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!
---

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

------

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.

I am lucky enough to facilitate one of these retreats. In the wake of my viral burlesque video, where I stripped down to my leopard print underwear and peeled off masking tape that said “fat”, “cellulite”, and “suck it in” all while tap dancing to Katy Perry's Roar, many opportunities manifested in my life to help women like me. Women who are sick of being labeled, caged, and written off because of their so-called imperfections. Women who gave up careers in dance, singing, comedy, or acting because they heard one too many “hell no's” from directors who wanted them to be smaller. Women who hung up their pointe shoes at age 15 because one teacher told them they didn't have the body to be a professional dancer. Women who gave up their power, for whatever reason, and are hungry to take it back.

And because I am a mover and a shaker, and know that dancing and laughter are the two best medicines on earth, I decided a whole week needed to be dedicated to these women. So I recruited Olivia Petzy, a comedienne, movement instructor, writer, and healer, and we held the first ever Restore Your Roar re-boot camp in Hawai'i last January.

Yes, Hawai'i.

Yes. RE-boot camp. Like, recharge. Rejuvenate. Retrain the mind to believe something different. To believe that we are worthy. To believe our bodies are something to be appreciated. To believe they are something to be thankful for.

The week consists of eating fresh pineapples, watching whales breach while the sun rises over the ocean, and a trip to the most active volcano on earth. It also includes eight transformative days of movement sessions where positive affirmations are paired with simple dance moves (think grapevine and step touch, like we promise no dance experience is necessary) for an ultimate empowering high. Discussions on body love, emotional eating, media influence, sex, and feminity are part of the daily itinerary, and the conversations we had last year with our group of ten women were some of the most amazing in my lifetime. In between our movement sessions and discussions, there is plenty of time for relaxing at the black sand beach, clothing-optional pool, and enjoying three delicious meals a day made with local ingredients (think purple sweet potatoes, fresh caught fish, and fresh haupia (coconut) pudding for dessert!). Kona coffee greets your morning, and a sky full of ridiculous stars bids you goodnight.

It is truly a magical week that I wish to share with every woman who has ever felt her roar has diminished to a meow. Participants from last year described the experience as “transformational”, “inspiring”, “powerful”, and walked away with “memories that bring sun rays on the darkest, rainiest days.”

And I am here to invite you to join us.

We will be waiting for you at the 120-acre Kalani Oceanside Retreat on the Big Island of Hawai'i this coming January 13th, 2016 with a lei and a fierce passion to send you home with tools to better appreciate the home you live in – your amazing body. Because you're a fan of The Militant Baker, we're a fan of you, and we want to offer you $400 off your tuition. Because here's one more thing no one will tell fat girls – Hawai'i is the home of body love. And if you've ever been too nervous to break out that bikini at the beach before, we encourage you to bring it along on this trip. Not only will you see jungle and sky unlike you've ever seen before, but you'll see more body diversity here than any other beach in the US.

And that's a reason to fist pump on any day.

I love being a voice in this community, and I love advocating for people like you. I love writing, and I love doing podcasts, yes, but what I love the most, is helping women in person. In the flesh. Dancing next to a hard-working woman, or a struggling teenager, or a nine-year-old tap dancer, who has yet to discover her roar, and using my experiences to help her find it. I know I can speak for my partner, Olivia, in saying that it's truly what we feel we do best in this life – looking a woman in the eyes with patience and understanding and saying, I get you, I've been you, here is what is possible, and here is how we make it happen. Together. It's what makes all this fighting for body diversity so very worth it, even on the most exhausting days. I hope that I get to meet, converse, and dance next to you in the Hawaiian jungle this January. It will truly be a re-boot like you've never experienced before.

Aloha and pineapple things,
The Roar Girl


Everything you need to know about Restore Your Roar 2016 – itinerary, pricing, testimonials and pictures from last year, and registration details - is right here. Space is extremely limited and spots are filling quickly. To register immediately, use the code MILITANT in the comments of the registration process here to receive your 20% off tuition. To contact Olivia and I with questions, use this form right here and we will walk you through every step of the way until your plane touches down in Hilo.


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.

