Most of us read books to experience something outside of ourselves. We read to go on grand adventures, or to find out what it would be like to be a disaffected middle-aged literature professor contemplating an affair. A good book can help us imagine ourselves into different times and places, different bodies. But sometimes, the best books are the ones that help us to feel comfortable in our own bodies, and in our own time and place, however imperfect they may seem. Here are a few books to read if you struggle with self image, because you are not alone.
When I was younger, I was a junkie for fantasy books staring young girls — just like me! But the more I read, the more I started to notice that nearly every heroine in those books was described as thin... or athletic, or skinny, or wiry, or flat chested. I, however, was a chubby, sedentary child, with no aptitude for sports (my 8th grade soccer team was called The Turtles, and we lost every game.) Books were my escape from reality, but even in fiction I felt like there was something wrong, even unacceptable, about the way I looked. So, for anyone who's ever struggled with their own reflection, here are a few books that will help you out: