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GIVEAWAY: CHEMISTRY (A BODY POSITIVE, FEMINIST, FOUL MOUTHED TWIST ON "TWILIGHT")


I'm always thrilled to see plus protagonists show up in literature... especially ones that don't feel the need to change their body in order to kick ass. There simply aren't enough of these narratives, y'know? 

Of course you know. 

Here to fix that problem: C.L. Lynch and her (body positive feminist, foul mouthed!!!) book- Chemistry. Lynch explains:

I wrote Chemistry as a feminist response to teenage romance novels, the prime example being Twilight. Enter Stella Blunt, the size eighteen, foul mouthed, empowered antithesis of everything that bothered me. Big, powerful, loud girls are underrepresented in fiction, and when fat girls do show up in YA lit, it's usually in a book that is about their size. Chemistry isn't about Stella's weight. It's just part of who she is. I wanted to show teen girls that you can be fat and still kick ass and do Kung Fu and fall in love and generally be awesome. 

Fuck. Yes. Chemistry's plot goes something like this:

"Meet Stella Blunt. She isn’t your standard teen heroine. She’s large, she’s loud, and she has anger management problems. When her parents move her to a new school, Stella has trouble dropping the who-cares attitude that she uses as a social shield. Only one person in her new school seems to like her: Howard Mullins, the shy geek in her Chemistry class. He’s the biggest loser in school, but he’s a good listener and genuinely respects her for her brain. Then again, he’s a zombie.    

When undead hordes start showing up at Stella’s door, she takes on her complicated love life – and a zombie virus outbreak – with strength, passion, and a chainsaw."

I KNOW that there are many of you wiggling in your seats with excitement right now. All you wonderful YA lit lovin', "Wish I was zombie fightin'", sarcastic, body posi readers. So glad you exist. And today is your lucky day because... it's Chemistry's pub date and C.L. Lynch wants five of you (in the US + Canada) to have signed first edition copies of Chemistry for your very own. Forever.


Giveaways happen when someone contacts me and says: I wanna buy a specific spot on your blog so I can give free awesome shit to your readers. To which I say: does it involve doing dishes, getting shots or watching Psych? (I hate ALL of those things- sorry Psych fans, I really tried!) and when they come back and say NO, actually it's really awesome you and your readers will definitely like it!, chances are I'll investigate and then say... OKAY! Let's do this.

This then means that I'm renting out some real estate, they're getting exposure, and you're getting presents year round. Which is amazing for everyone and I'm glad I'm doing more of these. Things to know: depending on who it is, they might letcha follow their social media accounts to have extra entry options. But no matter what, I always ask that there is a chance for everyone to enter at least once without having to "like" or "follow" anything. If you want to be an overachiever beyond that, it's up to you. Like and follow away.

AND, of course, if you think giveaways are bullshit, you're allowed to skip everything all together and just come back for my next post which will likely be about trying to take holiday pictures while holding three cats and one dog. It should be... interesting. Either way, you're a grown ass adult and you get to make your own decisions, mmkay?


Is this book your style? Do you need it in your book collection? Well, how does this excerpt sound?:

When you’re in love, you’re supposed to hold hands and face death with serene acceptance. We could share a dramatic kiss as we died in the tradition of star-crossed lovers everywhere.

 “Fuck that shit,” I said as my chainsaw sputtered to life and began to roar. “Let's slice off some heads.”

Sold? Then enter away! Five copies of Chemistry are available for all you US and Canada inhabitants!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and I look forward to hearing your reviews!

BODY POSITIVITY IS POLITICAL AND OTHER THINGS TO KNOW + DO

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I've been waiting for the perfect words but they never came. So imperfect words and a few resources must do.

While sharing articles about post-election horrors over the last few weeks, I've received a lot of "Stop posting about politics and go back to body positivity" comments. With the mainstreaming of the "body positive movement" within the last few years, I understand that many may not realize that body positivity couldn't be more political and I'd like to break it down for those who might not see the connection.

First we need to recognize that the most popular form of "body positivity" on the internet today centers around cisgender, able bodied, white women.