The Tucson Burlesque scene is one of the places where all that and then some are considered sexy as hell. Body positivity and performance have come together in one giant ball of sparkle, and made the most beautiful twin babies, named LOVE & ACCEPTANCE. Where once the slender, hourglass figure was the “requirement” in burlesque, today Tucson celebrates all shapes, all sizes, all ages and all colors. Everyone from the full figured Gypsy Danger and Luna de Lumbre’, to the more slender and hourglassed Bunny Boom Boom and Fanny Galore. Women with skin as svelte as a panther’s coat like me, The BIG Bang McGillicuddy,  to the fairest burly babe in all the land, Diamonda Morgue. The youngens like Miss Harlequin Hex, to the seasoned and posh pros like Stormy Leigh. Even the disabled - like Jacqueline “Miss Dis-a-BURLY-Tease” Boxx. Literally EVERY DAMN BODY is welcomed into the rhinestoned arms of the Tucson Burlesque scene. These women light the stage on fire with their own personal brand of confidence every time, and dare you to look away. But where does it come from? Where do they find the strength to say “Fuck The World - I Own This!”? What IS that??

It’s Burlesque - plain and simple. It’s the Black Cherry Burlesque “Burlesque For The Soul” mentorship program. It’s Don’t Blink Burlesque’s “Fanny’s Fox Den”. It is the belief (and innate understanding) that in burlesque, weird is okay. Unacceptable is expected. And mocking the social construct of the day is damn near a requirement. The word burlesque is Italian in origin, stemming from the word burla, which literally translates to “mockery”. Isn’t that what we are doing when we dare to take the stage and shimmy our way into your hearts? Aren’t we mocking societies rules and standards of beauty? Aren’t we mocking the horrendous diet culture and social construct that says we’re not good enough, and that we’re not worthy of the applause?

AREN’T WE MOCKING EVERYTHING THAT WAS EVER CREATED TO MAKE US FEEL INADEQUATE/UNPRETTY/UNLOVABLE/UNWANTED/UN-EVERYTHING WONDERFUL IN LIFE, SIMPLY BY POPPING ON A PASTY, SOME RHINESTONED PANTIES AND BUMPING N’ GRINDING LIKE OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT??

AREN’T WE?

Fuck yes we are. FUCK. YES. WE. ARE.

And you better believe that here, in Tucson, we are unapologetic about that shit.

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Check out and support Steve's campaign here!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

THE TODAY SHOW CLIP AND WHY IT'S A BIG FAT DEAL


I'm in love with Morgan Radford, just so you know. And it's not just because she's kind, educated about discrimination or a fucking joy to be around. It's because she was the reporter to highlight fat positivity on the Today Show in one of the most positive ways I've ever seen.

In case you missed it, NBC sent a crew to San Francisco to interview me about my book "Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls." We sat in The Booksmith under hot lights for over an hour discussing everything from whitewashing in the media, to how to find love, to fat tropes we see in television, to the controversy around health and body shape. 


When she greeted me, it was with a hug and a "I started reading the book on the plane and OMG, I have so much to learn from you." A far cry from the skeptical curiosity that I usually encounter from journalists who work for large platforms. I'm always grateful for the chance to share the message of body acceptance, don't get me wrong... but to be greeted with enthusiasm about something so controversial? Mind blown.


I joked at the end of the filming to the crew that I hope they would be kind in their editing of the footage; "I'm hoping you don't cut it to say 'Everyone. Should. Diet!'" They laughed and promised they wouldn't but I assumed it was the same kind of promise Savannah Guthrie made when I asked her if she was going to ask a trick question on the live "Attractive and Fat" interview. She said "Oh honey, I ran out of those a long time ago!"


She did not run out of those a long time ago.


That said, I'm well aware that of course the draw of all shows lies in the tough questions and ultimately I'm happy to answer them. When Morgan asked "You say that you're not a better person if you eat carrots, and you're not a "mess up" if you eat pie. What about those who say it IS better to eat carrots?" I honest to god rubbed my hands together gleefully and I replied "Ooooooh I LOVE these questions!" and proceeded the long drawn out explanation of health, classism, racism, food deserts, etc etc etc.


I'm not telling you this because it's fascinating to know what goes on behind the scenes; it's all pretty basic. I'm telling you this because it's important to know that The Today Show had every single opportunity to make this a "sad fatty" interview. They had every opportunity to make me out to be a victim. They had every opportunity to make the message appear to be hopeful but delusional. BUT THEY DIDN'T. One of the most viewed morning television shows chose to show the message in a positive and incredible way. This only goes to show that while we still have so far to go... YES, body acceptance is here to stay.





A quote about this popped up in my Facebook feed from a much loved fat activist named Stacy Bias that says it much more eloquently than I ever could:

"Jes is totally doing this right. Her answer to the 'health' question is spot-on and manages to get all that complexity in there in a really manageable and relatable way. This isn't the usual 101 level message that has been sanctioned by the mainstream and even so, the piece here is positive and uplifting and the counterpoints take up very little room in this overwhelmingly supportive coverage. I'm so stoked for this work!" 

