11+ Books on Body Image That Girl Moms Will Feel Great About Buying!

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Need a little hand finding just the right book to help your daughter feel good about her body? You’re on the right page! In this article, we’ll delve into the world of body image books so you can find one that’s just right for her age, personality, and the unique body ‘ish that she’s currently going through. 

To make it easy to zero in on what will work best, I’ve sorted books into sections by age including those that are meant for girls ages seven and younger, eight to 14 (Psst! You’ll find books on puberty and periods here), and 13 to 16 years old.

As a bonus, I’ve also included a section on books to help you know how best to raise a body-confident kid!

Lastly, you’ll find books that can boost body confidence yet aren’t about body image. That’s because seeing images and reading about characters that are in all kinds of body types, large and small, soft and lean, able and less able, is a powerful way to help your daughter build self-acceptance without having to talk about body image at all!

From picture books to chapter books, fiction to non-fiction, workbooks, and journals, get ready to empower your daughter with a solid list of the body-confidence-building book picks you can rely on now and as she grows!


Disclosure: To make it easy to get your hands on these titles, I’ve included links to online sellers. If you’re an Amazon gal and you make a purchase, NourishHer will earn a small commission. That said, rest assured that these books are on this list because they’re awesome (and nothing else!).



Best Books About Body Image for Girls: Age-Specific Guide for Moms

Hundreds of books on the market promise to help you and your daughter navigate body image issues. Sorting through the best ones can be a huge project, especially with such a delicate topic that includes many complex aspects including eating disorders, puberty and periods, gender identities, and even (!) sex.

If you read through past the book lists you’ll learn a little about the trouble I fell into with my own daughters in researching books for this piece!

To help you, I purposefully kept the list {somewhat} short, highlighting only the ones I’m comfortable recommending to clients and handing over to my own girls. These books primarily help navigate issues related to puberty changes, weight, and other issues often faced by girls.

If your daughter is struggling with issues related to race or ethnicity, gender identity, ableism, or other body image-related issues, then you’ll need resources and recommendations that go beyond this list. Email me if you’re looking for something outside the scope and (eventually) I’ll update this with links that can help.

One tip: Bookmark this now so you have it handy later! And, of course, remember that you’re the very best expert on what’s right for your daughter. The age ranges are only a guide!


 

Best Books About Body Image for Girls Ages 7 and Under

 

Not sure your daughter is ready for body image and body confidence conversations? No problem! There’s tremendous power in tackling the topic indirectly, and you can do this by choosing picture books on other topics that just so happen to include diverse body types in a matter-of-fact way.

Scroll down to Books Featuring Body Diversity to check them out (as well as access a downloadable, easy-to-print list to share with teachers, friends, schools, nursery schools, and more! They’re books every body-confident library should have on hand!).

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Every Body: A First Conversation About Bodies by Megan Madison, Jessica Ralli, & Tequitia Andrews

Has your daughter ever asked you why grandpa’s belly is so big or why that person\’s legs are so jiggy?

If comments like that have left you speechless, this simple board book can make knitting together a positive response so much easier!

One thing to note: towards the end of the book, there’s a page explaining the incorrectness of the BMI. While I think the information is too abstract and medical for a young reader, if your child is aware of their BMI and feels bad about this, this could be the start to a simple talk about why the number isn’t helpful or valid.

 

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Lovely by Jess Hong

This book is meant to help completely challenge her notion of what “lovely” looks like by showing images of all kinds of bodies and appearances and asking the question, “What is lovely?”

Use it as a conversation starter or to simply get her in the habit of feeling more comfortable and accepting of differences.

 

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Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder

Simple words and endless images can help her feel comfortable in her own skin, regardless of her size, shape, color, or abilities.

 

Best Books on Body Image for Girls Ages 8 to 14

 

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Growing Up Powerful

by Nona Willis Arnowitz

Want to normalize self-care, explain the importance of sleep, or give her insight into the dangers of eating disorders without triggering an entirely new problem? This book can help.

