Every Body celebrates inclusivity and the representation of human beings in every shape and form.

Let’s be honest: when you’re starting to explore activism for the very first time, it can seem pretty intimidating and scary. This is why Michelle Elman, a 23-year-old body confidence coach based in London, decided to start her own book club that would allow people to learn all about fat activism in a safe, easy, and enjoyable environment.

Elman, who is behind the Instagram account @Scarrednotscared, had been regularly sharing body-positive videos via her personal YouTube account when she noticed people often had more questions about body positivity and body image than her videos were able to address. Elman explains, “People often have a lot of queries when they first start their body positive journey and I find books are the best way to answer these questions.”

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Look what plopped on my doorstep yesterday. I don't even know what to say about this woman. I have read this book in less than 24 hours and as of right now, I am the only person who has a copy of a corrected proof so listen to me when I tell you, GO PREORDER THIS BOOK cause I've read it from cover to cover. Yes I read 279 pages in one day (no, I did not do any work yesterday but I'm an adult so sh!). Seriously, I've never read a book so quickly IN MY LIFE. By now, you should all know how brutal I can be so trust me when I say you all need to buy this book, not because Megan @bodyposipanda is my friend, not because I am in it (but I am!) BUT because this book will transform your life. If you ever get days where you get wobbles looking in the mirror, this book will remind you why you are Body Positive. If you are new to body positivity and you still have nigglings of "but what about health?", this book will answer all your questions. If you still get tempted by diets, this book will banish those thoughts. And it's just the cherry on top of it all that Megan is truly one of the most wonderful humans. She is the only person who has read more body positive books than me (oh and @theunedit!) AND all that info and research is in this book. She is seriously smart, an amazing person and SUCH an incredible friend that she will listen to you patiently rant about a boy when trapped in the back of the car with you. Oh and this book made me cry, more specifically the section about dating, love and sex - and let's just say it wasn't too dissimilar from our convo in the back of the car. Go support her! Her beautiful book is now lovingly wrecked with jottings and highlighter. I can't wait for this book to change the world! Pre order link in her bio - preorders help this book get to number 1 and I know Megan won't ask you, so I will! Let's get this book to number one and send a strong message to the diet industry to go suck it! 🖕🏽💜 #bodypositivepower

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When it came to planning her book club, Elman wanted to choose books that would not only empower her followers but that would provide engaging and thought-provoking discussions on topics ranging from identity, privilege, intuitive eating, and intersectionality — just to name a few. On the 15th of every month, she will announce the next book to the group, and on the 1st of the following month, they will start reading it.

To date, the group has read nine books including Roxane Gay’s Hunger and Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe (aka Body Posi Panda) and grown its membership to just over 1100 people. It also inspired Elman to write a book of her own. Am I Ugly? One Woman’s Journey to Body Positivity will be released in July 2018.

“Body positive books were a huge part of my education and I feel it’s important to keep that element in body positivity,” explains Elman, who makes a point to select books that will spark conversation, challenge conventional thinking, and inspire action and change in everyday life.

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The sun is finally out in London + after the busiest week, today has been my first chance to enjoy it! ☀️ This week I have been in the health + fitness section of Cosmo, Self + Popsugar Fitness for my post about being the fat friend + I am happy that I am specifically in those sections. This body right here is my fitness body. This body works out 3 times a week + has done for the last 5 years. This body also took a 2 week break last month cause this is also a body that gets ill + has chronic pain and invisible illness and I need to respect that. I understand that fitness professionals will see the cellulite on my thighs + see it as a sign of failure BUT cellulite is not a sign of fitness. I understand that fitspo people will look at my excessive fat and will tell me there is no point of working out if I'm not eating right BUT there IS a point: fun, enjoyment and body positivity. Moving my body helps me appreciate my body for it's ability to work and moving my body also reduces my chronic pain. I understand that people will look at this image and assume that the only reason I put on a swimsuit is to pose for Instagram BUT this is also my swimming body and this bikini goes swimming. I understand that people will see me lying down tanning + go "if you got off your fat arse once in a while you'd lose some weight". Well the hour before this photo, this body was in the gym. I tell doctors I exercise 3/4 times a week and they will look surprised and ask me "really?". That is the reality of being a woman who has a BMI that says morbidly obese. Being fat means it is assumed you are lying. The health industry will look at this image + see a picture of an unhealthy woman BUT I'm at the peak of my health in years. I have not had a surgery in 4 years and that is an accomplishment. I am less physically limited than I have been in years and I am in the least physical pain I have been in years. So yes I deserve to be in that section + I'm glad that the picture of "health + fitness" is changing, cause my body certainly ain't. #ScarredNotScared #CelluliteSaturday 👙: @curvykate 📚 Fat Is Feminist Issue for the Body Positive Book Club (Join on Facebook!)

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Elman said it was a deliberate choice to make the group an online community, specifically in a private Facebook group, as she thought it would be an easier venue for people to explore and discuss topics that they might not be so comfortable doing in public.

“It feels like a safe space where every question is welcomed and people aren’t shamed for not knowing all the answers,” she says.

For those who aren’t ready to commit, Elman uploads a book review to her own personal YouTube channel that sums up the club’s discussion surrounding each selection. Elman hopes these vids can convince people to join, learn, and make friends in the process.

Are you involved in a book club? Tell us @britandco!

(Photo via Michelle Elman)