Monday, February 8, 2016

GIVEAWAY: $75 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO CURVY GIRL LINGERIE!


I don't know if I've ever been so excited about a giveaway. Because, y'know... not many of them have been for sex toys, baby doll nighties, or 1940's pantyhose.

But this one is.

Curvy Girl Lingerie is owned by my good (like: good, good) friend Chrystal Bougon. She has a brick and mortar in San Jose and an amazing online store that I... well, drool over often. I believe in honesty here. 

I drool over it often.


You may recognize her from that time she was all over the news (and on The Bethany Show of all places) with her "un-photoshopped women in sexy undies" campaign.


OR MAYBE you know her from that time she filmed Plus Life TV (an empowering "no diet talk" reality show) with all THESE babes. She's rocking the world, y'all. (More info here!)

Know her. And Curvy Girl.


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. Or in this case, I say: I WANT TO GIVE A VALENTINES GIVEAWAY TO MY READERS ON THE HOUSE! And then Chrystal says: WELL I WANT TO GIVE YOUR READERS A VALENTINES GIFT TOO, SO LETS DO THIS!

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 THE FACT THAT I HAVE A BOOK THAT MAYBE YOU HEARD ABOUT. You're a grown ass adult and you get to make your own decisions, mmkay?



The giveaway is for a $75 gift certificate for their online store (and of course in store too!) which I'm just gonna say this... WILL BUY YOU A JAZZ LIBERATOR. Omg, I've wanted one for so long I wish I could enter. It also covers a shit ton of lingerie, panties, corsets, nipple clamps, a plus-size strap on harness... the list goes onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will be chosen on Feb 14th and Chrystal will contact the winner! I'm already envious. As always, good luck my friends!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

5 WAYS TO TEACH BODY LOVE TO CHILDREN AND TEENS IN THE REAL WORLD



Re-read that sentence and let the reality of it sink in. It’s a fact: almost half of our 9 and 10 year olds are actively trying to change their body for no other reason than that they believe it is wrong, flawed, and inferior. And unfortunately, that early age isn’t where the problematic thinking starts. A recent study shows that already by age 6, girls start to express concern about their weight or shape. I’m pretty sure that while I absolutely grew up with low body image self-esteem, when I was 6 years old I was more concerned about hiding our unofficial Construction Paper Chewing Club (strange I know... we thought it was so rebellious!) from Ms. Cunningham than dieting.

Given the choice again, I’d absolutely take the opportunity to worry about our “defiant, statement making, paper chewing” group of 1st graders over starving my body at 6 years old. Every time.

You might already know about these statistics and how prevalent they are in our society. If you’re here, you probably have children of your own and already see worrisome behaviors around body image or are concerned about how to minimize them when they start to surface.

Often, the go-to tip for parents is to “role model, role model, role model!” Y’know the advice: you have to walk the talk and then your children will pick up the great messages along the way! And this is totally true, but also one of the hardest things to do. LOVE YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN WILL LEARN TO LOVE THEMSELVES TOO! they say. But sometimes this small detail is forgotten: that mandate can feel totally impossible. I mean, over 91% of cisgender women are unhappy with their bodies (read: almost all female role models) so that scary statistic about elementary kids practicing deprivation/dieting behaviors? It’s really not surprising. We’re ALL caught up in the destructive cycle of self-hatred and adding the pressure of needing to “fake it till you make it” for the little ones can feel overwhelming.

I’m going to of course advocate for you to continue to learn to love your body, because… you’re worth it. I’ve dedicated my life to body image activism which means I have been doing research around our society and how we feel about our bodies (and why? and how do we fix it all?) for years. I do this because I believe that physical self-hatred is unnecessary and the reason we continue to obsess over it has everything to do with a larger plan to keep us pre-occupied, distracted, and unable to see/reach our true potential. So yes, please keep working on yourself! You totally deserve it. But you don’t necessarily need to add any more pressure to raising a family, and so I’d like to offer you my top five tips for how to instill body love in your children and teens in the real world… besides role modeling.

