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PLUS SIZE STYLE ICON (DISNEYBOUND EDITION): WINNIE THE POOH


If you love Disneybounding, stick around because you are in the right place. If you haven't heard of Disneybounding? Then you DEFINITELY need to stick around because I'm about to introduce you to your brand new, favorite obsession.

Kelsey Borresen says it best:

For the uninitiated, Disneybounding is a subtler, more fashion-forward way for fans to show their love for Disney. Instead of wearing full-on costumes as cosplayers do, Disneybounders dress up in stylish, everyday outfits (known as Disneybounds) that are simply inspired by a particular character. 


The term Disneybound is accredited to blogger Leslie Kay who runs Disneybound.co and she has created an enormous community of people who emulate their favorite characters using everyday streetwear. 

This became 1.) a necessity since Disneyland doesn't allow anyone over the age of 14 to wear a "real costume" (understandable from a liability standpoint) and 2.) a wonderful challenge to see how much of your character's personality you can infuse into your outfit without really "dressing up" like them.

I love a good challenge. And crop tops. And Winnie the Pooh. Obviously, Disneybounding was going to happen this year.


(Side note: props to the Disney photographers for making all the photos they took of us look like they had a honey filter on them.)

There aren't any "real rules" when it comes to Disneybounding but I have a feeling that my Winnie the Pooh ears were a little on the nose. I, in all honesty, wasn't planning on wearing them the entire time (just for a couple pictures) but the second I walked into the theme park with Bevin and saw hundreds of tourists rocking enormous mouse ears covered in sequins I decided that my chubby little cubby ears were definitely not a crime.

The greatest part of this dress-up trend? Plus gals (though drastically underrepresented in the community - more on that later) can participate too! Below I put together seven different Pooh inspired outfits for you to rock at Disneyland, Disneyworld, brunch, on vacation or at the grocery store. In other words, wherever you goddamn want.

Word to the wise: don't miss the plus size Disney resources at the end of this post- you're gonna want them. Trust me.


The outfit I linked to below is the one I wore for my first Disneybounding excursion and it was not only comfortable but so cute that several tourists stopped us to ask if they could take a picture with me. I'm a Leo and live for pictures so I obviously said yes.

The "Jes as Winnie the Pooh" look
Wrap crop-top (goes up to a 4x - I ordered a 4x and could have sized down)

The skirt linked here was the one I brought with me to LA and while it would have worked just fine, the A. A. Milne Gods smiled down on me the day I visited The Plus Bus where they gifted me the perfect mustard skirt from Eloquii to wear instead. The only skirt I could find online that closely resembles the one I wore is this mustard skirt from Forever 21 Plus... BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!

While researching yellow plus skirts I also found these babies that not only go up to 5x but come WITH SHORTS attached inside! Your call, but I say go with the skorty-skirts. Chub rub is a bitch.

The "Winnie Goes To Brunch" look


The "Winnie Goes on an Adventure" look
Red cold shoulder tee (< 3x) |  Alt tee option | Honey Pot cross-shoulder bag
Bee necklace | Mustard Maryjane shoes Mid-rise pants (< 30)

The "Winnie is on Summer Vacation" look


The "Winnie is Stylish AF" look


The "Winnie is a Super Babe" look

The "Winnie of Your Rom-Com Dreams" look






In summary? The merry-go-round was surprisingly fat-friendly (the biggest barrier was the height of the horses so if that's an issue for ya, try grabbing a shorter one- there are many), Winnie was darling, Tigger proposed, I consoled Eeyore and then we took a picture of me pretending to eat honey that ended up WAY more seductive than intended.



Now I have to know: if you were to Disneybound, who would you go as? Lemme know below! And/or HAVE you Disneybounded? If so post that shit in the comment section- I can always use more inspiration! 

KATE, ANTHONY AND THE LITTLE THINGS WE CAN DO TO HELP ON A DAILY BASIS


It's been almost four years since Robin Williams passed away, but I remember losing him it like it was yesterday.

