The Body Is Not An Apology is a global movement committed to cultivating radical self-love and body empowerment. We are an intersectional, inclusive, SHAME-FREE community that believes in uplifting one another while also addressing body terrorism in all the ways it manifests as oppression based on age, race, gender, size, disability, sexual orientation, mental health status, and other human attributes.
Our mission often requires us to be willing to have challenging conversations in our community about privilege, power, history, culture, inequality, pain, and injustice. Our goal is to have these dialogues from a place of compassion that honors our shared humanity.
Below are our Community Conversation Agreements. These agreements were created so that The Body Is Not An Apology community might model the sort of communication that grows understanding of ourselves and one another — the type of communication that fosters global change.
The Body is Not An Apology’s primary goal is to foster a space that allows for a wider understanding and connection between us all. We believe it is through compassionate and humane dialogue that we grow, learn, and foster radical self-love, which in turn translates to radical human love in service toward a more just and compassionate world.
Our Community Agreements
- The Body is Not An Apology is a BODY SHAME-FREE COMMUNITY.
Any comments that disparage someone’s body, whether based on race, age, size, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, mental health status, or any other attribute will be immediately deleted and the user subject to banning. This includes “health trolling” (making unsolicited comments about someone’s health based on no information other than their physical appearance).
- We engage in curiosity-driven DIALOGUE, not debate or arguing.
This community values the sharing of and listening to other perspectives. The goal of dialogue need not be to change anyone’s mind, but to OFFER and RECEIVE a perspective for consideration and curiosity.
- We embrace multiple perspectives.
No one is RIGHT. No one is WRONG. Even if your every cell feels in disagreement with that perspective, right and wrong binaries rarely build connection and understanding. People who feel judged and attacked often only become further entrenched in their ideas.
- Have COMPASSION for and honor people’s varied journeys.
Everyone has not read the books you have or had the experiences you have had. Our journeys are unique and varied. Compassion births PATIENCE.
- We expect and accept discomfort.
Conversations about centuries-old oppression are HARD! If they weren’t, the world would be rid of body terrorism and oppression. We honor that we all have been indoctrinated into systems of oppression we must unlearn. Unlearning is challenging; thus,we don’t expect neat, tidy resolutions. We won’t fix the world’s ills through participating in a social media thread, but we will get closer if we are willing to be uncomfortable.
- We acknowledge intent while addressing impact.
We work to not personalize the responses of others WHILE taking care to be mindful of the impact of our words and actions on others. While words may have an impact on us, they are rarely actually about us. Our responses are often not about other people; they’re often about ourselves. Other people’s response are often about them and where they are in their journey. Remembering that will make #5 easier.
- We take breaks for self-care.
Community dialogues can often be challenging and triggering. We discuss issues that have caused great trauma in the world — and often, great trauma in our own lives. Some dialogues may bring up painful memories, old wounds, present hurts, and current resentments. We place a premium on SELF-CARE as a tool of radical self-love! Do what you need to do to navigate your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Stop conversations to focus on yourself and come back when you’re re-centered. Facilitating such dialogue depends on your wellness.
- We interrupt attempts to derail.
Often when we talk about body terrorism as oppression, the discomfort is so great we immediately attempt to change the conversation to something that feels more comfortable. Before you know it, the conversation is about pickle farmers in Europe when we were talking about fat shaming. Let us each work to keep the focus on the subject being addressed and avoid our desire to derail.
- Personal attacks, name calling, heavy sarcasm and general unkindness are unwelcome and will be removed.
The fastest way to devolve a dialogue is to turn to mean or hurtful language. It is prohibited in our community.
- We work to ask questions.
Part of helping people sort through their own ideas and beliefs is to ask questions about those ideas. That includes asking OURSELVES hard questions: Why do I believe this? What am I afraid of? What am I gaining or losing by trying on a new perspective? The answers that stick with us are the ones we come up with ourselves. Dialogue and exchange of ideas help us come up with our own answers.
- We have conversations based on what was actually said.
Often our translation of people’s ideas is far from the actual message they were sharing. Be sure to engage with people based on their actual words and not what you assume those words meant. If you are unsure, ask for clarity.
- We assume the best about one another.
It is exceptionally painful to be dismissed, called a liar, or accused of making up your experiences. The Unapologetic Posse starts from the assumptions that people’s experiences are REAL. We also acknowledge that our experiences are often shared, but not always. We ask to learn MORE about other people’s truths rather than erasing them. We start from the assumption that we are all doing our best at any given moment with the tools we have.
- We celebrate difference.
We believe identifying difference is a way to embrace how we can all show up as our fullest, most authentic selves without shame. We acknowledge and embrace those things that are varied in us. We point out when difference is not present and we interrogate why. Our love of difference translates into creating a movement that welcomes EVERYBODY and EVERY BODY.
- We work to keep RADICAL UNAPOLOGETIC LOVE the goal of all our dialogue.
Our desire for a world free of body terrorism is a desire born out of love. Activist Che Guevara once said, “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.” The Body Is Not An Apology is a community guided by the primary principle of love.