Images of these bodies are what flood our feeds and what the media calls upon when they talk about challenging beauty standards. I am one of those women in your feed. I am one of those women covered by media platforms. I am successful in blogging because I was born into this exclusive group that has been sanctioned as "relevant" in the conversation. And though I'm often considered "too fat" to be taken seriously, my other physical privileges (none of which I've earned) make plenty of space for me at the discussion table. 


The reality is that our representation of bodies within this "body positive movement" still isn't representative at all. We seem to think that size (weight, shape and so on) is the only physical trait that garners social onslaughts and that this physical quality doesn't additionally affect other marginalized groups. This is a problem and we are seeing the consequences of this escalate with every single day that passes.

We need to take a long, hard look at what is happening around us and realize that it is all connected and directly tied to body discrimination.

Black, brown, Muslim, trans, queer, and disabled bodies are being mocked, disrobed, beaten, arrested and killed based on nothing other than the way they look. They face a world without resources, rights and legislation to protect them based on nothing other than their bodies and institutionalized racism/discrimination that claims these actions are warranted. Bold and italics? Totally necessary.

This was happening before November 8th and now, post-election, groups of citizens have become emboldened and these hate crimes are now being both enabled and encouraged. This is the opposite of body positivity. This is, in fact, Body Terrorism.



All body issues (we're talkin': race, ability, gender, age etc etc etc) must be included in our body activism if we want to create change. All of them. Because, even if you are not invested in other people's safety in this world (I hope that changes for you, but even if it doesn't) all oppression is connected. And as long as one group is being harmed, none of us will ever see real safety in our future.



This is how intersectionality works.

We also need to recognize that body issues have global ramifications.

Sonya Renee Taylor explains just this when talking about the TBINAA movement she started years ago:



The Body Is Not an Apology is an international movement committed to cultivating global Radical Self Love and Body Empowerment. We believe that discrimination, social inequality, and injustice are manifestations of our inability to make peace with the body, our own and others.  

Through information dissemination, personal and social transformation projects and community building, The Body is Not An Apology fosters global, radical, unapologetic self-love which translates to radical human love and action in service toward a more just, equitable and compassionate world.  

The root of many worldwide problems can be found within how we view and treat bodies. The solution comes when we learn how to treat all bodies with respect and compassion. It's that big. It's that important.

And we have the ability to work towards that solution, my friend. We do.

If we were to take a look at The Militant Baker Facebook and Google demographic numbers, the vast majority of you are US women who are both white and plus size. White, plus women in the US- we are similar in many ways, you and I. And I'm glad you're here because we have some work to do.

It's essential to recognize that as women, our bodies are systematically regulated, ridiculed, and assaulted. As fat women, we experience this on a whole other level (read this amazing article about supporting fat women in the time of Trump). This is real, horrifying and not to be dismissed or diminished. But in addition to taking care of ourselves and our safety, it's important that we act now to eradicate discrimination against all other bodies as well. You and me? It's likely that we live in similar bodies and lead similar lives... and we can do more. 

Now is not the time for silence. Now is not the time for lukewarm advocacy. Now is not the time for "Let's wait and see." Now is the time to act intentionally, fiercely and with commitment.

Marginalized folx have been saying this forever, but we weren't listening hard enough. I wasn't listening hard enough. None of us were listening to the extent that we needed to be.

And now? Well, we need to step up.

I've spent the last few weeks reading, listening, processing, sobbing, drinking wine, reading, listening and processing some more. I wanted to find the best way for me to get my shit together and do better.

Here is what I have come up with for me personally and some of these action items may work for you:

  1.  I will continue to share articles and resources on my social media pages. 

    Not just about sizes and shapes (though I'll post/write about that too because: important + lived experience), but about all discrimination so that hatred does not become normalized. The social media pages will not be forums to discuss why hateful things are/are not hateful, but rather a feed of information and place to amplify brilliant marginalized voices. I invite you to stay, read, think and work on improving. We can all improve. It's what I'm here for too.

  2. I will organize with the community here in Tucson.

    I have the privilege of being able to reach hundreds of thousands of people online, but it's not enough. Even though millions (and individuals who could reach millions) shared information far and wide on social media leading up to Nov 8th... we still find ourselves here. It didn't do what we needed it to do. So lets do more and lets do it in person.

    With the ever increasing fear of First Amendment rights being infringed upon, having physical feet on the ground is crucial. I will be working with a local post-election organizing group on a variety of issues, and I would encourage you to find one near you. Another established group that is highly recommended is Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and they have chapters all over the country. There's a good chance that there is one near you.