(Note: I do not have kids. Many of these suggestions come from interviewing professionals, years of body image research, my personal experiences as a chubby kid and teen and of course—- talking to other kids and teens themselves!)

1.) Normalize diversity in your home:

This is something that can be done from the get go.

It’s incredible to me how easily the human brain can be conditioned to believe that a “certain look” is the only desirable look. This can happen without a word being spoken; the simple elimination of everything except for our “beauty standard” in media is enough to instill belief that until we look like the people in movies or on magazines… we do not deserve to be seen. To counter this, we simply need to fill our line of vision (and our children’s) with as many diverse bodies as possible. Bring all sizes, shapes, ages, sexes, genders, abilities, races into your home and normalize the incredible diversity in our world. Search out posters for your walls that includes all sorts of bodies. Buy movies that include all abilities (and ClaraBelle Blue). Purchase books that talk about all genders, sizes and races (example: these 6 body positive books for kids, the Know Yourself series, THIS BOOK and some of these feminist coloring books). Give your child a world in which they belong and deserve to be seen!

2.) Make exercise be a fun thing! (Not a punishment)

When I was 11, I rose early in the morning (5:30 am) to do go participate in a step aerobics class with adults before school. Just me... and all of my friend’s mothers. No other kids showed up because 1.) What kid WANTS to be up at 5:30 at that age? and 2.) I was the “chubby” one of my friend group and therefore needed the extra help.

While I was not excited about the early class time, I was even less excited about my body size; I had always been the fat kid and felt like I needed to “fix” this problem before I could have permission to feel good about myself. While my decision was supported with rides to and from, no one “made” me do this necessarily... but they didn’t have to. I grew up thinking that my large body was inherently bad (thanks Society!) and that exercise, while punishment, was also the solution.

I’m sad to say that I still continue to have mental barriers around exercise classes as an adult and it’s all because they were used as self-punishment while young. Even though I have spent years redefining my worth and the joy that can be felt from moving my body… this initial introduction has stayed with me and continues to hinder my relationship with exercise.

So with this in mind I encourage you to help your children see moving their bodies as a wonderful, beautiful, and fun thing COMPLETELY SEPARATE from needing to “fix” anything.

Sarah Koppelkam says it so perfectly (though of course this is not gender-specific):

“Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes. 
Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you'll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn't absolutely in love with.”
And of course, if there are movements that your child is unable to do, celebrate the ones that they can. There is no hierarchy when it comes to movement!
3.) Take the time to sit down and talk about photoshop:


Before writing this article, I ran the concept by my 14 year old brother. I asked him what would help teens learn to love their body. His answer? “Tell them they’re perfect just as they are” (super great bonus tip!) “and just talk to them about what’s fake and why it’s fake. Teens will get it.”

And I say: AMEN you genius boy, you.

When I lecture at universities, I KNOW that the audience is familiar with photoshop… but I still make time to talk about it and it’s insidious influence anyways. Because image manipulation is so pervasive that even when we “know” about it, we don’t often understand how much it affects us. Have this conversation with your child as early as you like, and keep having it!

I was chatting about whitewashing online a while back (whitewashing: the super problematic act of lightening skin so that it matches our eurocentric ideal) and a reader left me the greatest anecdote:


“My daughter asked me one day what ‘“whitewashing’” meant the other day. I told her and showed her examples. She just kept asking why they would do that. She is 11 and after I explained beauty ideals and how incorrect they are all she could say is ‘“That’s stupid. There is nothing wrong with those ladies and magazine people suck at life.’” before going off to play Minecraft.”

This is a conversation that I wish I had as a child and so PROPS to that parent and her daughter!


4.) Remove “Flattering” from your conversations:

I’ll never forget the first time I was allowed to shop for clothing ALL BY MYSELF. At 13, my Mom was my constant style companion and while I appreciated her input (and willingness to clothe me) I was stoked to have complete freedom to choose any piece of clothing I wanted from Sears. I left the store with a pale green cotton shirt covered in tiny flowers. And while I loved the color, the “cool factor” for me came with the scoop cut neck and puffed capped sleeves—- all made possible with elastic that sat snuggly around my upper arm.