At the time, I was working as a BHT in a psych-social rehabilitation program for adults with serious mental illness and the morning that the headlines hit, we gathered in a circle for that day's check-in. This was a normal routine for us; each day our agency started with a "team meeting" where we would discuss personal recovery updates, practice bite-sized therapeutic practices, and implement other related mental health exercises. 

The room was uncharacteristically somber and the topic organically centered around the "gentle, kind" man who "seemingly had everything" that was no longer with us. I had already read everything that journalists had written online, but it's a different experience to talk to a room full of resilient individuals who identify with debilitating mental illness - most of whom have had near-suicidal experiences themselves. I wanted to know more about what they had to say than anyone else.

There were stories of personal connection, tears of understanding, voices that spoke to overcoming their personal barriers, and the grief that comes when you know that mental illness affects so many... even those who seemed to be as successful as one could be. We all felt the feelings of loss as well as the heart-rending reminder that not only have we been there too but might find ourselves in a state of hopelessness again. Brains have a way of hijacking our wellbeing even when you're doing the "work"... this was something every person in our seated circle knew far too well.

Similar feelings have no doubt resurfaced for many with the news of losing Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain within a few days of each other. We often find ourselves at a loss when it comes to addressing these events; simultaneously pondering how to talk about it and also wondering what more we "could have done" to halt these kinds of situations before they happen. The harrowing reality is that we may never be able to put a complete stop to something so ubiquitous and painful.

But there are ways to attempt to lessen the burden that so many carry.

Yes, we need to universally destigmatize mental illness, make resources readily available for all (it's important to acknowledge that both Kate and Anthony had privilege/financial access to many resources and that we also need to be thinking about/working for those who don't have these tools in their reach) and have more conversations that unite us in our common experiences. These are large, societal shifts that are being worked on as we speak. If you're one of the people currently doing this work, thank you.

There are also other smaller ways to help; things we can do on a daily basis. My dear friend Sonya Renee Taylor described these kinds of actions beautifully:
"We all need each other more than any of us wants to admit. We must show up more than we have known before. Perhaps more than anyone has ever done for us. We must practice a radical vulnerability with each other. It will not always work. Some of us simply cannot stay. But we owe it to each other to try. Have you asked someone you care about any of these? If not, try asking?
  • Can I hold you while you cry?
  • Can I rub your back, feet, shoulders?
  • Can I make you some tea?
  • Can I tell you why you matter?
  • Can I call some therapists for you?
  • Can I stay with you a few nights?
  • Can I listen while you tell me what hurts?
  • Can I take you on a walk or drive?
  • Can I wash these dishes and tidy up for you?
  • Can I remind you to take your meds?
  • Can I call your family for you?
  • Can I make you dinner/lunch/breakfast and eat with you?
  • Can I make a safety plan with you? 
  • Can I call you every 2 hours, 1 hour, 30 minutes?
  • Can I send someone to be with you?
  • Can I run you some bath water?
  • Can I take your kids for a few hours/overnight?
  • Can I get you some groceries?
  • Can I come with you to some appointments?
  • Can I sing to you?
  • Can I hold your hand?
We can send more than love and light. We can try harder for each other and ourselves. Let's make love tangible. Sometimes it is enough to get to another sunrise."


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JUST IN CASE YOU NEED THEM:
A few clickable articles I've written about brains + mental health over the years:

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I'll leave you with Ijeoma Oluo's words of wisdom (that she kindly allowed me to syndicate here) just in case they speak to you:

"Please try to remember that if you are battling depression, your brain is often telling you horrible lies.
You aren't depressed because you are bad or because you don't deserve happiness. Depression picks whomever it wants no matter how funny or kind or talented or loved you are. And depression will lie to you and say that you are none of those things.
It is unfair as fuck, but if you are depressed, you haven't done anything to deserve it and you have nothing to be ashamed of.
You are worth fighting for. And I'm so grateful that you're fighting. And I say that knowing that you shouldn't have to fight this hard, that it's deeply unfair and cruel that you have to. And I know that sometimes your best efforts will have little impact on an illness that often doesn't give a fuck about how hard you are trying. You have every right to be upset and hurt and angry and exhausted about that.
But I am going to ask you, beg you, to fight anyway, because the world really is better with you in it. And because you deserve to win. You deserve to be here in less pain. You deserve life."

