Ady: And that is why we were so conscious to have the illustrations in the book portray friends of all different types: kids with different physical abilities, different hairstyles, different races, different sizes, and different religions. The pictures in this book say loud and clear, “Everyone is equal.”
Why is this book important now?
Ady: Body positivity is a movement right now in our space as adults, and I love it, but it needs to be taught at a young age, and that’s our goal. Just yesterday I got trolled on the internet and called fat, and that’s not going to stop me from being me, but that confidence in myself is very new. And honestly the process of writing this book has really helped me choose definitively to put away a lot of my negative thoughts once and for all. I really believe that if I’d had a book as a kid that taught this type of message, maybe it wouldn’t have taken me until I was 34 to be that confident. The book is definitely about teaching kids not only to accept and love themselves, but accepting and loving others for their differences too.
What inspired the book’s title?
Katie: Ady’s original brainstorm for the book was a plus-size princess, but after our first creative meeting, we were really gravitating toward action statements and things this girl could do. I had already started a movement called #herbodycan, focused on what our bodies can do versus their appearance, and with the ultimate direction of this book, that title just made sense here too.
Did any of your personal life experiences shape the book?
Ady: It was really important to us to address specific restrictions that were imposed upon us growing up because of our size, and negate them. My whole life I heard, “Don’t wear two-piece bathing suits, don’t wear white, don’t wear color, don’t wear crop tops,” so we made it a point to have our heroine wear every single thing we were told we couldn’t wear because of our size. We want to change that narrative for the next generation of children.
What do you hope to offer parents with your book?
Katie: Most of us were parented in an atmosphere that was fatphobic, and most of us have outdated, ingrained ideas on body image. We are all likely trying to do the same work on ourselves that we are trying to teach our children, and it’s not easy. Having something tangible like a book when trying to teach anything to children is key, and not only is this book a great tool for sensitive moments; it is also just a happy, uplifting story of a girl who lives her best kid life in the body she was born with, and what else could we hope for in a child?