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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!)


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.


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:


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.


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 .


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.


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"!


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.



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!!!


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!)
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,

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):


(Via Unshelved)

I've wanted to write a post that offered a "censored" version of my book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls for a long time. After all, the #1 complaint I've heard from people is that there is "Too much f*cking swearing! Your mouth is filthy!" Somewhere in the universe while this is being said, pearls are being clutched really tightly. Occasionally this is followed with "I'm upset that I can't read it to my mother or teenager."

And while my grandmother loves it (and most teenagers I know  have a more extensive curse word vocab than I do) I thought long and hard about how to make TNOWTFG more... palatable.

I threw around cheeky ideas of how to present it- blacking out every word on a two page spread except for the words "love yourself." Or maybe writing a post composed of only three sentences: "Media is silly. Use critical thinking. You can love your body if you want to" and then just calling it a day.

But I no longer have to scheme about a silly way to censor my book because Unshelved did it for me and they actually did a really great job

(Though I'm unsure if this image is actually G rated because there's a person in a bikini and in my world bodies aren't vulgar so I'm not the right person for rating things... but let's just say it's Disney Cartoon Movie appropriate so it's probably safe to let your kids see. PHEW!)

The highlights of TNOWTFG without any effing swear words: 

  • Thin is not the same thing as healthy: What we believe about health and fat bodies is often inaccurate. Here. Let me blow your mind: Skinny bodies can be unhealthy. Fat bodies can be unhealthy. Skinny bodies can be healthy. And fat bodies can be healthy. What does this mean? It means we must remove weight from the health equation. Period. That leaves us to look at the other signifiers of health.
  • You don't have to put your life on hold until you lose weight: We wait and wait and wait to do the things we love because we believe our body is holding us back. No more.
  • You deserve good health care without judgement: Often society blames fat people's health problems on the simple fact that they are fat. This, as we've established is not necessarily the case. We have to look deeper than size and realize that one of the many reasons we come across complications with fat bodies (besides the detrimental effects of dieting) has to do with the fact that being fat and going to the doctor is a traumatizing event. It's been proven that doctors (and especially nurses) are just as emotionally biased as everyone else and often treat plus bodies with a deplorable amount of loathing. There is example after example of fat people going to the doctor for problems completely unrelated to size and the first piece of advice they receive is "You need to lose weight." Others have gone in for checkups and hear "You're perfectly healthy but you should probably go on a diet." Understandably, fat patients then dread going into a medical environment so they don't... and then unrelated conditions worsen. Not because they're fat. But because they are treated like sub-humans. This treatment must change.
  • Happiness is not a size: I am fattest that I have ever been and I am also the happiest I have ever been and this simply proves that happiness is not a size. Happiness is a state of being. Happiness is about finding what you love about yourself and sharing it. Happiness is about taking what you hate about yourself and learning to love it. Happiness is an internal sanctuary where you are enough just as you are, right now.
  • You can do any sport you want: Fat bodies can absolutely be athletes if they want to (check out Louise Green's Limitless concept!) but I want to be clear that they also don't need to engage in any exercise regimen in their search of being a worthy human. BODY AUTONOMY FOREVER.
  • Get angry at the lack of representation in the media: Even if we're conscious of how media affects our perception of the world, I don't know if we really truly understand how much of the subconscious (and sometimes blatant) messaging stays in our core forever. Luckily the internet has allowed every person to contribute to the visuals floating around our universe and sharing selfies is a great way to start!
  • You can wear sexy clothes: OF COURSE YOU CAN. Fashion rules are for people who haven't figured out that you can wear whatever you want. Which is a fact.
  • You can find love: All kinds of love. Puppy love. Community love. Coffee Date love. Lover love. Mushy "I love you forever just as you are" love. Fat people find these types of love all the time... we just don't see it represented anywhere. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist!
  • Salad doesn't send you to heaven and cheesecake doesn't send you to hell: Assigning moral value to food is bulls... uhm, RIDICULOUS. Sorry, it was hard to censor that one. Because it's really that. You're not a good person for eating carrots and you're not a bad person for eating cake. End of story.
  • You can love your body: I know you don't feel like you fit into the category of gorgeous that our world creates. I know that it's hard. I know that it’s a daily battle. But f*** their fascist beauty standards. The second you stop looking for a thin model in your mirror and start looking at YOU... is the second you will start to appreciate what you are. Stop looking for flaws. Stop looking for differences. You are perfect. You are more than enough. You are the best thing that has ever happened to you. And you are beautiful. You got this.