I probably wore it everyday for a week; I was that kinda kid. But the worshiping of this “boho chic” number was cut short one day as my Mom and I walked up the sidewalk to the house and she said “Y’know Jes, you really shouldn’t wear sleeves like this because they’re unflattering... and draw attention to your arms.”

She didn’t mean to devastate me; she was simply trying to help her daughter make fashionable choices that would lead to less ridicule. And I totally get where she was coming from; I was no stranger to being made fun of at school. But my love for that shirt was ruined forever and I don’t think I owned another top with elastic in the sleeves until I learned that fashion rules are backwards and you really can wear whatever you want. I lost out on 14 years of clothing I loved because of the word “flattering.”

My suggestion: try eliminating “the word flattering” from your vocabulary. Forever. Don’t buy into the fact that bodies have to look a certain way in order to be okay. If bullying happens because of what your child wears, teach them how to talk to an adult at school and then preach and practice self-love and advocacy at home!

5.) Help your child see themselves as a whole person.

And of course, there is always the importance of not focusing on appearance at all! This may sound hypocritical coming from someone who just spent the majority of this article talking about “looks”, but hear me out:  our bodies are important and if we ignore them all together we’ll be sorely inept at existing in this world. We must learn to love and appreciate them as well as counter negative messaging! But we’re also so much more than our outsides and children especially need this message. I know this. You know this. So… how do we do this?

I’m not going to ask you to enroll your child in every extracurricular activity—- that’s not possible for some, nor is it entirely necessary. Lauren Pinto and Meagan Kimm are two teachers in California that have developed an amazing curriculum for school-aged kids that teaches self-esteem and body love. They suggest that you put value in a variety of different areas for your child and have conversations that engage their uniqueness. Lauren and Meagan encourage small things like: asking their thoughts on the mural you pass on the way home, spending time together doing community work and volunteering, having conversations about sports and teamwork, and appreciating the miraculous things our bodies can do—- like healing cuts and regenerating skin! Teaching kids the basics of anatomy at an early age can help with self-confidence. Knowing that we’re all made of the same stuff, no matter what our size, is empowering. Our bodies are more than beautiful: they’re necessary for living in this world and experiencing a wonderful life! This is something I was blessed to have growing up and looking back, I know it was my saving grace.

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Whatever you decide to implement within your home, I hope you remember that your best is good enough. You are countering teachings that have been around for decades and it’s anything but simple or easy. Try something new, make mistakes, learn from it, and try again! You’ve got this.

Do you have any other tips that you would suggest? Feel free to leave them below… I’d love to hear them!

(Know Yourself is start-up that has created a space that "explains the ABCs and 123s of one’s anatomy, physiology, and psychology in an easy to learn way" for kids and teens. They asked me to write this piece for their site and I happily agreed because god knows we don't have enough resources for kids/teens right now. If you don't know them, change that!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

CURRENT CRUSH: CHELSEA OF WORKINONIT


Do you ever find a person on the internet that leaves you with your mouth agape while you scroll through their pictures? And then 30 minutes later you're still scrolling through their photos but now- not only is your mouth still open, but your soul (and sometimes your crotch) is on fire?

Anyone? Anyone? I know it's not just me.

This has happened a handful of times. Once with Kyla. Once with Virgie. Once with Kelly and now with Chelsea who Tumblrs at "Workin On It" and has a seriously sexy Instagram called "The Chza." From the mouth of the babe: 
Chelsea / 25 / photographer / hip hop enthusiast / kitchen queen / bipolar cope-r / style mess / wild child / positive thinker.
All of those things AND: MASSIVE INSPIRATION FOR UNAPOLOGETIC LIVING TO JES BAKER. In all caps. Don't argue with me.

