Artist Allison Tunis, who has degrees in both art therapy and fine art, wanted to honor the body-positive movement, and thank it for teaching her to recognize her own beauty. In December 2015, she created Body Love: A Fat Activism Colouring Book, and it was published this past July.
The coloring book includes 23 black and white drawings of prominent fat activists, including folks like Ashleigh Shackelford and Virgie Tovar. It allows readers to fill in powerful images of their bodies, creating an intimate connection between the reader and different body types.
Tunis told Mashable:
“It forces you to think about the different bodies and what your relationship is with them… It forces you to work out your own issues with bodies. It’s not only a soothing and relaxing meditation through the act of coloring, but also a meditation on self.”
Because the purpose of the Body Love coloring book is strengthening the fat activist movement, Tunis made certain that her subjects would be acknowledged both symbolically and financially. She has offered each featured fat activist 25 percent of the profits — or they may donate their 25 percent to the Canadian Mental Health Association. Tunis told Mashable that almost half of them chose to donate their portion, as mental health resources help those who are regularly fat-shamed.
Tunis herself still deals with the internalized self-hatred caused by our fat-shaming society. She says: “As I was drawing these pictures, I realized I was able to see all of the beauty in these people — so why wasn’t I able to see it in myself?”
Tunis wants her coloring book to help all readers have that same realization while they trace the lines of differently-sized bodies. And it already seems to be working, as she reports that many parents have bought the book for their children:
“I really think it helps spread a positive notion. You are spreading awareness that all bodies are good bodies to your children.”
We can’t wait get our hands on a copy and create beautiful art out of beautiful people.