Body Phobia

The Western Roots of Our Fear of Difference

Body Phobia

The Western Roots of Our Fear of Difference

  • Preorder
  • Quantity discount
    • For bulk discounting, please call Sales and Service at 877-373-0706 and ask about our Corporate Sales Program.

Available September 17, 2024

Your body is who you are. We will only build a just society by rejecting fear of our bodies.  

Western culture hates the fact that we have bodies--from evangelical culture, which insists "you are a soul and have a body," to wellness culture that turns your control over your body into a moral test, to transphobic activism that insists any step taken to change one's body is an immoral act, to the treatment of disabled bodies in a profoundly ableist culture. Fear has led cisgender, white, and able-bodied people to deprioritize the physical experience and prioritize the mind alone, contributing to our alienation from one another, the marginalization of certain kinds of bodies, and harm to us all.

Body Phobia is an examination of the western societal fear of the body, how it permeates all parts of culture, who gets to be perceived as more than their body, and who does not. By becoming self-aware of how our bodies interact with the world and what it means to have a body, we can begin to overcome the harm done in divorcing the western body and the western mind for centuries. Through cutting analysis and candid storytelling, Dianna E. Anderson exposes our fear-based politics and shows us a way to approach bodies that is neither positive nor negative but neutral. Our bodies are. And that's enough.


"Anyone with a body will know how troublesome they can be, but Body Phobia explains it's not just you--it's all of us. Dianna Anderson's keen insights into the ways we fear our own embodiment, and how ambient cultural anxiety around our bodies is vented particularly on fat, queer, and racialized bodies, is an essential tool to understanding and connecting with our embodied selves."

Evan Urquhart, founder of Assigned Media

"This book has the power to heal. As a therapist, I believe one of the precursors to healing is putting unspoken truth into language. Body Phobia does that for our bodies, for our selves. In it, Anderson has masterfully constructed a book that simultaneously challenges and liberates, all the while keeping readers enraptured by their storytelling. I wish I could put this book in front of everybody I know, saying, 'Read this, and don't stop until you are free.'"

Matthias Roberts, psychotherapist and author of Holy Runaways and Beyond Shame

"This book is very timely. I've recently come across terms like anti-trans and homo-negativity as alternatives for transphobia and homophobia, and those can be useful. But this book tackles deeper, harder, bigger questions: What if the hate and discrimination we face actually are manifestations of fear, and if so, why? Using phobia, not just out of habit but because it is the most accurate term, poses a serious challenge to cishet-normativity and white, Western beauty standards."

Freddy McConnell, Guardian journalist profiled in the documentary Seahorse

"Combining searing memoir with deep analysis of theology, philosophy, literature, and more, Anderson locates the root of so many problems in our fear of bodies--our own and those of others. Then they show us a way out of this trap that goes far beyond mere acceptance, to integration, to becoming something whole."

David M. Perry, author of The Bright Ages

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506496436
  • eBook ISBN 9781506496443
  • Dimensions 6.25 x 9.25
  • Pages 158
  • Publication Date September 17, 2024