I don't normally do "crush" posts, but I can't think of a better way to highlight this woman than to just show you her magnificence. Her VBO (headlining in this post) combined with her transparent talk about mental illness combined with her obvious authenticity... well. Here you go:




"My mental health advice for today: take care of yourself. Take your meds, stay away from triggers, do what’s best for you, keep you doctor appointments, never skip meds. I’m emphasizing that one because it made such a difference for me."




"I'm hot."


 


"2016 will be my Leslie Knope year, I’m callin' it." 



"This is my “pretending to be a rich bitch” selfie set. Goddamn money means the world to me."




Her Tumblr is here and of course you should follow her IG if you're into that kind of thing.

NOW, I know I'm not the only one with huge internet crushes. TELL ME WHO YOURS IS! All I want in life is to go through a list of those you find massively inspirational and to click like until I can't anymore. Give me something awesome to do this weekend while my Boo is out of town. Please.

Friday, January 29, 2016

PLUS-SIZE STYLE ICON: PEGGY CARTER


PEGGY CARTER IS BACK AND MY LIFE HAS MEANING AGAIN.

In case you somehow missed the best thing to happen to ABC (or hate/ignore Marvel shows- in which case, please reevaluate your life decisions immediately) Agent Carter is a show about a secret agent who works for the SSR (Strategic Science Reserve- not a real thing) and kicks ass in sexy shoes on the daily. She knows her worth, takes up space in a sexist "man's world", and doesn't take shit from anyone.

Swoon.


Because the show is set in 1946, Peggy is caught in historical fashion flux which... is kinda rad. Carter started working in the SSR during the war and at the time, rationing dictated the utilitarian garb she occasionally dons: simple skirts without pleats, low heels and zero frills. As the episodes continue though, we start to see the inclusion of postwar dresses and an emphasis on femininity, French fashion and flounce. Season 2? Flounce.

Blah, blah, summary: SO MANY AMAZING OUTFITS.

And yes, I know, I know. Peggy is not plus-sized, BUT that doesn't mean that fat chicks cant rock the 1940's just as hard as she does. If anything, the ensembles below (most go up to 4x and many to 5x) prove that YOU have the option to bring postwar glamour back like never before.

Go get 'em, ladies and gents.


Felt fedora: This is THE hat you need. Really.
Navy blazer: Not pinstriped; even better. Blue, white and nautical. Two of her looks in one!
Button down shirt: Basic is best.
Navy Skirt: The blazer's other (better?) half.

(If you're gonna commit to this shit, take a note from the leading lady and wear as much red, white and blue as possible. In honor of Captain America, obviously.)



Off-the-shoulder gown: A titch more wearable than Peggy's and just as gorgeous.
Gold heels:  Mid-height and strappy- all in the spirit of the decade.
Vintage rhinestone necklace and earrings: Rhinestone costume jewelry makes me feel things. Sexy things.
Besame lipstick in "1946": The actual factual lipstick worn in every episode. OWN IT.



Lattice Dress: Get your flounce on.
1940's Daisy Pins: Absolutely vintage. Absolutely precious.
Grey Pumps: Simple and classy AF.



Short sleeve blouse: Bring on the ruffles.
Trousers: Not pants. Trousers. Because we're fancy like that. (Up to 5x!) 
Two-toned mid heels: There's no going wrong with this combo.



Tie-neck navy dress: Picture perfect. (Up to 5x)
Red plus-size belt: I own this and love it.
Vintage blue earrings: Keeping it simple and subtly sexy.
OPI polish in "Cinnamon Sweet": ALSO the actual color worn in every episode. Yr welcome.



Tie-neck blouse: The perfect feminine top.
Pencil skirt: Your challenge- rock a tight skirt as hard as she does. VBO and all.
Pearl earrings: So you can look like you have your shit together.
Emerald heels: Peggy wore these in blue throughout Season 1. Good enough for me.



Sexy red dress: AMAZING. (Up to 5x)
Vintage 1940's clip-ons: Ruby rhinestones, y'all.
Official SSR I.D. badge: Because everyone needs one. Obvs.


If you missed the other Plus-Size Icon Posts... fix that! They include: Miss Fisher (my favorite), Beth DittoFelicity Smoak (the Internet's favorite), Eloise, and Hilda the plus pin-up.

