. And we'll keep chatting about as we prepare to launch the book! But we want you to know and feel confident that every word in this book was selected with care and while it is not perfect, we are constantly learning to do better for our readers.
In a Dreambuilt World, our young readers will grow up with far fewer body bias obstacles to overcome!
Inspires? Join our Launch Team and be part of the positive impact!