  3. I will physically interrupt moments of harassment and violence. 

    I certainly understand the kind intent behind the wearing of a safety pin, but this article beautifully explains why a pin just isn't enough.

    Interrupting harassment and violence can be really scary if you are unprepared (hell, it's scary even when you're prepared) but it's important so let me share some resources with you. Here's a short and sweet "Bystanders Guide to Harassment" and "5 Ways to Disrupt Racism" in video format. I've received feedback from dozens of people who use these approches often and they say it works and works well.

    I also worry (even more than before) about law force accountability in the future so I'm thankful for the Google Doc called "What To Do Instead of Calling the Police"... familiarize yourself with it. If you witness law enforcement violence, here is what to do if they tell you to stop filming them and it's important to know your rights- this article from the ACLU is great for that.

  4. I will have hard conversations with those who are in my offline life, and I will have them with empathy. 

    This will always be the most challenging commitment I can make. I am full of rage, anger and sadness. I don't really "feel" like having a kind conversation with someone who actively makes decisions that harm other people. But the least effective choice we can make is to turn our back on everyone else and refuse to have hard conversations with those who know us well.

    This article is probably my favorite thing I've read to date and says:
    Use the advantage of your personal relationship. People can easily dismiss those they don’t know, but they know and trust you. It won’t be as easy to dismiss your experience when you are leveling with them person to person. 
    Use empathy. This is the part where it gets sticky. White supremacy is so ingrained in American culture that in order to dismantle it, we need you. You’re our anti-racist Serpico. Ask about the troubles they are having in their own lives and relate it to everyone wanting the same things. Discussions about race and white supremacy can make anyone hunker down and get defensive, so in order to keep your sanity, use empathetic approaches.

    It's both incredible and wonderful that multiple resources have been made for us to help get through those difficult conversations. Here's an outline called "How to talk to your loved ones about a Donald Trump presidency" and another resource form SURJ called the "Thanksgiving Toolkit: Bringing Justice Home." Even though some resources may be holiday specific, they can help in all sorts of situations. Use 'em.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There is also a long list of other ways to help, posted on Medium by Lindy West that I highly suggest reading among other resources on the web. If you also struggle with mental illness and are wondering how to balance helping the cause when you are also needing help, read this. There is always more we can do. There is more we must do.


I worry that my words are not strong enough to explain exactly what is happening in our country right now and how critical it is that we fight and fight hard. I also worry they might be too strong and will drive those who can help in social liberation away. But these are the only words I have. So here they are.


If you are invested in body posititivity, it's crucial that you invest in the safety of all bodies... even the ones that you may not inhabit.  In our recent chats about this issue, Sonya put it more eloquently than I ever could:




While what we want is good moral people to be good and moral, I think it is important and can be even more pronounced that a world that hates black/brown/Muslim/disabled bodies will always hate fat women. The fight is not separate.

I just want to post that little blurb again: "While what we want is good moral people to be good and moral, I think it is important and can be even more pronounced that a world that hates black/brown/Muslim/disabled bodies will always hate fat women. The fight is not separate."

Please, please be "that fat girl"... this world needs you. And I'm with you all the way.

IT'S NATIONAL CAT DAY (AND I'VE GOTCHA COVERED)

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Today has already been really productive. I Googled World's Cutest Cat, Best Cat Videos Ever, and All the Cat Stuff You Never Knew You Needed But Totally Do. Two hours later (DON'T JUDGE) I've compiled everything you'll find below. I found myself really conflicted while web surfin' however,because most people agree that the "worlds cutest cat" is unanimously Daisy but I find Katie's Moo cat to be equally lovable. The problem though is that I tend to think all cats are hella cute  ('specially my kitten named Fisher... gawd), so I'm not the greatest judge. I'll leave those difficult decisions to you. 

MOVING ON.

Thanks to today and all the cat research I've done (sometimes it's a tough life, y'all) it's become very clear that this cat is my #1 style icon:


And I don't need an online test to know that my Patronus is DEFINITELY THIS CAT:

'

Need more cat-tasticness? I know it's not a word but I don't care so here's my favorite video in which cats prove (once again) that they run the world:



Honorable video mention: Cats knocking over stuff. Y'know like, trees, boxes, babies, food, other cats... and then fleeing the scene like nothing ever happened. Because: cats.

