Summer can be a tricky time for body positivity. It’s a time when “bikini body” becomes an (all too) often-used phrase and baring your body becomes a bit of a necessity. And there are lots of options for body positive health and fitness books, but what if you just want something to bring with you to the beach? We’re sharing the best mix of body positive fiction and non-fiction that make great summer reads. Scroll through to find your next pick!


1. Look at Me by Jennifer Egan ($16): This novel is centered around a fashion model who’s in a bad car accident and has to have her face rebuilt by plastic surgeons. It’s a thriller with an underlying theme of body acceptance.


2. SparkleFat by Melissa May ($15): The author writes, “I was not born for beige, my loves. And neither were you. My body intends to be seen. My body intends to shine. My fat is not quiet. My fat sparkles.” How beautiful is that?!


3. The Body Project by Joan Jacobs Brumberg ($17): This book dives into why girls are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with their bodies, using media images and diary entries from the 1830s onward. It’s truly a peek into the minds of young women.


4. Coal to Diamonds by Beth Ditto ($6): Beth Ditto is a feminist, body positive activist and lead singer of the band Gossip. In this book, she takes us from her conservative upbringing in rural Arkansas, through her body acceptance journey and to her present day life as a badass boss lady.


5. It’s So You by Michelle Tea ($4): Deciding what clothes to put on in the morning is, whether you realize it or not, a feminist issue. In this collection of essays, witty and insightful writers let us in on that decision-making process and how their feelings about their bodies play into it.


6. The Man in the Window by Jon Cohen ($15): This novel follows a man who was disfigured in a fire and has spent the rest of his life hiding from the public — until he meets a woman who changes all that.


7. Fat! So? by Marilynn Wan ($16): This hilarious and super insightful book weighs in on what it means to identify as a fat woman. With essays, quizzes and reported pieces, it’s a really fun and body-positive summer read.


8. Bodies by Susie Orbach ($17): This one might seem a little heavier than your usual beach read, but the subject matter is so intriguing, we promise you’ll be hooked. This psychotherapist and writer dives deep into the ways we as Western women think about our bodies and why those thought patterns have developed.


9. Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker ($16): What are the things no one will tell fat girls? Basically, that their bodies are valid and beautiful.


10. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West ($26): Let this amazing collection of essays teach you how to be loud and proud about your body and your life.


11. Big Girl by Kelsey Miller ($15): From a former crash dieter, this memoir tells the story of how Kelsey Miller finally accepted her body as it was. And, as she puts it, “got a life.”

Which of these will you add to your to-read list? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Featured image via Getty)