Radiance Kids Project

Information and Support for Parents, Teachers, Counselors,
Health Professionals, and Kids of all ages.


  • Support for Plus-Size Teens

  • General Information on Supporting Big Kids (of all ages)

  • Individuals and Groups to Contact

  • Size-Positive Books & Resources
    This is only a partial list of some of our favorite books and resources. This list will be updated a few times a year, and your ideas on what to include on this list are welcome.

  • Tons of Fun: Size-Positive Stories and Images for Young Children
    We’ve been hearing a lot in the news lately about the importance of early learning experiences, including exposing young children to books and reading—and it’s all true. A child who has been read to when young is more likely to be a good reader herself and to be successful in school and in life. And there is nothing cozier than sharing a favorite story: cuddling up together and studying the pictures in a delightful children’s book.
    By Sharon Henegar
    Illustrated by Doug Dworkin
    From Radiance Fall 1999.

  • Bringing Size Awareness to the Classroom: The Making of Young Activists
    Imagine that you could go back in time and give your younger self just one message, something that would change your life for the better. What would it be? Aside from the names of the Kentucky Derby winners of the past twenty years, I know what I would choose: I'd sit my chubby preteen self down, and I'd tell her that even though she is fat, she is lovable, pretty, and capable. I'd tell her that she deserves respect, and that she is okay just the way she is. I wonder if she would believe me.
    By Nancy Summer
    Radiance Winter 1996.

  • Girls’ Body Image and Health
    It seems as if everyone is always talking about dieting and weight. We look at images of thin attractive people every day on television and in magazines, but rarely do we see any larger girls and women shown as attractive. We get exposed to hundreds of diet commercials each year that tell us that if we want to be pretty, popular, and successful, we have to be thin.
    By Nancy Summer

  • Building Blocks for Children’s Body Image
    A child’s world is no longer a simple or carefree place to grow. It has become filled with complex ethical and personal struggles that some of us find difficult to grapple with as adults, let alone as children or teens. Issues like drug abuse, violence, teen pregnancy and the decline in educational standards are well discussed and many solutions to these problems are being attempted. Buried among these acknowledged pressures are those as yet unspoken on a public basis: the dangers and destructiveness of mainstream body image in America.
    By Marius Griffin
    for the Body Image Task Force

  • The Inner World of the Fat Child - Challenge for a Child Abuse Counselor
    Alissa is eight years old. She is painfully shy. She does not converse easily. She will not make eye contact and she does not like to be touched. She walks with her head down, afraid to look around her, suspecting all eyes that are on her. She wears oversized sweaters and baggy pants, and her bangs cover half her face. She smiles infrequently. Her brother teases her incessantly about how large she is, and how much she eats. He tells her that she smells bad, and he calls her Petunia Pig.
    By Eliana Gil, Ph.D.
    Radiance Fall 1987.

  • Is It Discrimination?
    Often we see and hear things that may be size discrimination—on television, in magazines, in school, and in our neighborhoods. Can you tell if something is discrimination? Here are some examples and what we think about them. What do you think?
    By Nancy Summer

  • Knowing About Fat Kids
    If you are a thin kid, you may not know that being fat can make it hard to make friends. In this country, "overweight" kids sometimes have a hard time and can even be made fun of.

  • Ten Top Reasons to Give Up Dieting
    #10: Diets don’t work. Even if you lose weight, you will probably gain it all back, and you might gain back more than you lost

  • Trust Your Tots at the Table - And You May End Up Trusting Yourself
    Nutrition expert Ellyn Satter’s philosophy of child feeding is as simple as it is radical: "The parent is responsible for what, when and where. The child is responsible for how much and whether." That’s it? Yes. Does it work? Yes, insists Satter. She suggests that following this division of responsibility can solve most children’s eating problems—and help us understand our own.
    By Joan Price
    Radiance Winter 1991.

  • When Children Hate Their Bodies—What Parents Can Do To Help
    Megan, who has always been the tallest and largest child in her class, comes home from the fourth grade in tears because classmates told her she was too fat to play with them. She spends the afternoon alone with her Barbie doll, pretending that she, like Barbie, is tiny, delicate, popular, and thin. Sarah, a slender eighth-grader, believes she is too fat. Hoping to avoid comments about her "thunder thighs," she refuses to wear a bathing suit on a family beach outing. She tells her mother she hates her "ugly" body, which she hides under layers of loose, shapeless clothing.
    By Jean Rubel, Ph.D.
    Adapted from an article by Jean Rubel
    Radiance Fall 1987.

  • Working with Fat Children in the Schools
    Sandy McBrayer, the 1995 national Teacher of the Year, tells of visiting an elementary school that was proud of its ethnic diversity and the integration achieved within the school’s social milieu. The principal walked her to the newly built multipurpose "cafetorium" and ceremoniously pulled open the doors to reveal children of all colors eating, talking, and laughing together.
    By Michael I. Loewy, Ph.D.
    From Radiance Fall 1998.

  • On Raising Children of Substance
    It is 1969, and I am at the lunch table in the cafeteria, sipping at my half-pint of cold milk and dreading what may await me in my Flintstones lunch box. I look around. Caroline has her usual squat thermos brimming with saucy ravioli or spaghetti loops with baby meatballs. That would be yummy. Of course, my favorite is right across from me in Maria’s brown bag: peanut butter and grape jelly on airy white bread, which is stained purple in the spots where the jelly has seeped through.
    By B. Shanewood,
    an interview with author and therapist Jane R. Hirschmann
    Radiance Fall 1998.

  • Raising Largely Positive Kids
    The following guide sheet was developed by Carol Johnson, founder of Largely Positive, an organization for people of size based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
    By Carol Johnson, M.A.
    From Radiance Fall 1999.

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