ALSO: A compilation of the best cat Instagrams which I co-sign.

AND for all the cat lovers out there who's biggest fear is that other people don't know just how much you love your cat (or cats- PLURAL- what's up fellow cat collectors!)  I've put together some SUPER KICK-ASS cat lovin' paraphernalia so that your feline adoration is crystal clear. (Note: all clothing items come in plus sizes because fat babes deserve all that rad cat swag too! Obviously.) 



  1.  Cats Against Cat Calls shirt (up to 3x/Unisex up to 5x)
  2.  "Nerd Cat" print
  3. Plus size cat tights
  4. Cat Family nesting dolls
  5.  "Cat Dad" Shirt (unisex up to 3x)
  6. Feminist Killjoy (Hi, that's me) mug
  7. Air deodorizing (what's up litter box!) Cat Lady Candle
  8.  Cat map of the world
  9.  FLYING CATS ON SPARKLY UNICORN GALLOPING THROUGH THE GALAZY SHIRT. Sorry about the all caps. It just felt needed. (Up to 4x, though it's handmade so I might try contacting her if you need a larger size!) 
  10. Cats socks
  11. Plus Size Kitty Skater Dress (0x-4x) 
  12.  Ask Me About My Cats desk plaque 
  13. Skater skirt in CATS. SO MANY CATS (up to 4x)

And how could I forget the recent sweater cat dress with pockets that I've been wearing everywhere?!?


HAPPY NATIONAL CAT DAY, MY CAT LOVIN' FRIENDS! May your feline pals always be one of the best parts of your life!

CURRENT CRUSH: PLUS MODEL SAUCYE WEST



I've got quite the powerhouse to introduce to you today. 

Meet Saucye West- a plus size model (plus as in "size 28/30 and proud!"), business woman, single mother and force to be reckoned with. And after spending some time with her in California last month, I'm officially in love with her as a whole person. She's brilliant, unflappable, committed to change and fierce AF. And after reading a little bit about her goals/philosophy/reasons behind why she models... I think you might fall in love too.


Here's what she has to say about plus model size diversity:

I feel like the plus models that are emerging as of late are all very beautiful but lack the relatability of the consumer. I want to see more models that are "unconventional" according to industry standards. More models that look like me and like many other women in America. I would like to see brands choose even larger fat bodies instead of walking that safe line. Being confident is about being brave. Brave enough to go against what people may think of you and create your own lane. That's exactly what fashion is about right?





About her goals:



My personal goal in life is to first be a good mother and example for my daughter. But in the realm of fashion I want to continue to break the barriers that have been placed in front of me and show visibility of fat bodies. And visibility of black fat bodies in the industry. As an activist I want to spread the message of self love. I want to combat body/fat shaming. I want to be in the front line and fight for the people who aren't yet able to fight for themselves.




About her ultimate message:



My message has always been to love yourself. It may sound simple but for so many it is a struggle. So many people can't even look in the mirror because they are ashamed or afraid. I tell people who reach out to me to have a love affair with yourself DAILY. when you get up in the morning look in the mirror and say "I am worthy". You are worthy of love, of acceptance, of happiness, of confidence, if everything that is good in this life. You are worthy!




About being a part of both fashion AND activism:
Being a part of both the fashion industry and the fat activist community has had its challenges. There have been times when my ethics have been challenged within the industry. And I have had to turn down jobs or not work with people based upon my personal beliefs. It is very hard to be at fashion show with other plus models and I have to hear them body shaming themselves. It can be tough.



About using the word fat:


Even me using the word fat to describe my body makes people look at me a certain way. people try to quickly correct me using a different adjective but I'm not ashamed of my body and the word that I choose to describe it. It's very hard for me to look at certain things in the fashion industry and see that I am not represented. But I have to continue to make myself visible so that one day my body type will be part of the standard. Being a woman of color, my fight is a little bit harder. Unfortunately, it's easier for my counterparts to be accepted. but for me I found it a little bit harder to even be excepted within my own community as a fat model. I know sometimes people may get tired of hearing me rant about the social injustices of fat people. But that's okay.




And about refusing to be silent:


There are times when people email me and ask me why I'm always talking about fat shaming. Why can't I just focus on the fashion? Well, I can't just focus on the fashion when the fashion industry doesn't even want me in it. We are still fighting to be seen and be visible! So therefore I have to continue to fight for the injustices of fat people and work towards showing visibly fat bodies in the industry. I'm not just doing this for fat people I'm doing is also so that women of color who are also plus size can be visible and can be seen as beautiful.




HEY WORLD, CAN WE GET THIS BABE SIGNED WITH A MODELING AGENCY ALREADY?!? Today would be the perfect day to get that ball rolling.

I'm HOPING (praying, begging, pleading even) that the giant companies (like Target, JcPenney, Lane Bryant, and Torrid!) who are looking to actually promote plus size diversity will look to Saucye in order to make this happen. If you're wanting a stellar, talented and boundary pushing model... West is your girl.

Cheering you on Saucye in ALL YOU DO!

P.S. You can find Saucye on Facebook, Instagram and on her website. Support, follow and fall in love already mmkay?

I WEAR WHAT I WANT: CATS ALL OVER WITH A LITTLE BIT OF BAD-ASS


When I picked out this outfit I was just starting to feel a little giddy about fall weather. It's started cooling off here in this little ol' desert town and I was starting to (literally) dream about fall fashion. Boots, scarves, long coats, layers... you name it.

Then the package with these pieces came and... BAM. 95° all over again. Well, FUCK YOU TOO WEATHER. Just kidding, let's be friends and make it 60
° forever already. Tomorrow would be great.


In a couple weeks I'll be able to wear this during the day, but for most of you fortunate folks, you can start wearing jackets and sweater dresses now. Just don't rub it in. 



And of course, booties are always a good idea no matter what the temperature it is outside. Especially ones with zippers and peep-toes.



Also:

Same.

Is there anything you're excited about wearing this fall? Besides dresses covered in adorable Tabby faces, I mean. Share your fav things to wear and I might add those to my dream list too!

THE ULTIMATE BRA GUIDE // BY CORA OF "VINTAGE OR TACKY"

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There's a really good chance that you know Cora of Vintage or Tacky from her hugely popular YouTube channel where she hosts videos on everything from amazing makeup tutorials to "Poodle hair" updos to kick-ass shaving pieces for ladies with PCOS. I'm thrilled that she is sharing her comprehensive bra guide (made for plus bodies) with all of us here on The Militant Baker. I mean... it has EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW AND IT'S ALL IN ONCE PLACE! There is even a video version at the bottom of this post... and I think you're gonna be really impressed.

(Just so you know: 1.) I chose all the images so if you're wanting more info on them, be sure to click the source link below each one AND 2.) The blog text has Cora's affiliate links in them which means if you purchase anything from them you'll be supporting a kick-ass blogger! Rad!)

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For years, I wore the wrong bra size and I had no idea. The lack of support left me with tension headaches, back pain, and boobs hanging lower than necessary. And it’s not just a big boob problem: As long as I’ve been a person with boobs, the struggle has been real. The difference for Big Boob Betties, is that improper support can cause health issues, and many times stores and their sales staff are ill-equipped to help: The don’t carry larger sizes and they don’t really know what our needs are. For years I was shopping at chain bras stores in the mall, where they carry up to cup size DDD or F- if I was that lucky. Even in the plus size stores the options above a F are dismal.

They’d measure me and say I wore a 44F and so I wore that for years- but the band would ride up, the cups / boobs would droop, the center would gap, underwires would poke and it would dig into my shoulders. It didn’t help that when I was younger I was obsessed with all my bras being sexy, lacy, push up, etc. While I worked at Costco I constantly had quad boob or needed to readjust because my bra style was inappropriate for the activity, and was completely the wrong size.


(Really REALLY love this image from WYV Mag)

One thing that helped me immensely was getting a proper bra fitting. I got mine done at Nordstrom. I had bought Oprah’s favorite bra online, on recommendation of my friend, who’s name also happens to be Cora. (Hi Cora!) It didn’t fit so I went to return it to Nordstrom. BTW Nordies has a great return policy. The gal was like- I can see this is the wrong size for you, let’s measure you. I’ll admit I figured she was just trying to sell me stuff but I went along with the ruse anyway. In the private dressing room with patience and zero judgement, she said my size was actually a 42G UK, 42H US. She brought me a ton of different styles to choose from.  They all fit! 