So there you go! A simple and free summary of Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls, which is totally appropriate for ears- sensitive or not! You can find all the research for these statements online and of course in my book.

Thanks Unshelved for the gorgeous image. I'm honored, grateful and super impressed <3

P.S. My writing isn't for and never will be for children, BUT I've compiled an amazing list of 20 diverse and body positive kids books that you'll probably love!

P.P.S. If you're cool with swearing and like bad-ass thought provoking body image convos, 1.) We're obviously BFFs already and 2.) You'll probably love my book and can get it here.


I recently received interview questions from the lovely Angela Pittenger and as I answered them, I found myself thinking "God, this is everything I've wanted to blog about for a while... and it's all in one place!" So I'm sharing them here on TMB with you because it's about time we talked about some complicated topics like my privilege, what activism means, Society's mean streak, body love as a recovery journey and finding the balance between fierceness and softness!

1.) How old are you and are you a Tucson native? 

I just turned 30 and I am! Born, raised and in love. I spent some of my childhood in LA and college times in Idaho but this is home and I adore living in the Southwest. 

2.) When did you get started in activism?

I don’t know if activism is the right word for me to use anymore, even though I have in the past. There are so many different kinds of “activism” and I think that everyone has their own and different idea of what activists are or what they should look like/do. I’ve stopped using that term when referring to myself within the last year simply because I don’t know where or how I fit into that entire world. What I (and so many other people do) is incredibly varied, y’know? People ask me what my job is and I say “Uhm, I’m just a Jes Baker for a living... I guess?” because I don’t fit in just one box and there isn’t a manual for this shit. I can't speak for everyone but I know that there are lots of people doing online social justice work and are just making it up as they go, me included.

I suppose if I fit into a person's definition of an activist, it's cool for them to use that description (I'm often called a Fat Activist), but for me... It's something that I'm questioning.

All of that being said, I AM a blogger, author, speaker, rabble-rouser + loud-mouth and I preach the importance of equality, mental health, body autonomy and authenticity from the platforms I have. I also like to post a lot about Fatshion, sex, cats and karaoke. So, yeah. I’m just a Jes Baker doing the best she can every day.

When it comes to challenging the status quo (what you might personally call activism) I’ve been pushing buttons and advocating for change my entire teenage and adult life. I grew up in a Social Work home and making the world a better place has always been something that's been at the core of my upbringing. In other words, I've been a pain-in-the-ass longer than I haven't.

The internet has simply given me a way to amplify that message and other people’s messages (who tend to have a lot more experience than I do!) and I’m fortunate in that way.

3.) When do you feel it really took off? I mean, you’re off speaking around the country and have been featured on big news outlets…How did that happen?

Abercrombie and Fitch, no doubt. It was a perfect storm situation where I was just starting to write things that were “going viral” which gave me the platform to send a counter campaign out into the interwebs where EVERYONE was talking about the old comments that A&F’s CEO had made. The world was just looking for a visual middle finger and “Attractive and Fat” just happened to be it. It was luck. And that luck landed me a spot on the Today Show and on nearly every country's media circuit. This has all continued over the years with various projects.

On top of the “perfect timing” aspect, it's also important to mention that my success is due in large part to my social acceptability... I’m fat, sure, but that’s the only real “controversial” part about me. I’m also white, able bodied, cisgender, kinda hourglass and somewhat educated.

I haven't earned any of those things, yet they fall in line with Society’s standard of "acceptable" which means that the world is comfortable(ish) with listening to my message and propelling it into the spotlight. My success in this way is also completely luck. There are so many other people out there who do not have these privileges who are doing far more incredible work… but the media passes them on by without promoting. I’m working on learning from what these amazing humans write and also using my platform (that's created from privilege) to amplify their messages too. 

