The Body is Not An Apology began as a conversation between two friends. Natasha feared she had an unintended pregnancy and when Sonya asked why Natasha had chosen to have unprotected sex with a casual partner, Natasha shared that her cerebral palsy made it difficult to be sexual and thus she did not feel entitled to ask her sexual partner to use a condom. Sonya's response was swift, "Your body is not an apology. You do not use it to say 'sorry for my disability." Sonya and Natasha created what Sonya refers to as a transformational portal by presencing three critical elements Radical Honesty, Radical Vulnerability, and Radical Empathy. It was from this powerful act that The Body is not An Apology was born.
Becomes a Poem
Clear the words Sonya spoke to Natasha continued to echo inside Sonya and she knew they were demanding to become something beyond passing conversation. In July of 2010 Sonya wrote the poem, Untitled: The Body is Not An Apology.
Becomes a Post
“In this picture I am 230lbs. In this picture, I have stretch marks and an unfortunate decision in the shape of a melting Hershey’s kiss on my left thigh. I am smiling, like a woman who knows you’re watching and likes it. For this one camera flash, I am unashamed, unapologetic.”
Sonya Renee Taylor, February 9, 2011
On February 9, 2011 Sonya shared a Facebook status and selfie in a saucy black corset. The words "the body is not an apology" had been calling her to an examination of all the areas in her life where she was simply not living into that truth. Sonya understood that her big, brown, queer body was not represented in the world as worthy of visibility or desire and yet, she chose to post the photo where she felt like the embodiment of desire and power. This terribly frightening act was birthed from the outlandishly simple idea that no human being should be ashamed of being in a human body.
Less than 24 hours after posting that picture, a movement was born. People across the country began posting their own pictures and stories. Folks began sharing photos of empowered, perfectly imperfect bodies, shaped by differences in age, race, size, gender, dis/ability, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, class, and other attributes. They were willing to exist unapologetically for just that moment. Sonya felt moved to create a space where people could practice living without apology in their bodies. She created a facebook page named after the words and poem that creating a new way of being for her and so many others.
Becomes a Page
Since that profile picture in February of 2011, The Body Is Not An Apology has become a refuge for millions who desire to dismantle the systems of body-based oppression that sever our experience of radical self-love, inside ourselves and in the world. Refusing to be held hostage by the Body Terrorism of the media and of the forces of social inequality, Unapologetic Posse members as far away as New Zealand, Thailand, India, and more have committed to a journey of personal and social transformation using the model of radical self-love.
Building a Movement
By 2014, The Body is Not An Apology had outgrown Facebook as a home for their radical self-love work that had grown to include a team of content writers, educational programming, personal transformation projects and coaching, and even in-person support groups. TBINAA set out to build the world's most comprehensive digital media, education and community building platform focused on radical self-love as the foundational tool for social justice. With the support of over 792 backers from over 30 countries, The Body is Not An Apology raised over 40,000 and partnered with the website Everyday Feminisim to build their own digital home www.TheBodyisNotAnApology.com.
Building a Platform
The Body Is Not An Apology is a digital media and education company committed to cultivating Radical Self Love as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation whose content and programming reaches nearly 1 million people each month exploring the intersection of bodies, identity, and social justice. The Leadership Circle is the steadfast team of 34 diverse radical self-love warriors in 5 countries who ensure TBINAA delivers on its commitment to its mission and vision of radical self-love. The Body is Not An Apology believes inequity, oppression, and injustice are in key ways, a manifestation of our inability to make peace with the body. Through information dissemination, education and community building, TBINAA fosters radical self-love which translates into radical human love in action, in service toward a more just equitable, and compassionate world.