From minimizers, retro inspired bullet bras, smoothers, to sexy lacy numbers! In each of them my boobs were back up where I’d like them to be, and the band felt pleasantly snug but didn’t ride up. The center rest against my breast bone. I nearly cried in the dressing room- finally bras that fit. I couldn’t believe it. It bought 5.

Three factors led to this watershed moment: 1.) A store that carried my size, 2.) a store that carried a huge selection of high quality, well designed bras build for my body from many different brands, and 3.) a caring and most importantly knowledgeable sales assistant. I cannot stress that last one enough.

You can measure yourself at home but a true bra fitting is more of an art than a science. Two women with different breast volumes and levels of muscle tone might wear the same bra size on paper but have different support and shaping needs. Well trained bra experts will be able to determine your needs.

Another thing I cannot stress enough- cup sizes are not equal across the spectrum. A 32G is a smaller breast volume than a 42D. Don’t get hung up on your size, just find what works for you- all boobs are awesome.

If you have a Nordstrom, I highly recommend them because it’s free, and they have wonderful Customer Service across the board. If you don’t have one near you, I recommend a bra specialty shop, vs just popping into your local lingerie chain (especially if you have a feeling they don’t make things in your size, I’m looking at you Victoria’s Secret). You might get lucky and find a well trained and honest person at a retail store, but in my experience, they will try to fit you in what they have available because they need to make a sale. I wore a bra with a band too large and my breasts overflowing or constantly popping out for years due to this. Another thing to consider, if you’re feeling pressured to buy, you’re not going to make the best decision for your needs. Go into the store thinking I’m not buying something if it’s not perfect. Keep the receipt just in case.

GENERAL BRA MEASURING GUIDE:
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If you decide to measure yourself at home, have a friend assist you. Measure around your body just under the bust, keeping the tape as straight as possible. This if your band size. You might try taking two measurements, loose and super tight and then using the number in-between. Next, measure around the fullest part of your bust. Try measuring when you’re standing up relaxed, one bending over at a 90 degree angle. The reason to do this is because if you have less perky boobs, you may have trouble measuring around the fullest part of your bust when standing, and that may hang lower than your band measurement. Again take the number that is in between both if they are different. Ok- have this number? Subtract your band number from your cup number. Each inch is a cup size, so if you have 7 inch difference that’s a G cup US. Now to finish, band sizes are even numbers so if you wear a 41 you’ll want to round up to a 42, or down to a 40 depending on the bra itself. A tip for the over 30 crowd: If your breasts aren’t as perky as they once were, you may want to move down one cup size due to the lack of volume to ensure better support.

Conversion chart:

BRA CONSTRUCTION AND SUPPORT:'
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The support of a bra should come from the band and the cups- the shoulder straps are just for a little extra help in keeping the bra in place. If they are digging in, you’re causing unnecessary strain on your shoulders, neck and back, particularly if you have heavy breasts. If it’s digging in, you need to loosen the straps. That’s a general rule and some people are just more prone to digging in based on their muscle tone and age, and I’ll have more info about how to ease this that in the accessories section below.

The wider the band is, the more support for your heavy boobs. Sadly this also means more hooks. We’ve all seen the “grandma bra” jokes in movies. Nowadays I don’t give a damn- just give me that support. For my younger friends, I know this can be difficult to accept. As a teen in the locker room I was already sporting double D’s and it was really embarrassing to not have two hooks like everyone else. But less support isn’t doing anyone any favors. Just do what’s right for your body; Poor support can lead to life long back pain, tension headaches, and a whole host of stuff much worse than having 3, 4 even 5 hooks in the back of your bra. On the flipside, if it’s too tight you could be over-squeezing your body and it can cause breathing issues. Having boobs- it ain’t for sissies.

While this isn’t always possible, I do recommend doing a bit of due diligence and looking for the best quality bras you can afford. Note I didn’t say the most expensive- there are tons of poorly constructed bras that cost a small fortune. Trust me that you’ll know quality construction and a good fit when you see it. Buy quality, and take excellent care of them, and they’ll last.

