Groundwork

by rseiderman

Some background on my involvement with The Body is Not an Apology (TBINAA). I discovered the organization in January through a YouTube video of the founder, Sonya Renee Taylor, presenting a spoken-word poem titled “The Body is Not An Apology.” The poem combats some of the ways that bodies are stereotypically conceived of and fosters self-love instead. If I understand correctly, the poem launched the movement, which has now been around for just over two years. For the majority of that time, Sonya alone has been in charge creating and maintaining content; my cohort of interns appears to be the first.

TBINAA is an “international mov[e]ment focused on Radical Self Love and Body Empowerment.” The movement fits perfectly into the arc of my journey toward both a professional writer and someone who’s able to love her self despite (or because of) its non-normativity.

I applied for the position of content intern at The Body is Not an Apology (TBINAA) around the beginning of March and was invited to participate in the next round of selection around the beginning of April. As it turned out, “the next round” was actually just informing the top five candidates that we were all being offered positions.

Since then, I’ve attended a number of meetings and exchanged a number of emails detailing what the internship actually requires and encompasses. My cohort is, as I mentioned, made up of five people. We’re all white women, but beyond that we’re quite different. I already knew Katie (and in fact suggested that she apply for the internship). So far I’ve met Megan, a Canadian who just finished a BA in Political Science and Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice and Rachel C., a Jewish disability blogger who’s pursuing her second master’s; Sally, the fifth intern, hasn’t been available to meet at the same time as the rest of us, but I know that she’s a Quaker who’s worked with Planned Parenthood.

At our last meeting—a conference call on May 9—Sonya solidified what she wants each intern to do. Basically, each of us is assigned one week per month during which we’re responsible for all of the content that appears of TBINAA’s Tumblr and Facebook pages. That entails one original piece (minimum) and seven smaller pieces (which can be original, but don’t have to be) that fall under a theme of our choosing.

My first assigned week begins next Monday, May 27, and continues through Sunday, June 2. My tentative theme, “Bodies as Subjects,” will explore the importance of valuing embodiment (=bodies as subjects) over the body (=bodies as objects). I submitted a tentative final draft of my long blog post to Sonya today and should get feedback from her tomorrow. Otherwise, my main mission of this long weekend is to find secondary sources that fit with my theme.

Coming next week: How my first week of content is going!

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