You know I love every interview, but sometimes, a favorite emerges and this week was an ALL TIME FAVORITE. Sonya Renee Taylor, founder of The Body Is Not An Apology is about radical self-love for everybody and every body. This woman honors all of the humans at all of the intersections better than anyone I’ve ever seen. She is wildly inspiring, compassionate, intelligent, focused, diligent, and strong. This is an interview to share with friends, gather around, listen together and discuss what you learned afterwards. We talk about what she calls, “Body Terrorism” – a structural, systemic apparatus that informs how we think about our bodies, and how the information of the world around us forms our language. She shares the origin story of her movement and the RUCHUS Project with us (you’re going to LOVE this!), AND her definition and practice of radical self-love. We explore a lot of relevant things throughout this conversation that many of us are impacted by and likely don’t even realize. It’s so juicy and illuminating down to her description of womanhood in the 21st century as a container whose walls are threatening to burst. Listen to this one more than once and share it up, wild ones!
AND because this week marked episode #200 on the show, we’re doing something extra special. If you have been listening or following me for a while, you know I love to celebrate, and often generosity is how I celebrate – I’m a firm believer that we need to share our blessings to invite more in – so here’s what’s going on this week, from today Monday October 16 – Sunday October 22. We’re taking $50 off the Wild Soul Toolkit, and donating 50% of sales to The Body Is Not An Apology. Wild Soul Movement already donates $99/mo to The Body Is Not An Apology as a patron of their site, and I want to surprise Sonya with a bit extra this month…she doesn’t listen to the podcast, so she won’t know this is coming…
About Sonya Renee Taylor:
Sonya Renee Taylor is the Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, an international movement and organization committed to radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. Sonya’s work as an award winning Performance Poet, Activist and transformational leader continues to have global reach. Sonya is a former National and International poetry slam champion, author, educator and activist who has mesmerized audiences across the US, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands as well as in prisons, mental health treatment facilities, homeless shelters, universities, festivals and public schools across the globe.
Believing in the power of art is a vehicle for social change, Sonya has been widely recognized for her work as a change agent. She was named one of Planned Parenthood’s 99 Dream Keepers in 2015 as well as a Planned Parenthood Generation Action’s 2015 Outstanding Partner awardee. She was named one of the 12 Women Who Paved the Way for Body Positivity by Bustle Magazine and in September 2015, she was honored as a YBCA 100, an annual compilation of creative minds, makers, and pioneers who are asking the questions and making the provocations that will shape the future of American culture; an honor she shared alongside author Ta’Nahesi Coates, artist Kara Walker, filmmaker Ava Duvernay and many more. In 2016, she was named a Champion of Women’s Health by Planned Parenthood and commissioned to write the official poem for Planned Parenthood’s 100 year centennial celebration. In 2017, Sonya was awarded the Quixote Foundation’s “Thank You Note, a $25,000 award for her reproductive justice work.
Sonya and her work has been seen, heard and read on HBO, BET, MTV, TV One, NPR, PBS, CNN, Oxygen Network, The New York Times, New York Magazine, MSNBC.com, Today.com, Huffington Post, Vogue Australia, Shape.com, Ms. Magazine and many more. She is a regular collaborator and artist with organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Advocates for Youth 1in3 Campaign, Association for Size Diversity and Health, Binge Eating Disorders Association (BEDA), Yerba Buena Cultural Art Center and numerous others.
With a B.A. in Sociology and an M.S.A. in Organizational Management, Sonya continues to be a fierce advocate and activist for intersectional, global justice. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Split This Rock, an organization calling poets to a greater role in public life and fostering a national network of socially engaged poets. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors for SisterSong, a pioneering Women of Color reproductive justice collective. She is also actively engaged in the movement for Black Lives and the Anti-Police Terror Project in Oakland, CA.
In 2011, Sonya founded The Body is Not An Apology, an international movement and organization focused on radical self-love and body empowerment. In 2015, The Body is Not An Apology joined the world of digital technology, creating a comprehensive tech platform to connect the globe around issues of radical self-love and intersectional social justice. The Body is Not An Apology’s online platform www.thebodyisnotanapology.com, hosts a digital magazine, radical education web based workshops, its own social networking site and online forums. TBINAA’s content reaches over 250,000 thousand weekly, with website visitors from over 140 countries. Sonya lives in the California Bay Area with her Yorkie, Anastasia Duchess but continues to tour globally sharing lectures, workshops and performances focused on radical unapologetic healing and personal transformation.
In this episode, Sonya shares:
1. Hierarchy of bodies
2. Questions to ask ourselves when we’re distracted by what other people are doing (aka judging and comparing)
3. The best metaphor ever
What You’ll Hear:
5:46 Sonya’s journey into creating a movement
16:27 On being bald and the RUCHUS project
30:05 Unpacking fat shaming and body bias
44:20 The Body Is Not An Apology book and Sonya’s current projects
52:09 On airplane seating and having compassion
Click here to watch/listen or scroll upward to listen only:
How was this episode for you?
Was this episode helpful for you today? I’d love to know what quote or lesson touched your soul.