When you first purchase a bra, it should fit snugly on the last row of hooks- meaning the right row. You shouldn’t be able to get more than two fingers in there comfortably. sometimes this is down to poor quality/overly stretchy materials used to make bras. The extra rows of hooks are for when the bra inevitably stretches out so that you can fasten it tighter. The standard is 3 rows, so just keep moving it on down to the the left as the bra become looser.

BRA TYPES FOR EVERY OCCASION:
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Now let’s talk about different bra types that might be useful depending on your lifestyle and the silhouette you’re hoping for.

Minimizer/Smoother/Full Coverage – I like ones that are smoothing, and pack the girls in with full coverage. I wear these when I need to move around and not worry about over the cup spillage, such as when I’ll be out and about all day running errands, or when I’m wearing a t-shirt, or something where I’d like my boobs to be more contained, like when wearing certain dresses or a button up shirt that is otherwise tight in the chest. These are also great for when your boobs hurt your back- by keeping them up and right up against the body it makes it easier to support their weight.

My favorite is the Basic Beauty by Wacoal- this is sold in lots of sizes so it’s good for everyone. A little pricey but they last for years (solid construction, good materials). Another thing I like is it packs flat; A lot of molded cupped bras can be a pain in the ass to store when you have big boobs .

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T-shirt Bra – everyday bras that provides comfort and support but aren’t very noticeable under clothes. The Wacoal is OK for this but because it is full-coverage, it comes up higher and might show under a tank or other wide neck tops. I tend to prefer an Elomi Etta under just about anything. It does give a slight retro boob look though, so if you like a rounded silhouette you want to look for something lightly padded, molded supportive cups like the Lane Bryant Balconette. A few other styles I love and also recommend: Elomi CateElomi CaitlynElomi Amelia and Elomi Hermione.

Strapless/Multiway – The number one bra related question I get is somehow related to strapless bras for the well endowed. For my plus size friends, the Lane Bryant Multi-Way is a godsend. For everyone, what you want are molded cups to add volume and shape, a rubberized band to minimize slippage, and boning on the sides to add support.

Longline – perfect for under fitted bodice dresses, vintage clothes and if you can find a strapless one, perfect for under strapless dresses. This whittles your waist and makes you stand up straighter so it’s excellent for posture. A must if you like vintage styles. Unfortunately, mine was discontinued but I’ve heard great things about the Goddess Longline- they use a different sizing guide so be sure to check before you order.

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Sports Bra- I like hella support for my big boobs because without it running on an elliptical is unbearable. I love the  Glamorize Double Layer Sports bra because it has a firm hold and this double layer allows you to customize the hold. Sadly this is the only one I can strongly recommended- however it comes in most sizes, a black and white version as well as a pink and orange one I just bought while researching this video. My Favorite workout BraThis one! 

Lounge Bras – For general paling around the house and comfort, I tend to favor underwire-free bras as well as those with a thicker band for support. With that said it can also drive me nuts when my breasts touch too much on a hot day. Most of the time I just wear the Elomi Etta as I feel it’s the perfect combination of sexy, comfort and support. Another great option is this No-Wire Cooling Bra

Bralettes- Torrid!!!! I know other places have them, but this is where I bought several different styles. Now in terms of real support- these aren’t doing much for my "tig ol bitties", however they are great for around the house when I just want a little support, or for when I want to add some sex appeal to an outfit, I’ll wear one over a regular bra. Speaking of sexy Torrid bralettes...
Sexy bras- when buying these I’m less concerned with support, and more with what looks amazing. I’ll fudge bandwidth, number of hooks and cup size for instance.. Sexy is subjective and I can’t say this is what a sexy bra looks like but here’s where I like to shop for them: Hips and Curves- Sexy Bras, Lingerie, Stockings, fishnets, corsets and costumes. It’s like a naughty candy store! Lane Bryant- great for contemporary lingerie, nice for chemises and the odd sexy bra and Elomi- vintage inspired styles like the Etta. (Jes adds: Curvy Couture and Curvy Girl for plus lingerie- just for kicks!)


Binders- Jes would like to add binders to this list! Shapeshifters Inc. has custom made (send 'em your size!) binders in a variety of (awesome!) designs, Love Boat Shop has binders up to 3x and this clip on chest binder goes up to 6x! Sam of Lets Queer Things Up also has a great review of inexpensive binders and Bustle has an article titled "9 Tips For Chest Binding As A Plus Size Person"!