Here for you, 


P.S. If you have a mental illness, have you ever made a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)? If not, I'd highly suggest that you fill one out when you have the spoons available. It's a "self-management and recovery system developed by a group of people who had mental health difficulties and who were struggling to incorporate wellness tools and strategies into their lives." It was developed by Mary Ellen Copeland and you can learn more about it + download it here. 10/10 recommend!

GIVEAWAY | WIN A LANDWHALE GIFT BOX!


Landwhale: On Turning Insults Into Nicknames, Why Body Image Is Hard, and How Diets Can Kiss My Ass is one of the biggest projects I've undertaken and the endeavor that I am most proud of for finishing. Real talk: it was a BEAST to write and I ended up booking three therapy sessions a week while writing a few of the chapters. (If you're wondering where my book advance went, you can bet the majority went straight into my therapist's bank account. No regrets.)

It contains essays that highlight every raw, honest and brutal truth I've experienced while living a fat body and truth be told, as I was writing it I found myself wanting to censor the hardest topics because sometimes it's really hard to be so open about the things that hurt the most. But every time I felt like holding back I would reread the advice that Ijeoma Oluo gave me (which also became the dedication) that reads:

We have tried to prove to the thin world that we are worthy for far too long. If you are going to be brave, be brave for the fat people.


So each time I felt compelled to shrink away from the difficult emotions, I pushed my (very valid) fears aside and wrote what felt impossible to put into words... all in hopes that you would feel some solidarity in the stories I share. That you would, for once, feel like you're very much NOT alone.

I also love to package heavy feels with cute accessories (don't come for me, it's my favorite thing!) and this brings us to today's giveaway: the Landwhale Gift Box!


Giveaways are often gifts from other companies I love but this one is particularly special because that "company"... is little ol' ME! This is a present from me to you and I'm so happy I'm able to do this!

Things to know: No matter what, there will always be 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. (I'd HIGHLY recommend subscribing to my newsletter if you haven't yet... you'll always hear about the rad shit first!)

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 that time I fulfilled a lifelong dream by Disneybounding as Winnie The Pooh. It's gonna be an epic post. Either way, you're a grown ass adult and you get to make your own decisions, mmkay?


This super special Landwhale Gift Box includes:

  • A signed copy of Landwhale
  • A limited edition Landwhale enamel pin 
  • A mini Landwhale sunscreen bottle (for beach or poolside reading!) and
  • the CUTEST heart-shaped sunnies!

TWO of you will win this box and I can't wait to ship it your way! Open to everyone, international readers included!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BEST OF LUCK AND SENDING LOVE YOUR WAY!

THE LANDWHALE BOOK TOUR!



There are no words to fully explain how thrilled I am to announce that the Landwhale BOOK TOUR IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING! It's not only happening, but it's also going to be fucking incredible

This tour was nothing more than a dream a few months ago and now that dream has come true... all thanks to Dia & Co. These rad plus babes have been SO supportive of my work for years (we also did a fun Q&A here if you'd like to take a look) and when they signed on in support of making this tour happen I danced around my house for a solid hour. True story. (I also cried tears of happiness if we're going to be completely honest.)

There are seven stops in total, with the first being a launch party in Tucson and then I'll be making my way around the states and here's the best part: I'm going to be joined by brilliant, bad-ass, fat babes at each location and there will not only be a stellar panel conversation about topics covered in Landwhale but the opportunity for you all to ask questions and then have your books signed with a big fat hug afterwards if you're into that kind of thing!

For details on who will be there and to RSVP (I can't wait to see you!), just click on your cities link and let me know you're coming! You can also find all this information and more about the book on the Landwhale website.