Because “body image work” isn’t just about plus, cis, white girls but you wouldn’t know it if you were to Google body love or body positivity.

So, The Militant Baker took off because of luck. It’s successful because of luck. I do hard work behind the scenes (OMG I worked 90 hour weeks for years!) but I realize these reasons are the biggest part of The Militant Baker's success. I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend my time sharing a message of self-acceptance and life reclamation, TRUST ME. So, so, SO grateful. 

But I’m also working on being and doing better when it comes to the bigger picture because it’s wrong that the structures that I’m dedicated to tearing down are also the ones supporting me more than others. I’m benefiting from something that I want to eradicate and that’s just beyond fucked.  Learning how to effectively maneuver around this situation is a complicated but I’m working on it.

4.) Please give me a brief description of your background in mental health.

I started baking in mental health, believe it or not. In my early 20s, I was a typical Tucson downtown hipster who was working as a Baker (and often Barista) for years until I found this really amazing opportunity to work within the mental health system as a baker and Psych-Social Rehab Specialist. Basically, I was using baking as a way to train other adults with a serious mental illness (SMI) on how to find independent employment and work through life barriers. I personally have several diagnoses, so this was something I felt passionately about.

I did job training for years (while earning a million certifications) and then developed a curriculum for those who wanted to find jobs similar to mine (as a Peer Support Specialist/Recovery Coach- there are lots of different titles for this work) and taught it for a while afterwards. And while I left that area of work so that I could be self-employed several years ago,  I spent a lot of my summer this year  going back and working for the same agency; this time doing Supported Employment and helping those same individuals find real life jobs!

Working within mental health changed the way I interact with and understand the world in such a powerful and positive way. It's taught me more about resiliency, advocacy, compassion and communication than anything else could. I often tell my Executive Director that working with others in behavioral health is a form of “self-care” for me; it’s so grounding. I’m so grateful for those who have mentored me in this work and I plan on incorporating it (because, how can you NOT?) in everything I do for the rest of my life.

5.) People are jerks and judgmental. How do you handle the flack and the negative comments from people online?

I’ve written lots of articles about how to handle this shit, because honest to god you don’t understand the basic depravity that an average human is capable of  until you have websites dedicated to tearing apart your “failures”, diet, BMI, relationships, clothing, facial expressions, writing etc. simply because you’re fat and you like yourself and people have complicated feels about it.  It’s really hard to not write off all of humankind when you see how horrible thousands of people can be.

But you also have to remind yourself that these are the people with
1.) No impulse control/online filter and
2.) Nothing better to do. 

They don’t represent ALL of humans, just a pocket of really depressing ones.

I combat the negativity by not Googling my name and having someone else monitor my social media so that I see half the bullshit instead of all of it; this leaves more energy and space to do the things that are important. I also surround myself with incredible people in real life (Tucson has a bunch of them!)  that remind me that life can be beautiful. And lastly, I check in with other activists that I respect and aspire to be more like; the doers that are making the world a better place. These are the people that I take criticism from because these are the people that matter to me and my own journey towards becoming a better person. I try to listen to their honest feedback and then remember that everyone else’s opinion about me (good and bad!) isn't really important.

6.) What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with body issues right now? How have your own struggles affected your work?

I like to be honest about having “Bad Body Days”. I have ‘em all the time and this is totally normal when you grow up and continue to live in a world that tells you that you’re not good enough. We all have that experience and to pretend that everything is sunshine after you "know better" is silly.

Recovery from beauty bullshit/body oppression is a very real recovery journey in every traditional sense. And within the Stages of Change, one of the natural steps is "relapse". In recovery, we expect it. It's part of whole person healing. It doesn't make it easy but it also doesn't make you a failure.