BRA ACCESSORIES: 
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Rubber strap cushions- keeps them in place and also helps minimize dig-in. Down side it they are pretty visible so not great for under all clothes. Comfy Straps $12.50 here.

Chicken cutlets or other boob enhancers. These are little silicone or fabric pieces you put in your bra to give you a boost in volume and cleavage.

Bra extenders – a handy tool, lots of places have these, just make sure the hooks of the number match the number hooks on your bra- and uneven amount can cause uneven tension on the hooks and wear out your bra faster. You can find hook bra extenders $8.00 here and assorted sized of bra extenders $15 here.

Strap Clips: to clamp the two straps together when your top is narrower than your bra naturally lays (these rarely work, they usually itch the shit out of me. Best to get a multi-way bra or a bra with a J-hook. Elomi and a few other higher end bra brands included these in several styles.

BRA CARE:

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I invested time, money and research into finding the perfect bra for each need- I want to keep them in tip-top shape! With that said, I’m not a sucker for fancy delicates soaps or gingerly washing them by hand, under the full moon by candle light or whatever the cool kids are doing. Good bra care is as simple as washing in a machine on gentle cycle in a delicates bag. You can get these at a dollar store- I found a cute Minnie Mouse one at Daiso. Then to dry simply hang them up to air dry- Do not put your bras in the dryer- this will make the underwire more prone to snapping and wear down the fabric and stretch them out. DON’T DO IT.

My hope is that this bra guide has helped you in someway. I’ve poured months of work into this!
Thanks Cora!

JES WANTS TO KNOW: What awesome plus size bras, binders, or accessories have YOU found? Leave your suggestions below and I'll give you at least dozen internet high fives in exchange!!!

TUCSON, JOIN US THIS FRIDAY FOR "HELLO, MY BODY IS ______"


After traveling all over the country and attending a bazillion bad-ass body positive events (well, a generous handful), I'm thrilled to share that there is one coming to you this Friday in TUCSON for all you local folx (Phoenix too) that I love so much!

Come witness 9 incredible performers speak their truth about their body, how they introduce it to the world, and how the world introduces itself to them.


SPEAKERS: "Hello, My Body Is _____" is an outside spoken word event performed by several amazing humans including: 

Adiba Nelson, 
Rambo Reza,
Courtney Armstead,
Doyle Ray,
CarlĂ© Brioso, 
Mrs. Charli, 
Serena Freewomyn
Issac Kirkman (our bonus performer!)
AND
Oakland's Tigress Osborn will be joining us as an honored guest!

ADMISSION: Entrance is free, with a suggested donation of $5 from those who are inclined and/or able. All proceeds go directly to our wonderful performers as a thank you for their time, talent, creativity and emotional work/gifts.

TIME: "Hello, My Body Is _____" starts at 6:30pm. Come sip some coffee, wine, or whatever-else-you-love-to-drink and lets talk about body revelations and revolutions!

The audience will also get to participate by filling out their own "Hello, My Body Is ____" name tags with the option of having them read anonymously with the community, so start thinking of what that might mean for you!

ACCESSIBILITY: Passe's new owners are working on making this event especially wheelchair accessible. The entrance is accessible, and ramps will be in place. Because the place gets crowded we will have a host who will be able to assist in navigating the crowd to make sure all wheelchairs and scooters will be able to move through. The only tricky part of the back patio is a gravel patch which will ideally have a cover on it so that this is no longer an issue! I will be sure to update this the day before so that all items are confirmed and all updates are posted.

AGE APPROPRIATENESS: The speakers are all adults and will be sharing their stories without filter. Parents are welcome to decide if this is appropriate for their children. On our end, we welcome all ages!


Can't wait to see you there!

Hugs and cacti,
Jes 

P.S. You can RSVP to the Facebook invite and get all the updates + extra info as the day gets closer!

P.P.S. Some bios because these people are rad AF (larger versions here):





ETA: Thank you so much to every single person who came. Standing room only. Vulnerabilities galore. Laughter, tears, feels... everything was raw, real and perfect. Thank you Tucson. Thank you thank you thank you. 

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