Chances are, if you’ve taken a stroll through the children’s-book section of bookstores or libraries recently, you’ve seen a lot of bright colors and catchy titles. You saw some good lessons on friendship and manners, some lively adventure stories and some cute animals. You also saw a lot of pictures of straight-size white girls. While children’s literature now features far more diverse stories than it did even a couple of years ago, there is still one movement that hasn’t gotten a foothold in the market: body positivity.
Just nine months ago, Atlanta-based bloggers Ady Meschke and Katie Crenshaw identified this gap and set out to do their part to fill it. Both women focus on body positivity online—plus, they’re both moms. The combination of social media savvy and real-world experience fueled the passion project, and their new children’s book, Her Body Can, comes out this week. Now available on Amazon (and soon for sale on shelves in major retailers), the book is geared toward children ages eight and under. That was essential for Meschke and Crenshaw, who both know how important it is for girls to internalize positive messages about their body before the biases of mainstream culture seep in. And since reports show that, by the time girls are 13, 53% express dissatisfaction with their body, and up to 50% of girls in grades K through 8 are concerned about their weight, reaching them young seems essential.
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