If ABC were to release all of season 2 at once (like Netflix so kindly does) I would be the happiest girl in the world. But I would also consequently be too "busy" to write this post and what a tragedy THAT would be.

So I suppose I'll count my blessings, watch them as they come out and dream of the perfect red lipstick in between. Who's with me?

Friday, December 18, 2015

TIL WEIGHT DO US PART // BY RAGEN CHASTAIN


A man wrote a letter to Dear Prudence saying that he had “zero feelings” for his wife of 25 years, and mother of his three kids, as she had gain 50 pounds in the last 10 years which he referred to as a “major turnoff.” You can see his full question and Prudie’s answer (which I thought wasn’t too bad) here.

I was recently asked a similar question at a live event.  The woman said that she had gained weight and her husband said he no longer found her attractive,  and that she felt like it was her fault because she was thin when he married her. She asked me what I thought she should do.

I explained that I couldn’t tell her what to do, I could say what I think I would do.  I would never marry someone who told me that they only wanted me if I was thin (or fat, or any thing other bit of physicality that might change over time.)  But what happens if you’ve built a life with someone and then find out that they somehow believed that you wouldn’t change over time?

To Dear Prudie’s credit she did not suggest weight loss as a solution, but I’ve definitely seen this suggested before – as if we owe our spouses thinness. Many people say some form of “love and cherish each other for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” but they get tripped up on simple physical changes.

How about some therapy for the spouse whose narrow view of beauty – and apparent delusion that their partner would always look the same as when they married them – is negatively affecting the marriage? What else is a divorce-able “offense”?  Grey hair?  Wrinkles?  Disfigurement from an accident? Hair loss?  Twenty-five years, three kids and a life built with someone, and this dude is still stuck on thin=beautiful, shocked that after 25 years and three kids, his wife looks different?

Some people may choose to stay, to try to change their picture until it fits their partner’s frame, and they are allowed to do that. Some people are not in a position to leave such a relationship for any number of reasons. Anyone who deals with this situation gets to make their choice for their reasons (and for some there really isn’t much of a choice), and that’s not for any of us to judge.

As for what I would do? Even if I had complete control over my body size, if someone I was in a relationship with told me that they were no long attracted to me because my weight or appearance had changed, I would likely offer to support them if they wanting counseling/therapy to deal with that issue and, if they wouldn’t or couldn’t work it out, I would leave as soon as possible and never look back.

---

I'm grateful for Ragen's quick and thoughtful responses to current pop culture issues and "Til Weight Do Us Part" (republished here with permission) is no exception. As someone who has been in a relationship where thinness was owed and also in a relationship (currently) where body change is expected and embraced (weight loss/gain, aging, etc) I can share that-the shame, stress, and guilt that saturated the first relationship is not missed. Not even a little. Navigating this concept is nothing short of REALLY COMPLICATED and neither Ragen or I am here to tell you what you should choose for yourself. We're simply here to let you know that you deserve complete love and acceptance just as you are. Right now and in the future; come what may. 

For more Ragen, visit her blog Dances With Fat. Cheers!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

THE "HOW TO STAY BODY POSITIVE DURING THE HOLIDAYS" MASTER LIST

(via)

'Tis the season for my inbox to be flooded with emails with the same subject line: "HELP! How do I remain body positive when I'm with my family during the holidays?!?!" Or something with similar keywords; you know what I mean.

And it is SUCH a good question. For many of us, there is something about being surrounded by those we (likely) have a complicated history with.... well, mannnnnnn... it can make some shit surface. Especially if we've worked hard to embrace body acceptance. Especially if those around us haven't. And especially if we're struggling with our relationship to food on top of it all.

Can you relate?
If so, I feel you so hard.

WELL OKAY THEN! WHAT TO DO?!?

Well, fortunately for you the internet is full of ideas. Nearly every website I follow has published a "how to guide" about this subject and I can totally write my own post on this (which would sound pretty similar to them all)... OR I can link you to a ton of different options and allow you to find the voice that works for you! Yeah, I love that option.

