Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente
Social media can be pressurising, unrealistic & fake but there are some accounts that are disrupters, challenging societal standards of beauty & body image.
The brilliant @jess_megan_ is a fierce body positive activist, passionate about mental well-being, equal opportunities, female empowerment & media honesty. A @coppafeelpeopleambassador Jess works in TV, & the press, raising critical issues in her charity work including anti bullying and period equality. She is a force to be reckoned with & her recommendation reflects her passions so well:
“As a woman who loves women, I am always exploring the landscape of literature for new, life defining pieces of work that might help them in their expeditions through this patriarchal world. This isn’t only limited to adult women though. I’m an avid reader of children’s books, looking for what will shape the minds of girls, to make them robust, ready and full of joy. I wrote my BA Dissertation on how we can look forward to an exciting generation of girls who have grown up with new feminist fairytales, unlike the ones that so often came before.
A book I wrote about is one of the most gorgeous pieces of literary work I’ve ever read. The title, ‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making’ is a mouthful, but it melts like chocolate. Its protagonist is 12 year old September, whom I adore.
There are lessons throughout about courage, heartlessness and growing up. There is a jolly satisfying scene where September has three baths to wash her courage, wishes & luck of all the muck & grime collected throughout life. I so wish I could wash my courage, wishes & luck in golden waters like September does. I think all adults do, to rid ourselves of all the rubbish we collect in our heads, making us feel like unworthy.
When you read this book, I recommend creamy tea, plump pillows on a rainy day. P.S. I have found some of the wisest, most obscure proverbs hidden in the pages of children books, they are often written in the simplest of terms, which I prefer. Sagely advice doesn’t need to be complicated or imposing. It just needs to be delivered with goodwill”.