If you're looking to change the way you view yourself and your body, I recommend surrounding yourself with diversity and positive body image messaging! In real life (find people who have the same goals!) and online. Our social media feeds, if left on their own, will continue to be full of false “perfection” but we have the personal power to change that. I have compiled a list of over 175 blogs, Facebook pages, Tumblrs etc that I recommend you hit “follow” on and see what happens for you. Chances are, all kinds of bodies will become normalized for you which will only help you to normalize your body as well. SUPER POWERFUL!

Start there.

7.) What would you tell your younger self if you could go back in regards to body image, confidence and being an overall bad-ass?

Dear Younger Jes,

Everything you’ve been taught about personal worth is wrong. Don’t worry so much about it (you do you, boo) and know that when you get older you’ll start to figure that shit out.

Until then,
Older Jes (who is much smarter than you but is still figuring it out <3)

8.) What are you doing full time?

I spent a lot of time this summer working in mental health, but that’s coming to a close for now. I’m headed back into full time Militant Baker-ing which means I’ll be doing speaking gigs at universities, working on a project I can't announce yet (UGH), blogging here and there... and then seeing what pops up in my inbox. Seriously, I never have ANY IDEA what’s really next because this “job” is all about living one day at a time. IT COULD BE ANYTHING! It’s both terrifying and exciting.

9.) How do you find the courage, confidence and will to keep at it day in and day out?

On good days, I roar as loud as possible. On bad days, I retreat into my safe spaces, surround myself with wonderful people and allow myself to be vulnerable and imperfect. It’s important to me that I allow myself permission to do both. Challenging what is “acceptable” and harmful in this world is beyond exhausting. Yet, it needs to be done. So equal parts of  fierceness and softness is how I maintain my existence.

And I think this is true for many people, don't you?


I come across some of the most amazing people in my internet travels and sometimes... I just have to share them with you.

Meet Tatiana Gill. Officially described as "A Seattle based cartoonist who uses her art to show strength and vulnerability, reflecting the diversity of women so often underrepresented in the media. Themes include body positivity, feminism, and recovery."

Described by me as: THE MOST 
GODDAMN AMAZING ILLUSTRATOR THAT I WISH I HAD WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER AND MY NEW LIFE GOAL IS TO KISS HER FACE SOMEDAY.  (If I'm writing an entire post about someone, I'm gonna talk about them in all caps, okay? Don't judge.)

I discovered Tatiana through her amazing Plus Positive Drawing book and her story about finding online body image politics told through 40+ panels that are inspirational AF. I think what kept me coming back though, was the total inclusion of bodies in her artwork. Age, disability, gender fluidity, body hair, fat, race, sex positivity, empowerment, hirsutism, equality and universal respect. All of these things (and more) are found in Tatiana's portfolio and goddamnit, I'm just smitten.

Just take a look at this awesome art:

Oh. AND she created a FAT Rainbow Brite

It continues to get better:

And that body positive journey (and online discovery of the fat/body positive movement) that I mentioned? Completely identifiable.


I've only included 3 panels and her story is told in 44, so obviously you need to go and read them all RIGHT NOW. Right now. (Note the #FatGirlsCan shout out to all you bad-ass bitches!)

I mean it.

On top of creating fantastic neo-zine content (is that even a thing? I have no idea...) she also does design, portraits and, my favorite: safe-space posters like the one below.

(She has a free print out here!)

And lastly? She drew the most incredible picture of me that I've ever seen. 

Tattoos. Cape. A belt with my initials. Glitter. A UNICORN. This image is just icing on the goddamn "I Love Tatiana" cake.

She totally has a Redbubble which means you can order any of her illustrations on a mug, shirt, bag, pillows, miniskirts... pretty much on anything. You can also purchase the Plus: Body Positive Drawings book here.

It's no secret that I'm in love. I'm also inspired, uplifted and hopeful. If there are people like Tatiana out there that means that perhaps we're not completely fucked and perhaps kindness can reach further than we think.

I'm curious to hear what you thought about her entire "body positive journey"! Did you identify? Did you have a different experience? What panels would you add if you were to illustrate your story?

Thanks for your work Tatiana and never stop contributing your much needed visuals to the body image conversation. We owe you.


