photo credit: Becky Long Photography
Can a person ever really have too many body positive books on their self-love shelf? No. The answer is no. Because even when you think you've got the voices in your head, the ones telling you to lose weight, beat, they can still pop up like that old arcade game Whack A Mole. You whack the one on the bottm left ,and then over in the upper right corner, there pops another one. Well, the next time that happens you can whack in over the head with Megan Jayne Crabbe's new book, Body Positive Power.
If you don't know who Megan Jayne Crabbe is, I'm going to send you a battery operated light for the cave you live in. But first just go look at Megan, aka bodyposipanda. Witness the hair. The unapologetic self-love. The dancing that will inspire dancing in you — probably even if you have no rhythm whatsoever. I've been following Megan on IG for a long time now (I mean me and literally one million other people) and her posts never fail to uplift, inspire, and motivate. If I may describe her, Megan is a mermaid and a hug and a rainbow — if those things combined to make a human person. And, no surpirse, her book is the same. Insightful, inspiring, incredible,
Megan is brave and beautiful and now I've used all the adjectives I can think of. Just take my word for it and get the book.
I had a chance to ask Megan a few questions. I hate trying to ask people I admire questions, because my first question is always going to be something like "OMG CAN WE BE FRAAAANDS? PLEEEASE." which sounds kind of pathetic. But I've managed to put together a pretty coherent list — this time, anyway. I think you'll probably love her answers.
Describe yourself in 13 words or less! Use a haiku if you feel inspired to do so!
Rainbow body love
Would rather talk to your dog
Anxious but still cute
HAIKUS ARE FUN!
Can you tell us a bit about the book?
The book is literally everything I know about why we hate our bodies (hey diet culture) and how to make peace with them instead. So there are chapters on who came up with the 'ideal' body, why we're obsessed with diets and why they don't work, intuitive eating, reclaiming movement from fitspo, ED recovery, fatphobia and more, all tied together with my own body experiences and a sprinkle of sass.
What motived your writing it?
I wanted to give people a resource that would answer any question they had about accepting their bodies and leave them with no doubt that they deserve to do that. Body image and feminist books were irreplaceable in my own healing and I wanted to pass on all I've learned over the years in one bright pink package.
Did you want to become a writer or were you like me and planning to be a veterinarian?
I totally had the vet dream as well! Then naturally I wanted to be a Spice Girl (still do). I've always loved writing and a book had been a far-away life goal of mine, but I never would have believed you if you'd told me 5 years ago that I'd write a book about diets being bullshit and all bodies being good enough as they are. I was more likely to be the one writing a diet book, but I'm glad I wrote this one instead.
(Me TOO! Also why does EVERY CHILD want to be a vet?)
I find confronting my past when writing can be really emotionally exhausting at times. Did writing the book prove hard for you in this way?
Let's put it this way: when I started writing I was not going to therapy. I very quickly found a therapist. It always surprises me how many pieces of yourself you discover while writing that are nowhere near as healed as you thought they were and writing so honestly about my history with anorexia definitely revealed new pieces for me. But it also allowed me to own my experience after spending so many years hiding it away in shame, and the fact that it's helped other people let go of their shame and start healing as well makes it all beyond worth it.
They are EVERYWHERE. How do you deal with trolls?
Short answer: block and delete. Long answer: I worked very hard at teaching myself that nobody has the authority to tell me who I am other than myself, that goes for my body as well as my personality. Someone who goes out of their way to try and tear down another human being they've never met and don't know definitely isn't someone whose opinion I should give power to.
Part two: WHY ARE PEOPLE SO AWFUL?
I think a lot of the time the negative reaction to someone daring to accept their body while not fitting exactly into our cultural standard of beauty comes from feeling cheated. If you've spent your entire life buying into that standard of beauty, sacrificing time, energy and money to achieve it because you believe there's happiness on the other side, it makes sense that you'd be pissed when you see someone who's taking the happiness as they are. And you know, sometimes people are just fatphobic wankers.
(Amen girl. AMEN.)
Since everyone is talking about it, what do you think about American politics?
I think the majority of the UK are just shaking their heads in disbelief every day while we drink our tea. It's like a never-ending horror show and just when you think things can't get more on fire things get more on fire.
(A lot of America is also shaking our heads. But with coffee usually.)
Part two: Do you have a spare room I could live in perhaps?
That depends whether you'd try and eat my cheese because that would be instant eviction.
(I would NEVER eat your cheese. Pinky freaking swear.)
How is your hair so fabulous?
Bleach. Bleach. More bleach. Hair oils. Prayers. My hair is truly dead I'm just very skilled at maintaining the illusion and not washing it for long periods of time which is how the colour stays in.
I love you! Who are some people you are loving right now (besides the obvious!)?
If you come to San Francisco ever, can I bake you a sponge? Biscuits? A pie perhaps? (I've been watching a lot of GBBO)
I'm down for pretty much any form of baked goods!
(ALL OF THEM THEN!)
What's next for you?
I honestly never know how to answer this question and I'm absolutely terrible at setting big life goals (it makes me feel anxious). More books? A live show tour? 10 dogs? Who knows! But it'll definitely be more interesting than dieting was.
(I'm voting for book + 10 dogs!)