Below you'll find all kinds of thoughts on the subject- some specific, some general- and I hope that one of them will be just what you need to hear.


1.) "The Holiday Boundary Setting Song" by Ragen Chastain of Dances With Fat. Performance of said song by Jeanette DePatie:



2.) 4 Tips to Stop Holiday Body Shaming Now by Lauren Marie Flemming (The Huffington Post)

3.) 5 Ways to Fight Body Shaming During the Holidays by Suzannah Wiess (Bustle)

4.) How to Heal from Fat Shaming Family by Corissa (of Fat Girl Flow)
"With the Holidays coming up, I think we all need a little guidance for how to handle the people we love getting in the way of how we love ourselves. Take care of yourself this Holiday season." -Corissa
5.) Self Care in the Time of Cheer and Cookie Dough: A Body Positive Survival Guide by Sabrina N. (Fbomb)

6.) How To Survive Your Family This Holiday Season by Erin Donnely (Refinery 29)

7.) Your Feminist Guide to a Body Positive Holiday by Talia Cooper (Ma'yan)

8.) A Body Positive Guide to the Holiday Season by Fiona Sutherland (A Healthy Paradigm)

9.) The Non-Dieters Holiday Survival Guide by Golda Poretsky of Body Love Wellness
Podcast version:

And, I would be remiss to not include the pro-tip from Ravishly's Kate Ryan:

10.) "The Only Tip You'll Need to Survive the Holidays: Masturbate."

Just, y'know, food for thought.

And I'll leave you with this amazing article by Melissa Fabello for the moment after the family events are over and you're contemplating New Year Resolutions: "50 Body Acceptance New Year Resolutions that Don't Involve Dieting."

Epic.

Have you read any articles on the subject that hit home for you? Do us all a favor and leave them below!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

15 AWESOME LAST MINUTE BODY POSITIVE GIFTS

December has been speeding by and I only just realized that we're nearly half way through. WELL SHIT! That means I'm behind on offering you a gift guide that's amazingly body positive and I'm sorry guys. I'll rectify this by doing a quick round up of killer body lovin' items... and if you're still looking for a great gift for someone you love, they all should arrive by the holiday! Check before you order, but I'm pretty positive these are all kick-ass options for Christmas. Or X-mas if that's your thing. Or New Years. Or any random Wednesday. Or birthdays. Don't forget to bookmark this for upcoming birthdays! You get the gist.

And my top 15 gifts for 2015 are:


 Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls OBVIOUSLY ($13.60)



(but really, ANYTHING from Rachele's Redbubble!)








Yay! Scale ($45.00- Looks like they're on back order. Boo.)

Anything you'd like to add to the list? Leave a link below!

Friday, December 4, 2015

I WEAR WHAT I WANT: EMOJI LEGGINGS AND A FIERCE LOVE OF THE HOLIDAYS ON MY FACE



HAPPY FUCKING HOLIDAYS!

I had intended to just share one or two of these images on Instagram, but then realized that linking you to the sources would prove to be near impossible. So, because I love you (and these leggings) I'm going to post it all here. Should you desire anything on my body (except for my fierce scowl) you can have them!

My extended family and I spent the recent holiday in a cabin up on Mount Lemmon. To combat the chilly weather, I chopped a lot of wood (yes, really) and wore:

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Emoji Leggings: Modcloth in 2x 
(Just looked- currently 30% off!)

Denim jacket: Modcloth and..  now unavailable.
(Damnit. Here's an alternative/just as good version from Torrid instead.)

Long black cami: Thrifted. 
(SORRY! But here's a good option!)

Wide calf Boots: Lane Bryant 
(Seriously, my all time favorite. I'm considering ordering another pair so I have them after I run these into the ground. A reader in NYC also shared that their EXTRA wide calf boots are dream for calves 22"+)

Not Pictured: Unicorn socks from Sock Shop on Haight!
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I'm off to finish decorating my house with lights, wreaths, and Cinnamon Spice Yankee Candles! I absolutely love December.