Want your daughter to learn about shaving—from the pros and cons to the hows and how-nots? Want her to feel more normal about being neurodivergent? Oh, my, gosh; this book can help with all those things too!

Brought to you by the same team behind the Rebel Girl series, this dense (in the best possible way) paperback is an easy-to-read resource rich with all-the-right information.

It’s also heavy on illustrations of diverse body types and includes quizzes and QR codes your daughter can scan for more information, which makes it that much more fun for her to dig through.

(And, pssst, if I had to choose just one book, this would be it!)

 

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Love Your Body

by Jessica Sanders

Two things I love about this book: the illustrations, which are gentle and also show diversity in size, shape, and ability, and the actionable advice the author gives girls.

Advice includes acknowledging your value for what your body can do instead of how it looks, ideas for journaling, and affirmations. This is more of an easy read than a tome of information yet it’s practical and a great resource for older elementary girls, especially those that are new to the concept of a self-help-y type book (ie do this to get that).

 

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My Body’s Superpower by Maryann Jacobsen

Using the “superpower” theme, this book will inspire your daughter to take her ability to navigate body changes that go along with puberty into her own hands.

By identifying different things she can do based on her own powers, she’ll be inspired to be an active participant in growing up.

The author gives girls insights into their own powers to reduce pressure, listen to their internal cues and compass, think critically, know exactly how their body is changing, and stay focused.

 

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Celebrate Your Body by Sonya Renee Taylor

The more she knows about the body-changing safari she’s about to go through called puberty, the better able she’ll be when it comes to getting through it without any major dings to her body esteem.

This book’s illustrations are engaging and also very (very!) informative. Ever wonder how exactly to explain to your preteen to insert a tampon, for example? She can get a step-by-step set of instructions along with a visual on page 82!

I also love the section called Stop Body Talk on page 127, which literally gives her a one-sentence script we all need to learn how to stay to shut down the body-bashing that’s so common among teens (and diet culture-entrenched adults, as well!).


Books on Body Image for Girls Ages 15+

 

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No Weigh!

by Signe Darpinian, Wendy Sterling, and Shelley Aggarwal

Your daughter couldn’t be in better hands than with the trifecta of body image experts who co-authored this book, including a family therapist, eating disorder dietitian, and adolescent health doctor. It’s not just their professional backgrounds that make them amazing advocates and sources of support for your girl, however; their passion for helping in a way that’s “just right” is what impresses me!

This book is best for ages 13 to 16. (Of course, you’re the best expert but that gives you a guidepost at least.) The tone in this book is relatable for teens yet respectful and oh-so-wise when it comes to handling the delicate topic of body, food, and self-care.

As a non-diet dietitian, there are nuances to these delicate topics that not every expert gets right. These authors do, so you can feel great about putting this in the hands of your girl. Even better: Read it yourself to get insights into how the authors manage some of the topics that leave us parents tongue-tied ourselves.

 

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Has your teen already started experimenting with dieting? Do you see her making food choices based on discomfort with her body shape or size? Is she struggling with restricting and binging?

While this book doesn’t offer support on body image directly, it’s a powerful way to help you help her escape the clutches of the dieting mentality. It can help her explore intuitive eating via explanations and free-writing exercises. If she’s a writer or journal-lover, this book will hit the nail on the head in terms of helping her get insight into the eating behaviors that might not be serving her well.

If you’re a fan of intuitive eating and you think your teen is ready to start healing her own relationship with food, this is the place to start.

 

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The Body Image Book for Girls by Charlotte Markey

One of the best parts of this mix of illustrations and text is the Myths and Beliefs and Q & A sections, which clear up some of the most common points of confusion among girls—and adults—that I see in my own practice when it comes to topics related to body image.

For example, when a doctor tells you to go on a diet, you should, right? Or, you can never eat too healthily, right? Or, how often should you weigh yourself?

The reason your daughter can trust the answers: the author literally has a PhD in body image, so knows all the issues at play when speaking to teens about these topics. (And there’s a version for boys, too!)


