My Body in Pieces

by Marie-Noëlle Hébert, translated by Shelley Tanaka
Support your local independent bookstore: Buy it there!
Content: She talks about weight and body issues. It will probably be triggering for some. It’s in the graphic novel section of the bookstore.

This is a memoir by a woman looking back on growing up overweight. She expresses her loathing of her body, the bullying by classmates (and parents), the small things that hurt to hear, and the effect they had on her and her self-perception.

It’s not an easy graphic novel to read. Done in stark black and white charcoal drawings, I sometimes lost the thread of what was supposed to be happening. But, the message came through: talking about how a person looks is damaging. The small messages that you think help actually hurt. Society puts so much pressure on women to look a certain way, and that is so very detrimental to our mental well-being.

The art style kept me from loving it as much as I wanted to, though it did have me in tears by the end. And the final panel? It’s the message we all need to hear. Repeatedly.

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