Reclaiming UGLY!: A Radically Joyful Guide to Unlearn Oppression and Uplift, Glorify, and Love Yourself

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Like other “isms” that divide people between in-groups and out-groups, “lookism” is damaging to one’s psyche and emotional health. People who are historically excluded and not considered attractive by mainstream Eurocentric, heteronormative, and able-bodied standards face daily ostracization and violence.

In Reclaiming UGLY, educator and arts organizer Vanessa Rochelle Lewis offers readers an inspiring and compassionate way to understand “uglification,” a tool of marginalization that renders certain bodies unworthy of protection from discrimination and bullying. Lewis shares personal anecdotes from her experiences and observations about fatphobia, ableism, transphobia, and racism. Every chapter concludes with actionable ways to practice self-care and self-empowerment through helpful affirmations.

Anyone who has ever felt or experienced maltreatment and shame because of their appearance will find support and solace in this book. Parents will appreciate Lewis’ focus on childhood bullying, and how adults can raise children who can stand up for themselves and others. Lewis shares her lifelong journey of healing from wounds of hatred.

To be blunt, the stories are not easy to read. Lewis writes about rape, stalking, and threats of violence in the context of misogynoir, or racism against Black women, transgender and non-binary people. Lewis takes great care to minimize harm, even as she dives deeply into a difficult topic. By shedding light on the topic, Lewis challenges us all to consider how to nurture empathy and wield the power to change oppressive systems.

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Author Vanessa Rochelle Lewis
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher North Atlantic Books
Publish Date 23-Jan-2024
ISBN 9781623175863 Buy this Book
Issue March 2024
Category Self-Help