Let's get one thing straight: Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World is not a book of advice. You're not going to find a step-by-step guide to meditation here, or even reminders to drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Those things are all good for you, but that's not what Hana Shafi wants to talk about.
Instead, Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty—built around art from Shafi's popular online affirmation series—focuses on our common and never-ending journey of self-discovery. It explores the ways in which the world can all too often wear us down, and reminds us to remember our worth, even when it's hard to do so. Drawing on her experience as a millennial woman of colour, and writing with humour and a healthy dose of irreverence, Shafi delves into body politics and pop culture, racism and feminism, friendship, and allyship. Through it all, she remains positive without being saccharine, and hopeful without being naive.
So no, this is not an advice book: it's a call to action, one that asks us to remember that we are valid as we are—flaws and all—and to not let the bastards grind us down.
Hana Shafi (a.k.a. Frizz Kid) is a writer and artist. Her visual art and writing frequently explores themes such as feminism, body politics, racism, and pop culture. Her first book, It Begins with the Body, was listed by CBC as one of the Best Poetry Books of 2018. A graduate of Ryerson University's Journalism Program, she has published articles in The Walrus, Hazlitt, THIS Magazine, and Torontoist, and has been featured on Buzzfeed, CBC, and in Flare, Shameless, and The New York Times. Known on Instagram for her weekly affirmation series, Shafi is the recipient of the 2017 Women Who Inspire Award, from the Canadian Council for Muslim Women. Born in Dubai, Shafi immigrated with her family to Mississauga, Ontario, in 1996. She lives and works in Toronto.
Praise for Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty:
"Hana revisits her wildly popular and comforting affirmations, stretching them out into tender coming-of-age stories and pointed social reflections. With her brash wit and honesty on display, this is the book that Frizz Kid / Hana Shafi fans (and new fans) have been waiting for." —Vivek Shraya, author of The Subtweet and I'm Afraid of Men
"Hana Shafi writes important, intelligent, and honest essays that encourage understanding, essential thinking, create dialogue, and are a channel for tenderness. In fact, Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty might just change the world! Reading this book not only makes us feel more hopeful, it might just make us smarter, too." —Bif Naked, Singer and songwriter
"If a summer feel-good movie was a collection of sweet affirmations, this would be it. Touching, honest, and everything I wish I had read growing up as an awkward kid. If you’ve ever wanted to experience the women's ritual of being affirmed in a public restroom, this is your book." —Anasimone George, Comedian