May 8th | Tucson, AZ
May 11th | Raleigh, NC
May 16th | Seattle, WA
May 17th | Portland, OR
May 24th | Los Angeles, CA
May 29th | Cleveland, OH
BUT WAIT! Did you know: Limited edition Landwhale pins are available RIGHT NOW for purchase? Join the hundreds of other pin owners who are reclaiming the coolest creature ever with this adorable pin! Landwhales UNITE!

I can't wait to hear your stories, talk about some really important subjects and party HARD with you all!

SEE YOU SOON!

P.S. You can pre-order the book NOW if you'd like! Just click here!
P.P.S. You can also sign up for my newsletter and then rest easy, knowing that you'll never miss another goddamn thing!
P.P.P.S. Did you read Landwhale and love it? I'd be honored if you shared some of that love and leave a review on Amazon so more hearts and hands can read it too!

MY BEAUTIFUL, BORDERLINE MIND // SAM DYLAN FINCH

(via)

Not too long ago, I wrote an article about the misconceptions around borderline personality disorder.
“I reject the idea that people with BPD aren’t deserving of competent care and compassion that would allow them to thrive,” I wrote, “and if we dismiss them as being irredeemable, that support becomes more difficult to access.”
Writing that piece was painful. Recalling the ways that people misconstrue my struggles was a deeply emotional process for me.
It also brought to light the very real stigma that still exists around BPD.
I started getting emails.
“My husband has borderline, but he’s horrible,” someone writes. “How can I get him to be more self-aware like you?” (This is almost, word-for-word, a message I received.)
“My partner with BPD is crazy, she’s too much,” someone explains. “What pills are you taking? Do you think that they’ll make her normal?”
This wasn’t the first time I was being held up as some kind of psychiatric achievement. Sometimes even my clinicians viewed me this way. “Most people with borderline aren’t like you,” a clinician told me recently. When I asked what that meant, he told me, “Most of them are just… flailing around, deeply unstable.”
Flailing around. That’s what most people think. Even our clinicians believe we’re chaos embodied, helpless, disturbed.
And thus I was propped up as an ideal. I was the repentant borderline, the good borderline. The more I was perceived as distancing myself from the disorder, the more people applauded me.
This is because the borderline that the world likes the most is the “reformed” borderline — the one that will apologize for being too much, will cut themselves down to be accepted, be neurotic in “acceptable” and small doses, and most of all, disavow any and all traces of the disorder.
In other words, the self-hating borderline is the one that the world loves the most.
It’s an uncomfortable truth, then, when I tell people that I don’t really hate my borderline mind. For all the hell it’s given me — and by extension, the folks who’ve supported me in my recovery — BPD has given me a beautiful intensity that I appreciate.
The world asks me to reject my borderline mind, looking for some symbolic gesture to demonstrate that I hate myself as much as they hate people like me.
In me, they see the redemption of their “crazy” spouse, their unhinged mother, their unruly child.
Every time I apologize for my existence, they are comforted knowing that they don’t have to learn to love someone with borderline — they can wait for the day when their loved one with borderline finally hates themselves enough to be someone else, or hates themselves enough to die.
But there are parts of me that I so deeply love — parts of me that wouldn’t exist if BPD weren’t a part of me, too.
And so long as we view people with borderline in such a reductive way, we fail to appreciate what’s possible for people with BPD. We demand that they erase themselves or punish themselves, rather than coming into their own, realizing themselves fully, and perhaps even learning to love themselves.
It’s devastating to think that, as we characterize people with BPD as abusers that need to repent or as irredeemably lost, we create a culture that denies people with BPD the possibility of authentic healing and self-love.
In the process of my own healing, I’ve realized that BPD is not just a source of trauma, but in some ways, it’s been a source of unique strength.
That’s the conversation that’s missing. That’s the conversation I’m longing for, waiting for.
The love that I’m capable of feeling for others, when it’s no longer fueled by fear, is a remarkable thing. My capacity for seeing the best in others, my ability to love deeply and fully, my sense of connectedness to the folks that I care about — these are things I would never change, so long as it comes from a healthy and secure place.
While I can be reactive, my sensitivity allows me to tune in deeply to the feelings of others. My firsthand experiences of pain allow me to make intense and empathic connections to others who might be suffering. And knowing what it’s like to be left behind, the loyalty that I possess makes me a reliable and caring friend.
What people with BPD need isn’t the greatest possible distance from themselves and from their disorder. What they need is security, healthy attachments, support, and genuine safety, so that they can become someone that they’re happy to be.
My borderline mind can be frightening and self-destructive. Ask anyone who was along for the ride this last year (when I was hospitalized not once but twice) and they’ll tell you as much.
But this mind also has a capacity for intense love, connection, and empathy — a potential that’s so often ignored or missed in people with BPD because of a stigma that leaves no room for us to grow.
For me personally, living with borderline has been retraining my brain to recognize when I am safe, after having lived for many years without protection in the face of complex trauma and PTSD. It’s been a process, too, to create the safety that I lacked for so long, and to trust in it when I have it.
It’s also been important to understand that safety doesn’t have to come in the form of support from others — it’s safety I can create for myself.
But that’s a realization I never would’ve come to if I’d listened to the stigma that told me that having BPD meant I was inherently bad, spiteful, or dangerous, teaching me to fear myself rather than be kind to myself.
Nothing about this process has been “flailing around,” as a clinician once said — it’s been a desperate search to regain the safety I’d been denied. And nothing about that process has been “manipulative,” either. Any misdirection to meet my needs, especially during a struggle I wasn’t prepared for and never asked for, was an act of survival, however flawed or unskillful.
My borderline mind has embedded in it a propensity for chaos that I won’t deny, but just the same, it gives me an incomparable ability to love and be loved. I have a sensitivity that keeps me deeply engaged with my world, a vulnerability that gives me immense integrity and strength, and an intensity that makes me creative and dynamic and alive.
And with the right support, I’ve been able to nurture that empathy and depth in incredible, unexpected ways.
I don’t believe that a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder is a statement of finality, of futility, of hopelessness, and I resent any suggestion that it is. I think for many, it can be an opportunity — a chance to grow, and to take everything we were taught to fear, and find the strengths hiding just underneath.
I wouldn’t be who I am without BPD. And I’m tired of the world demanding that I be anybody else.
------