Parenting Books on Body Image

 

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Raising Body Positive Teens by Signe Darpinian, Wendy Sterling, and Shelley Aggarwal

Yes, I love (ie trust) these authors so much I’m recommending them twice. This is the same team that wrote No Weigh!, and I’m so happy that they’ve got a parent-focused title for us!

This little title is packed with up-to-date, real-world, concrete advice for us parents trying to navigate technology, diet culture, the pressure to be uber-healthy, weight stigma, and more.

 

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Body Happy Kids by Molly Forbes

If you’re looking for a book to eventually share with other adults in your daughter’s life, such as grandparents, in-laws, well-meaning aunts, uncles, and cousins, then this just might be it.

It’s easy to read while also clearly explaining complex and charged topics, like diet culture.

The author’s entire career is dedicated to helping kids learn to love their bodies. Imagine all that knowledge and passion wrapped up in one relatively slim-sized paperback, which is exactly what you get with this book.

 

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Diet-Proof Your Daughter by Amelia Sherry

If you’re on this site, you’re probably already familiar with this book because, well, I’m the author!

In case you aren’t, this book tips and strategies on ways to parent around food in a way that positively impacts our girls’ eating and body esteem.

Don’t just take the recommendation from me though! (I’m biased, of course!) Read the reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads



Picture Books Featuring Body Diversity: Empower Younger Girls to Build Up Body Confidence

There’s power in seeing and reading about other girls and women and heroines living in bodies that don’t meet idealized standards without making a big deal about it.

By exposing our girls to body diversity in books as just a matter of fact, you can normalize bodies and increase acceptance in a subtle yet mind-shifting way.

Here’s a list of books for younger girls that can help build up body acceptance and confidence just by making different bodies feel like very real, very normal, very wonderful ways of being.

 

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Diana Dances by Luciano Lozano

Let your daughter enjoy following Diana’s journey as she finally discovers that her fidgety, wiggly body is …. that of a graceful dancer!

 

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Just a sweet day at the beach filled with some subtle body diversity! What better place to find it?

 

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I Really Want to Win by Simon Philip and Lucia Gaggiotti

Oh my gosh, I love the little girl in this book! Who else can relate to that feeling of really wanting to win?

This book does double duty by showing all kinds of non-traditional bodies as a matter of factly as you can get, as well as reminding us a valuable lesson about how to handle failure — or not being the “winner” you think you need to be after all.

Great to keep around after a few board games or false starts at sports or music or art lessons go awry. (And, yes, I probably need to keep a copy on my nightstand too!)

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Her Body Can by Kate Crenshaw

Poetic and sweet, this book will remind your daughter to focus on all the wonderful, everyday things her body is capable of doing!

 

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Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki

My daughter and I read this one three times in a row. It’s packed with so much to look at and has so much going on in the best possible way.

A variety of bodies? Yes! What I love even more (and didn’t expect) is that all the action is centered around getting a meal together for a community kitchen.

So you’ve got body diversity, inclusivity, community contribution, and a healthy love of cooking (yup, carbs are normalized and celebrated, too!) all rolled into one with this title.

I’m not sure if the author intended this kind of brilliance yet, lucky for us, it is there on multiple levels all at once!

 

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The Oboe Goes Boom Boom Boom by Colleen AF Venable and Lian Cho

Got a girl that just refuses to be quieted? Or what to encourage her to speak up? Try this book, which is all about finding yourself and your sound!

Different bodies are just a part of this chaotic (but clever) book, which features a persistent girl who just won’t be silenced.

 

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Little Witch Hazel by Pheobe Wahl

So many little witchy bodies in this beautifully illustrated book, which is broken up by seasons.

This book is all about difference without being all about difference, if you know what I mean! It addition to diversity, the book highlights Hazel’s many powerful and important roles in the forest.

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In order to get better at something, you have to be willing to make lots of mistakes. That’s the lesson your daughter will hear as she watches Mira try her hand at something she really cares about!


Want a printable version to share with a teacher, coach, or friend? We’ve got that! Download the list of picture books for younger girls right here.


