Jessica WilsonMar 17, 2023
It's Always Been Ours
Rewriting the Story of Black Women's Bodies
Hachette Go 2023
In It's Always Been Ours: Rewriting the Story of Black Women's Bodies (Hachette Go, 2023) eating disorder specialist and storyteller Jessica Wilson challenges us to rethink what having a "good" body means in contemporary society. By centering the bodies of Black women in her cultural discussions of body image, food, health, and wellness, Wilson argues that we can interrogate white supremacy's hold on us and reimagine the ways we think about, discuss, and tend to our bodies.
A narrative that spans the year of racial reckoning (that wasn't), It's Always Been Ours is an incisive blend of historical documents, contemporary writing, and narratives of clients, friends, and celebrities that examines the politics of body liberation. Wilson argues that our culture's fixation on thin, white women reinscribes racist ideas about Black women's bodies and ways of being in the world as "too much." For Wilson, this white supremacist, capitalist undergirding in wellness movements perpetuates a culture of respectability and restriction that force Black women to perform unhealthy forms of resilience and strength at the expense of their physical and psychological needs.
With just the right mix of wit, levity, and wisdom, Wilson shows us how a radical reimagining of body narratives is a prerequisite to well-being. It's Always Been Ours is a love letter that celebrates Black women's bodies and shows us a radical and essential path forward to rediscovering their vulnerability and joy.