Sam Dylan Finch is a queer writer, media strategist, and unapologetic feminist.

Sam is perhaps best known for his platform Let’s Queer Things Up!, a blog navigating the complexities of queerness and disability. Sam currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he can often be found dancing to embarrassing pop music and plotting for the imminent queer takeover (shhh, we’ve already said too much).

You can find Sam on FacebookInstagram, Twitter, and you can also support his AMAZING writing by signing up for his Patreon.

CATS, CACTI AND COMFY BEDS FOR FAT BABES!


One of the items on my Drunken Gin Rummy Goals list was to overhaul my room and yes, it needed to be a total overhaul.

Partially to stop my friend Allison from sniggering every time she came in and saw the miniature pathway carved out of the trash and clothing from the door to the bed, partially because I haven't been able to find a specific piece of clothing in under 15 minutes because rooting around in a mountain of clothes has been my life for years and partially because I'm finally 31 and apparently this is the time in my life where my body is teaching me that I need quality sleep in a relaxing room (with a real bed- not a futon like my 20-year-old self thought was sufficient) if I'm going to stay sane during the daylight hours.

So, the piles of garbage, mountains of cat hair covered, black (after a few months- they turned a very special shade of what I call "feline grey"- it sounds classier than "hairy dander grey") clothing on the floor and backbreaking (and to be fair, we also broke our fair share of it) generic mattress... they all had to go.

Enter: my first ever thoughtfully planned out and executed grown-up bedroom.




