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5 Books to Spark Self-Love

Self-love manifestos. Searing critiques of modern beauty standards. Uproariously funny, brutally honest peeks into what it means to be radically kind to yourself. These five page-turners will pull you into a world of subversion, where all bodies are beautiful and walls of self-doubt crumble with every syllable.


This fall, snuggle up with a tea, blanket, candle, and one of our favorite body- and life-positive books.

Hunger by Roxane Gay

1. Hunger by Roxane Gay


"Hunger" is a deep dive into critically-acclaimed author Roxane Gay's struggle with body image and self-preservation in the wake of profound trauma. It explores the devastating sexual assault that sent her into an emotional tailspin, leading to significant weight gain and an altered relationship with the world around her – not to mention herself.With exceptional candor and vulnerability, Gay explores topics like what it means to move through our society as a overweight person, how clothing brands fail women that don't fit into a certain mold, and how people's perceptions and actions shifted as her body changed, among countless other illuminating observations. All the while, Gay maintains that she deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, even as she struggles to accept her own reality.

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

2. The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf


Naomi Wolf's bestselling book examines the ever-present pressure that lures women into believing they must adhere to unattainable beauty standards, as portrayed in advertising and media. Wolf also observes that these expectations of conformity have only become more prominent as women have continued to rack up social capital.A searing critique of the beauty and fashion industries' incessant efforts to shove women into prefab boxes, "The Beauty Myth" explores how these ideals breed self-hate built on false promises, and why it's so important to break free if we want to self-actualize as feminists. 

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

3. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero


Now just one book in a series, "You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life" is a radically fun kick in the pants for anyone who needs the pep talk of a lifetime.World-renowned success coach Jen Sincero has packed the pages of this book with wildly entertaining anecdotes, advice tidbits, and immersive mini-exercises, taking you by the hand and helping you bust through self-sabotaging behavior. You'll have a blast flipping through the book’s 27 bite-size chapters. Ready to laugh off your imperfections, give yourself a big ol' hug, and kick butt? Start here. 

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

4. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown


Skeptical of self-help books? Don't worry, Forbes (among a never-ending list of authoritative publications and sources) has already vetted this one for you, placing "The Gifts of Imperfection" on its list of "Five Books That Will Actually Change Your Outlook On Life.”This book is all about cultivating self-esteem, self-love, and gratitude, gently rejecting the idea of imperfection in favor of living a wholesome and honest life, warts and all. With Brown's gentle, compassionate voice as your guide, you'll be able to peel back the layers of self-doubt that have been standing in the way of accepting your reality – and yourself – just the way it is. 

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

5. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes


The Los Angeles Times called this book "As fun to read as Rhimes’s TV series are to watch.” You may have already heard of those shows: do Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder ring a bell? "Year of Yes" hinges on Rhimes' surprisingly introverted nature, dotted with anxiety and a feverish desire to stay out of the limelight despite her resounding success. Until one simple yet impactful sentence, expressed by her sister at Thanksgiving dinner, turned her life on its head: "You never say yes to anything." Thus began Rimes’ year of jumping headfirst into everything that scared her. This side-splitting book covers the before and after of her life-affirming journey, as she blows the lid off what it means to transform through the rejection of fear.