Grab Your Free Audio Guide

6 Strategies to Protect Your Daughter From Diet Culture

Learn six simple strategies for navigating weight worries, setting limits with food, intuitive eating, social media, and body image with this FREE 30-minute audio guide. You’ll learn some of the best things to say and do when it comes to food and body image, leaving you both feeling more confident today!


Books About Body Image That Celebrate Body Diversity for Teens

Is your daughter well-past adolescence? Last but not least, here are a few extra titles for older girls that are worth looking into.

The Self-Love Revolution: Radical Body Positivity for Girls of Color by Virgie Tovar (non-fiction)

The Other F Word: A Celebration of the Fat & Fierce edited by Angie Manfredi

You Are Enough by Jen Petro-Roy (non-fiction, note: includes real talk about eating disorders)

Fiction Books on Body Image for Teens

Faith: Taking Flight and Faith: Greater Heights (fiction, part of a superhero series) by Julie Murphy

I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee (fiction)

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado (fiction)

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (fiction)

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy (fiction)


How to Use Books on Body Image: Critical Thinking for Moms

Every child is unique, and selecting the right body image book depends on their age, interests, reading preferences, and, most importantly, where they’re currently at with regard to how they feel about their bodies, what kind of bias or criticism they have or haven’t been exposed to, and what they’re struggling with the most.

Intentionally exposing her to books that include diverse body shapes and sizes in their illustrations and themes is a subtle and indirect way to help her feel more confident with her own differences.

Subtle and indirect might not always work, however!

If your daughter is confronting some of these issues directly in her life either by being the target of a bully, hearing diet culture comments, or feeling pressured by peers to take a diet for a test-drive, then you might want to rely on books that tackle the themes head-on.

When I was researching books for this list, I found many books—many critically acclaimed books—that tackle tough issues head-on. And that’s great news! We need these topics explored and talked about.

However, not every girl is ready to process the complicated thoughts and eating behaviors that go along with internalized bias. Each of our kids’ needs and readiness is unique.

Is She Ready for Fat Phobia, Eating Disorders, and Diet Culture?

If the answer is No or even I’m not sure, then it’s important to take a good look at some of the most popular books before you hand them over to your daughter.

Trust me! (I tried it—here’s your chance to learn from my missteps, beautiful mommas!)

When I was promoting my own book, one of the very first talks I gave was for my local library. It was called Building Body Trust in Kids and, to start, the children’s librarian asked me a very good question:

Do you have a list of books about body image that we can share with parents?

While I wanted to say, “Why yes, yes I do!”, I couldn’t. So to solve the problem, I got straight to work on Google and cruised through just about every body-positive book recommendation list I could find.

After searching, I chose about 15 titles or so highly-recommended titles that looked intriguing, hauled them back home from multiple nearby libraries, piled them up on the floor in my seven-year-old daughter’s room, and decided to explore one or two a night before bed together.

(You can find out why the together part was problematic if you keep reading.)

What’s in Some of the “Best Body Image Books”?

In the first book, an elementary-school-age girl listens as multiple members of her family engage in diet talk during a busy morning. I got tense.

Since we intentionally avoid diet talk in our home, reading that dialogue to my second-grader felt awkward, jarring, and unhelpful. I sensed some subtle disappointment (as in this isn’t going to be a fun book, Mom, is it?) as she started looking at the wall.

In the next book, an adorable little swimmer is called a “whale” as she puts on a bathing suit and makes a big splash in a pool. On a positive note, the little girl went on to receive lots of positive encouragement from her coach to try new things, but the word still stung.

Once I closed the cover of this book, I spent more time talking to my seven-year-old about how hurtful it feels to be called names. An important message for sure, but definitely not one that improved her body confidence.

It also overshadowed our ability to focus on the “I can do hard things” message, which is central to the theme and one I love!

By that third book, I stopped reading out loud. It was a graphic novel featuring a younger sister witnessing an older sister devolve into an eating disorder.

In the fourth book, which I read on my own cover to cover after my daughter fell asleep (because it was just that good!) a little girl deals with overt fatphobic comments and behaviors from multiple people, including her mom.