HOW FUCKING CUTE IS THAT COMFORTER COVERED IN CATS AND CACTI, BY THE WAY?

I've honestly never had a room this intentional and clean. Ever. My mom, siblings, roommates, and all live-in partners will all passionately (with perhaps a glimmer of revulsion in their eyes) back me up on this.

It's been a long time coming.

In hindsight, I wish I took "before pictures" so you can see what an accomplishment this really is but just know that we filled the entire bed of a truck with garbage and old broken shit that no longer lives in our bedroom. It was quite the accomplishment.


Towards the end of last year, a specialty mattress company named Big Fig contacted me with essentially this pitch: "HEY JES! All your fat friends really love our beds and they're made specifically for big babes which literally didn't exist on the market until now but is really important because you deserve to get more than three years out of a bed and we want to send you one as a present! What do you think?"

My email reply said: "Uhm, FUCK. YES?"

Essentially anyways.

Remember what I mentioned about learning that quality sleep is necessary for me to survive? Well, I didn't need any more convincing to have a bed shipped (P.S. how adult-ey is to have furniture shipped?!? I'm so used to strapping things on cars and praying for the best) over to my house a few months later.

While waiting, I started dreaming of my ideal room decor and if you know anything about yours truly... cats and cacti summarize my aesthetic in two words.

What you may not be aware of however is that my first three years of university were as an Interior Design major... and I was good at it. Like, class representative for the American Society of Interior Designers good. And while I decided that helping people choose which rug they'd most like to spend a thousand dollars on wasn't my jam (and this room is as minimalistic as they come because clutter be gone forever plz!), I've never lost my love of making spaces feel happy.

Combine that love with an addiction to Amazon Prime (I love ordering things from my phone while I fall asleep so don't judge, okay?) and, well... TA-DA HERE'S MY NEW BEDROOM GUYS!

Links, just in case you want a cheery room full of cats + cacti too:




1Cat pillow (+ dog options too!) | 2: Kitten pillow (doesn't shed!) | 3Analog clock 
4Cats and Cacti Duvet cover (I mean, there are sloths + cacti as well so GO HAVE FUN!)
5Cacti candle set  | 6Saguaro lamp 7: Potted succulents (no water needed!)
8Multi-season duvet  | 9Olive bed skirt 10Grey fitted sheet | 11Dark green pillowcases
12Bedside tables (I chose the least expensive option and then spraypainted them white!)  


Real cats aren't included, unfortunately. Those cost a little extra and require a lot of work though I would personally recommend 10/10.






So this bedguys.

I could easily write a passionate 900-word essay and try to sell you this bed really hard right now, but I don't want to.... and to be honest, I don't think I even need to.

Here's what you need to know: it's made for 1000 pounds and will last.  They worked on the sagging, the temperature issues, the durability, the normal weak foundation that usually comes with regular beds... and they fixed all of it. The first night had us cursing the Amish (though their craftsmanship is unparalleled) because we were so accustomed to our older sagging mattress, but a memory foam cover for a couple weeks until the mattress was "broken in" made all the difference.

Yes, we now moan with happy exhaustion everytime we climb into bed at the end of the day. Yes, I'm so grateful to have something as luxurious as a bed made for me. AND YES, IT IS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE FOR FAT SEX. I know some of you are wondering and you definitely deserve to know.

Fat sex. This bed. Match made in heaven.



And of course, I had to jump on the bed to see if it would actually hold up because I haven't felt safe jumping on a bed since I hit puberty.


I would like to report back that it HELD HELD UP FAMOUSLY!

I'm now going to push the post button and climb back on top that beautiful mattressy masterpiece and watch some Netflix because after all that room cleansing + purging I damn well deserve it.

Have you tried Big Fig? Have you ever heard of them? Did you that Ushshi is currently spotlighted as a SLEEPING ANGEL on their front page right now? What would your ideal bedroom include? ARE YOU AS INTO CATS, CACTI AND COMFORT AS I AM?!?!?

I wanna know!
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