With National Poetry Month coming to an end, it’s never been a better time to shine a spotlight on a woman who so brilliantly merges poetry with activism: Sonya Renee Taylor. Taylor, an openly queer woman, is an award winning Poet, Activist, and Transformational Leader, three facets of her identity that are deservedly capitalized in her biography. She is widely considered to be a leader in the movement towards universal body positivity, and deeply believes that art has the power to create significant social change.
Taylor is the founder of an intersectional international movement called The Body is Not An Apology, “a global coalition of over 26,000 people focused on radical self love and body empowerment.” The movement shares a name with one of Taylor’s most powerful spoken word poems, which addresses the ways in which bodies of all kinds should never be regarded with shame. “Unapologetic” is an accurate way to describe Taylor; her bold, honest, and intensely moving poetry reflects the struggles of many human beings, and demands social justice and change.
The Body is Not An Apology has reached thousands of people with a simple, yet powerful message: “We believe that discrimination, social inequality and injustice are manifestations of our inability to make peace with the body, our own and others.” The coalition seeks to address this issue through education, personal transformation projects, community building, and by fostering unapologetic self love on a global level. “Just being here is a tiny act of shameless self love,” says Taylor.
It is Taylor’s mission to separate shame from the way that we perceive our own bodies, as well as those of others. In a country plagued by constructed beauty norms, racial discrimination, and self-harm spurred by unrealistic expectations of what people are supposed to look like, The Body is Not An Apology cuts through like a much needed dose of genuine positivity. This month and always, we celebrate women like Sonya Renee Taylor for their ability to raise their voices against injustices, and for addressing social issues and injustices that affect each and every one of us.
To learn more about Sonya Renee Taylor and The Body is Not An Apology, you can visit her official website at www.sonya-renee.com.