Monday, November 30, 2015

RESTORE YOUR ROAR IN HAWAII // AMANDA TRUSTY


I wholeheartedly believe in supporting every kick ass person who is doing this awesome body love work and... Amanda is one of my favorites. I'm happy so share her amazing Hawaii body lovin' retreat here in case it's something you need in real life- I believe there are still four spots left! I definitely plan on going someday. <3

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It is the year 2015, and there are two ways of looking at the body positive movement.

We could look at how far we still have to go, or we could look at how far we've come.

I think as a voice in the body positive community, many of us have days when we look at both. Some days it makes us fist pump in our cars on the way to work. Some days it makes us never want to get out of bed again.

Today, I'm on my fourth or fifth fist pump. We really have taken this shit by force. We now have websites devoted entirely to body positivity. There's a body positive documentary called Fattitude being edited as we speak. There are media campaigns (although sometimes misguided, at least there is a concious effort being made). TV shows. Lingerie stores. Two years ago, we saw the first body love conference make history. Thanks to Jes, and other badass bitches out there like Brittany Gibbons and Virgie Tovar, there are multiple body love books.

And now, there are also body love retreats. Experiences women can immerse themselves in for multiple days at a time to learn, explore, and fall in love with their own bodies.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

TNOWTFG: SEATTLE!


Seattle, I'M SO EXCITED TO SEE YOU. I've wanted to visit your gorgeous town forever and now I have the chance WHILE seeing your beautiful faces!

I'll be at the Lane Bryant South Center Square Store (only 20 min from downtown!) signing books tomorrow (Friday) from 5-7pm and there is talk of hugs, selfies, and me listening to your stories. This is my LAST STOP. Lets make it memorable!

There will be books available to purchase (HOLIDAY GIFTS!) and of course I want to just get to know you SO- even if you don't have anything for me to sign, come over and let me squeeze you anyways mmkay?

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

TUCSON BURLESQUE: COME ONE, COME ALL. SERIOUSLY. // THE BIG BANG MCGILLICUDDY


The BIG Bang and I live in a town where body love and burlesque share the stage... and we're damn happy about it. Steve (yes the Steve- the brain behind the #FatGirlsCan video) has captured 150,000 images of our burlesque scene from over 1,200 performances which includes over 150 different bodies. Seriously. The BIG Bang is here to tell you how all of this happened, and I'm here to encourage you to support Steve's Kickstarter which is: a gorgeous coffee table book full of those images. Sign up for this shit (and get rhinestone pasties!). I will always promote him and his projects for many reasons, several of which include making my career as a Body WhateverIam possible. Really. I wouldn't be here without 'im.  He's a great photographer and a great friend. 

The BIG Bang on Tucson + Body Love + Burlesque and why it's SO important:


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The BIG Bang McGillicuddy. That’s my stage name. 

I chose it with intention, and I write it with intention - the “BIG” in all caps.  It’s not a sexy name. It doesn’t stir up visions of a svelte, slender woman, writhing and shimmying across the stage. Truth be told, if you say it out loud it really doesn’t stir up visions of anything. But then I take the stage, and it all becomes abundantly clear.


And I strut onto that stage, all 200 pounds of me, and tear. It. UP.

By society’s standards I shouldn’t be anywhere near that stage. I shouldn’t have the balls to tease and taunt and strut and flaunt and make you believe that I am the best damn thing since strawberries and Nutella (don’t front - you know that shit is the bomb). But I do. Historically speaking, a girl of my size (and shade of brown, if we’re going to be real here) should be more comfortable fully clothed and taking your order, than half naked and serving you up the glam. If I was going to dare be a performer, I would have to be a lounge singer, and probably wear a long and conservative gown. Still fabulous, don’t get me wrong, but there would be no believing that I could be sexy. Because dark brown ain’t sexy. Jiggly thighs ain’t sexy. Stretch marks that make up the entire landscape of your belly ain’t sexy. Right?

Right?

WRONG.