I was triggered, I was in tears, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the book and the main character for days. While I’d intended to give this one to my 6th grader, after reading it myself and much deliberation I decided against it.

In the fifth book, a mom keeps dying her daughter snack foods—and essentially fails to prepare adequate meals at all! This is a realistic and unfortunate situation, particularly for a mom who’s struggling with her one eating disorder. But could it help my own daughter with her issue? No, not right now at least.

Things to Think About When It Comes to the “Best Body Image Books”

Every girl is different. Different body, different experience, different perspective. Here’s my thinking about books that tackle topics like eating disorders, fat-phobic remarks, deep-in-diet-culture moms…

Was each of these books critically acclaimed? Yes!

Were the authors depicting realistic scenarios? Yes, unfortunately; yes!

Did each of these girls ultimately push back, gain self-esteem, and prevail as a heroine of her own journey? Yes, they were meant to be positive, uplifting stories.

Was reading about them a good way to help my daughters build up their own body confidence? That depends. Ask yourself: is she struggling with any of these specific issues?

For example, if your daughter’s been exposed to diet-talk then Beautifully Me could be a great, age-appropriate way to start a conversation about why dieting is problematic.

While I DO recommend speaking with girls about the dangers of dieting and the concept of an eating disorder, if a girl hasn’t been directly exposed to those behaviors such as binging, purging, or restricting amongst her friends or family then there’s no reason to hand her a book that features them.

This book was one I felt really uncomfortable reading with my seven-year-old. We intentionally avoid diet talk in our home, so hearing so many of her adults engaging in it felt unnecessary.

On the other hand, if your daughter has experienced an older sibling struggle with anorexia, for example, and she’s well aware of such behaviors, the graphic novel I mentioned earlier, Smaller Sister, might be reassuring and helpful.

It can help normalize the experience of having a family member struggle with this, as well as reinforce the dangers of emulating negative eating behaviors. (Parents in this situation might find it helpful, too!)

Just don’t hand this graphic novel to your 11-year-old (like I almost did) without reading it first!

Additionally, while I found the chapter book Starfish triggering (in fact, I cried and then deliberated about giving it to my daughter for days), that doesn’t mean it might not be helpful for someone else.

While I wasn’t ready to expose my girls to the overt fat-phobic comments and behavior doled about by a critical mother because I don’t think it’ll help them develop a better body image, could it help your daughter?

Could she learn to lean on other supports like her father, therapist, and friend as the main character does if she happens to be going through the same situation? What do you think, dear momma?

If you’re a teacher, coach, or therapist working with a child who is struggling with a fat-shaming mom, this could be empowering because ultimately the main character finds her voice with a few of the right advocates including a therapist, her father, and a new friend.

Likewise, if your daughter has fallen into the trap of being the fat-shaming bully then this book could be a powerful way to put an end to it. Understanding how the main character feels could give an ill-guided child much more perspective than a lecture about how wrong it is from a parent.

Similarly to Starfish, Taking Up Space features a young girl struggling with disordered eating. She’s restricting, interestingly, in response to the body changes she’s going through via puberty as well as dealing with a mother who is overcoming her own eating struggles—and subtly and almost unconsciously restricting her daughter’s food in the process.

I, again, didn’t want to yet expose my younger girls to this dynamic. That doesn’t mean that your own girl couldn’t benefit from it.

If you’re not exactly sure what your younger daughter is thinking, feeling, or struggling with right now, start by reading some of the books on the next list yourself before you read them together. This way you’re prepared and can better gauge her reaction (or nonreaction) to the pictures, people, and scenarios.

The unique images and characters will give you insight into answers to those questions, as well as help you see how you’re feeling about the different body images and types yourself!

By the way, how do you feel about all the different body types in the picture books? How about the mothering-around-food behaviors in books like Starfish and Taking Up Space? Don’t be surprised to feel some emotion, especially if you’re struggling with balancing body acceptance and healthy eating and raising kids!

If you need some support in making sure you’re being the role model you want to be for your daughter, you can start by jumping into NourishHer’s weekly newsletter list {One Nourishing Idea} below!

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