So, with that in mind I can tell you truthfully that I have meant to do this blog post for many months. I first read this zine at the Portland Zine Symposium last August. I read it sitting at my table and felt so inspired by it, it totally set my mood for that day.
Be Happy is a zine by then 19 year old Jayna. It's a simple mostly hand written zine about loving yourself as-is and self-compassion. The simpleness of it is what affected me so much. There are lots of blogs, books and zines out there about this subject. Some of them are very deeply researched, academic and layered. That's great, I love that Fat Studies is out there. But, I say this because Be Happy is the opposite of that and it cuts to the core of self-compassion and accepting oneself. There is a time when you need deeper studies into fat oppression and self-love and a time when you just need it spelled out to you by a smart teenager. Jayna's zine is kind of like getting a pep talk note from your best friend passed between classes. And really weren't those the best!
Excerpts from Be Happy #1
Your body is yours to love and take care of. Love it as much (or more) as your favorite music, person or movie.
Everyone has their rights to self-worth. Degrading others to feel better about yourself is pointless because it starts to turn your 2 most valuable organs bad. Your heart for feeling the need to put down someone and your brain for processing and relaying the message.
Months later I got the zine Your Biggest Critic. This could be Be Happy #2. This zine has lots of great points about self-compassion, too.
I recommend these zines for anyone struggling with these issues. It's just a good quick read that I could probably use every day - like affirmations. I especially think these zines would be great for a young person dealing with these issues. Having Jayna be closer to their age would inspire them even more and maybe encourage them to make their own zine. Just making a zine like this is great for the zine maker's self-esteem.
Visit Jayna's etsy shop. She has lots of other zines and projects, too.