Everybody, Love Your Body
By Jodi Anderson-Wolhaupter
Date Posted 9/27/2021
“Magic Mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest one of all?” From early ages, movies, media, and magazines can send demeaning messages to children--and adults--about our bodies. Instead of embracing our unique features and body types, we may be influenced by popular opinions to judge ourselves and our bodies.
How refreshing and important it was, then, for Kids4 families to celebrate our diverse and wonderfully made bodies with the book Everybody Love Your Body, a co-authored creation from the local mother-daughter team of Paulette and Harper Bonneur. Inspired by the title, the theme for this Kids4 pop-up event on September 25 was about loving our bodies.
To promote such a positive body-message, we did many things:
1. We made cushions out of reusable bags stuffed with plastic bags. Not only is this a creative way to reuse materials, it’s a good reminder to take care of our bodies since seat cushions can provide support for our buttocks, lower back, and spine!
2. We got our bodies moving by doing a fun run at Becker Park! Around the sidewalk course marked with cones and flags flapping in the early autumn wind, parents and children ran together, smiling and cheering each other to the finish line.
3. After some delicious Redmon’s popcorn, we traced our bodies in chalk on the sidewalk and decorated them to show off our style!
4. We were thrilled to host an in-person reading of Everybody Love Your Body by Paulette and Harper Bonneur. Our seat cushions came in handy as we listened to the story! Harper did a lovely job dancing and showing us all how we can get excited about our bodies and all they can do. Kids4 kids had a chance to draw their favorite part of their body and tell the group why they liked that part of themselves. From green eyes and necks to hips and toes, we heard a lot of reasons for loving our bodies!
Paulette also encouraged families to talk about body topics because that makes the subject more comfortable for kids. When they have questions, they can turn to the adults they trust who have taught them how to have pride and care for their unique bodies. Likewise, Paulette added, talking about race at home also helps to make that subject more approachable, so families can have open, productive conversations together.
Books are vital tools for shaping positive self-images. If you see someone who looks like you in print, it often feels empowering and exciting. When pages of a book are mirrors for all kids, they can more clearly see themselves recognized and loved in this world. Thanks for reading and promoting books that reflect diverse authors and backgrounds because all stories matter.
Join us on October 23 for our next Kids4 pop-up event! We will be learning about neurodiversity, which is another way our bodies and brains are wonderfully and diversely made. No matter the body we come in, we are all deeply human.