I'm adding this outfit to the list of "Things I Never Would Have Worn 4 Years Ago Because I Was Scared but Now I'm Brave AF." That list is getting really long and I'm feeling pretty rad about it.

When I started breaking all those made up plus size fashion rules a few years ago (meaning: I started wearing horizontal stripes, big prints and see through blouses) there were still things I wouldn't wear. Things that weren't "clingy" enough. Only within the last year have I started to feel bold enough to try things that are, well... baggy. Bulky. Oversize. Things that make my already big body look bigger. 

It's a strange but wonderful adjustment (that seems to come right after learning to truly not give a fuck) and has opened up a lot of new playful clothing options for me. This jumpsuit (with more excess fabric than I've ever worn in my life) is one of the great ones. It's slouchy, it's long, it's not necessarily "flattering" and I absolutely adore it.

Jumpsuit: Fashion to Figure in 1x 
(I love Chenese Lewis the most and how she rocked the orange version)
Sandals: Similar
Belt: JcPenney+
Sunglasses: Lane Bryant
Earrings: Similar

Oh, the wonderful things you learn when you step (even further) outside your comfort zone.

I've also relearned (for the 17th time now) that I'm incapable of growing my hair out. I managed to reach shoulder length locks before making a desperate call to Marco (aka King Bey who works at Tucson's Speedway Gadabout and I cannot recommend enough) and making an appointment to chop it all off.


I would love to someday have long hair that I can just throw into a topknot and go... but I do not have the patience for the journey at the moment. Guess awesomely bad-ass asymmetrical cuts are in my future for a while.


What are some "scary" to you things that you're out there rocking? What are you pushing your individual style boundaries with? Share them below if you'd like and just a heads up- pictures will get you an extra internet high-five.

Inspire me!

P.S. Tucson commissioned 9 new murals downtown that personify our diverse and wonderful city (+ showcase our artists) and they're all amazing.  Haven't visited Tucson yet? You seriously need to fix that. <3


Coming to you live from my hotel room in NYC where yes, I actually did bring the above ChafeZone stick with me because: humidity and shit tons of walking = chub-rub at it's finest! Or worst. Whichever.

It seems like so many options have been cropping up for warding off chub-rub lately, and it's about time! I've personally tried several products that are "wearables" aka underthings that help stop the chafe but until now I've never tried a topically applied solution. So full disclosure- this is my first "apply to skin" anti chub-rub product that I've tried. That being said I can 100% honestly share that I like it. A LOT.

It's light (made with aloe), smooth, and after spending most of my life just using baby powder as relief after my skin got raw AF... well, it almost seems magical. I've heard good things from others (Margot swears by it) BUT LUCKILY FOR ALL OF YOU, you don't have to take our word for it. Because 28 of you get to try it out for yourself. For free.

GOD, free stuff is so rad. Amiright?

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 middle seats on airplanes, 110 degree heat, or making my bed? (I hate ALL of those things) 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 traveling to Belize. You're a grown ass adult and you get to make your own decisions, mmkay?

TWENTY EIGHT WINNERS. Because 28 is a great number and why not?!?!?

  • Three of you will win a Gift Pack which includes their whole slew of products: ChafeZone for the chub-rub (in regular and travel size), a travel size BlisterZone (for those new boots you need to break in) and a roll on version of PainZone (think Bengay but awesome). Huzzah!
  • Twenty five of you will win your own ChafeZone stick for you to try for yourself! The odds are definitely in your favor for this one.

The fine print that's actually just normal sized print but still important: MedZone (the company that makes this rad stuff) can only ship to the US currently. I'm sorry international pals! They will start shipping internationally in 2017 and maybe we can do another giveaway then... but for now this giveaway is US only. *Sob* 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
SO, TWENTY EIGHT WINNERS. The first three chosen randomly will win the Gift Pack, and the following random 25 winners will win the ChafeZone stick! Enter away ! One week to do so! I'm rooting for you <3


(Photo via JessamynTop/Bottom)

This list comes from Corissa of Fat Girl Flow who has kindly allowed me to share this post with all of you wonderful people who find themselves in search of plus athletic gear. Because... we all know the good stuff is hard to come by. Thanks Corissa!

