Reclaiming UGLY!: A Radically Joyful Guide to Unlearn Oppression and Uplift, Glorify, and Love Yourself (Paperback)

Reclaiming UGLY!: A Radically Joyful Guide to Unlearn Oppression and Uplift, Glorify, and Love Yourself By Vanessa Rochelle Lewis Cover Image
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Redefining UGLY for individual and collective liberation--uplift, glorify, and love yourself in an uglified world.

In a deep analysis of the constructs of uglification and their impact on our social structures, collective psyche, and identities, author Vanessa Rochelle Lewis flips the script on how we think about ugly--what it is, what it means, and how it functions in our culture--and shows readers how to to Reclaim, Uplift, Glorify and Love Yourself. Blending incisive social analysis with personal narrative and joyful self-help magic, Reclaiming UGLY! empowers readers to connect, revolt, and heal from the oppression of uglification with creative prompts, reflective meditations, and guided opportunities for self-love and community-building.

But what is uglification? Uglification is a tool, ideology, and type of oppression. It's ugly weaponized--it designates some bodies as more or less worthy of love, respect, or access. It determines who gets to exist in which spaces, and acts as a tool of the white supremacist cisheteropatriarchy. Like all forms of oppression, uglification is at work on systemic, interpersonal, and internalized levels--painfully interrupting life, love, joy, pleasure, hope, and possibility for those our culture uglifies. Lewis unpacks the insidious impacts of uglification--and shows us how reclaiming ugly is a subversive, empowering act in which we embrace joy, healing, and community. Moving us closer to a collective liberation that takes back what society tells us is ugly and taboo (and what we've told ourselves is ugly and taboo), Lewis' analysis, personal journey, and activity toolkit compassionately guide readers to radical self-acceptance, joyful community-centered healing, and authentic self-love.

About the Author

VANESSA ROCHELLE LEWIS is a Queer, Fat, Black, Femme performer, facilitator, educator, writer, activist, healer, joyful weirdo, and Faerie Princess Mermaid Gangsta for The Revolution. Lewis has danced across many professional and creative stages. She has been a writer and co-managing editor for acclaimed feminist magazines, Everyday Feminism and Black Girl Dangerous; a community college instructor at multiple Bay Area schools and radical transformative justice programs; a fundraiser and events coordinator for the Black Healing October, the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project; and more. Lewis is a shameless flirt who loves to swoon over life and dive deep into intimacy. Silliness and sensuality are her survival strategies. She loves the people that society forgot to love the most.

Lewis founded the organization Reclaim UGLY: Uplift Glorify Love Yourself--And Create A World Where Everyone Else Can As Well! Her vision is to co-create a world where everyone knows that they are a safe, welcomed, and valued member of their communities; has the support to dream authentically and exists in their truths; and accepts that there is no face, no body, and no person who is ugly or unworthy of love and acceptance.

Praise For…

"Healing comes only when we face the deep harms of which we have been subject and perpetrator. Reclaiming UGLY! is an invitation to heal both the internal and external wounds of uglification. With a grace born of profound empathy, Vanessa never blames us for drinking from the chalice of shame and cruelty as she knows we all have thirsted for belonging, care, and love amidst oppressive structures that have left us few options. Reclaiming UGLY! is a necessary drink of liberatory possibility; a world formed of immense beauty and transformative love; a world we each get to co create. Lucky us."
—Sonya Renee Taylor, New York Times best-selling author of The Body Is Not an Apology

"With Reclaiming UGLY!, Vanessa Rochelle Lewis is offering us her hand as we look in the mirror and learn to see the beauty there, and the beauty in everyone, shirking off societal norms that deny our multitudinous, miraculous nature. Looking at the creation, maintenance, and impact of uglification through a lens that includes the personal, cultural, and factual, Vanessa shows us a way forward toward compassion and revolutionary love."
—adrienne maree brown, New York Times best-selling author of Pleasure Activism

"The wisdom of this book is borne of a deeply personal story told with such clarity and love that we are thankfully implicated and freed by it all at the same time. Vanessa’s writing is a mirror where each page rescues a bit more of our reflections from the lies and dangers of lookism. The framework here is ultimately one that teaches us how to recover what in us has been made out as ugly by this society, to interrupt the harm to each other we perpetuate in its name, and how, ultimately, we reclaim an ethic of care, deep honor, and protection. Vanessa has given us a generous, liberating provocation and invitation with Reclaiming UGLY! that we would do ourselves a service to receive."
—Prentis Hemphill, author, therapist, founder of The Embodiment Institute, and host of the podcast Finding Our Way

Product Details
ISBN: 9781623175863
ISBN-10: 1623175860
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English