Plus size active wear! For athletics!  For atheleisure! For sitting on your couch in dirty yoga pants! Whatever it is you like to do in “active” clothes is up to you. The beautiful thing is that the options for plus size people are getting a lot cuter and more affordable too! Thank goodness, because I’ve been feeling pretty left out from the whole “yoga mom” trend.
You’ve all been asking for a master-post of workout-worthy and super comfy daily wear looks! So here we go! I can remember when I was around 20 and not able to find any yoga pants in an XXL. We’ve come a long way! Here’s a list of plus size active wear with lots of options, up to size 34!

I’ve become quite the sucker for Old Navy lately. The basics are just so cute and the prices are usually really reasonable even when things aren’t on sale (though there is almost always a sale). I love the look of their plus size active wear because it is simple and clean and while I’ll obviously wear my yoga pants all over town, I also feel just as comfy laying in them for a long weekend. I’m a really big fan of their muscle tees as well, especially the one that says “hustle” on it! Sizes go up to 4x (size 30), and prices are right around $25 for a piece.

If you’re not from the midwest US you may have never heard of this retailer, but they’re gaining some recognition for their evolving plus size line. My favorite plus size active wear that they offer is definitely the leggings options. They have cute patterns and varying styles, and all of them come with a large waist band (which I appreciate). Each piece is right around $30, and sizes go up to a 4 (or size 28).

Avenue actually recognizes that people over a size 24 want to wear comfy yoga pants and stretchy jackets, and even makes some super cute things! I own a pair of leggings from Avenue, and they have lasted me quite some time (about 3 years now!) so I’m a fan! Sizes go up to 32, and prices are around $40 a piece (but there is always a sale going on!).

If you’re a small fat (under size 24), you’ve no doubt seen the new Forever 21 line of active wear. I have absolutely died over it. You guys, I cannot justify buying every piece in this line (because let’s be real, where am I going to wear that… not the gym!), but damn it if I could I would. This line is just stylistically so on point. They’ve got those little multi-strap numbers that they’ve been selling to skinny girls over on Lulu-fatphobe for years, and they even made stuff in marble print. If you can wear these sizes, do us all a favor and buy all of it, ok? Prices are around $20, sizes up to 3x.

This site carries Rainbeau curves and a couple additional companies that specialize in plus size activewear and they are super cute! Their sizes go up to 3x, and they have the most beautiful watercolor pastel leggings that I’ve ever seen. I need 10 pairs, please!


Well, Torrid made a line of activewear that says “badass” on many of it’s pieces and I am ecstatic. I never knew I needed a sports bra that said ‘bad ass’ on it so bad. The pieces are reasonably priced, and are true to Torrid’s sizing, which takes out a lot of the guesswork for how leggings are going to fit! Sizes from 10-30.

I just heard about this company this year, and haven’t had a chance to purchase anything from them but their designs are promising! They have a really good selection, and specialize in athletic wear. Sizes go up to 32, and prices are around $30.

I’ve been asked a few times to do a review of sports bras, so this post really inspired me to make a little list of bras I’ll be trying! I’ll let all of you know as soon as that review is out, and if you have any other active wear retailers you’d like me to try please let me know! I hope you found something awesome!


Jes's note: Because I've been swimming laps this summer (the only fun thing to do in Az right now), I've been looking for "fitness swimwear" (as opposed to "drinking margaritas in a bikini while lounging on a swan floatie swimwear" which I also love) and the few I've ordered online from Amazon have been... pretty fucking disappointing. I've checked reviews for other options (that don't cut into your shoulders or pretend you don't have a belly that also needs coverage) and it looks like the best options are: of course Speedo ($49+), Swim and Sweat ($50), Swim Outlet ($49+), and Swimsuits for All ($41+). All you need beyond that is: a pair of goggles and a waterproof iPod so you can listen to Beyonce (or Hilary Duff- no judgement here) while you freestyle! Let me know if you have any other suggestions!
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