And THIS dear friends is why the Today Show clip is a BIG. FAT. DEAL.

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls is a book that tackles often avoided topics like: ageism, disability, racism, health bias, "unhealthy fatties" and mental illness. It's not supposed to be popular. Yet it's often listed as the #1 New Release in Self-Esteem on Amazon. It also often pops up in the top 10 list of all best selling Self-Esteem releases... always following 6 or 7 of Brené Brown' books. Seal Press has already started the second round of printing because the book nearly sold out before it's release date. The #FatGirlsCan trailer was covered a dozen times, endorsed by Ashton Kutcher and has 48k views. All of this in addition to a spot in national morning television. 

I know this sounds like I'm bragging. I won't lie; of course I'm BEYOND thrilled. Not only because my blood sweat and tears lie in between that cover (and because someday in the distant future when royalties show up I can finally buy a cool latex dress. Or a root canal. I can't decide.) but also because this is all I have ever wanted as an outspoken advocate online. Ever since I started blogging, my goal was to make radical body love accessible for everyone. To share the message in words that were be understandable and would meet people where they are at. To take the concept of body positivity outside of the super political feminist circles (which are of course wonderful) and offer it to people like: the teenagers at the mall, the women who haven't had sex with the lights on in years, and my grandma. It's a fine line to walk; between extreme activism and palatable messaging... but it's happening, bitches. It's happening.

Body positivity in the last few years has officially become a "trend." It's been picked up and hugged tightly by women's media. It's all over Buzzfeed, Upworthy and other pop culture-y sites. And while some bemoan this mainstream popularity because it leaves the grassroots culture behind (and, oh, I get it), I personally am thrilled. Because now everyone can hear it. And because it's no longer a secret. And while there is still violent backlash, there is also a shift towards body acceptance in a way we've never seen before.

Make no mistake- I'm not saying that I'm the one who has made any of this happen. There have been pioneers of this message for decades, who have tirelessly climbed uphill without the support of media and 10 TIMES the criticism. THEY have made this happen, and I couldn't be more grateful. I'm just here because of them and I'm here to take that message of self-love to every fucking person who wants it. And I know you are too. Cheers to our army of body lovin' warriors!


And y'know what? Lets also toast to a million more "tough topic tackling", body positive Today Show spotlights in the future. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

THE #FATGIRLSCAN CHALLENGE (AND THE THINGS NO ONE WILL TELL FAT GIRLS TRAILER)


I could not be more overjoyed to share the Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls trailer with you. It's something that my buddy Steve and I have spent countless hours on, that dozens of Tucson bad-asses have rallied for, and something that my favorite babely internet fat gals have contributed to...

It's also all about my favorite thing that no one will tell fat girls: THAT FAT. GIRLS. CAN.



FAT GIRLS CAN: wear horizontal stripes, run marathons, dance, find love, have a family, do cartwheels, do yoga, wear a bikini, make art, model, find their dream job, cannonball, travel, kick box, fly, belly dance, sail, have hot sex (with the lights on!), pole dance, cosplay, lift weights, play the lead, save lives, rock climb... and be wildly successful.

They can!
And we do.
And we will.

WANT TO JOIN IN ON THE FUN? Here's how:
To participate in the #FatGirlsCan challenge:  
1.) Think of something that someone said you couldn't do because of your body.
2.) Take a photo of you DOING that thing that someone said you couldn't.
3.) Tag that photo on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram with the hashtag #FatGirlsCan. 
4.) Celebrate your awesomeness. 
5.) Repeat #4 as many times as you like.

I'm going to revel in your awesomeness over here- and post pictures of you doing what they said you couldn't- ALL WEEK LONG until the actual publishing date of Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls- October 27th. Inspire the shit out of me ladies (and everyone else!). You can- you totally can. And you already do. So document it with #FatGirlsCan!

I can't wait to show the world your power. I can't wait to celebrate your body and resiliency with you. I can't wait to show the world THAT WE CAN, GODDAMIT.

#FatGirlsCan. Forever.
(Check out the Facebook album of all the things YOU'RE ALREADY DOING!)

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Don't forget to check out my tour dates so you can come celebrate your magnificence with me IN PERSON! And if you haven't nabbed the book yet, you can still catch it here! I love you. Never forget.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

THINGS NO ONE WILL TELL FAT GIRLS: BOOK TOUR DATES (UPDATED!)


This book tour just got real. I announced the three giant cities (okay, Tucson isn't giant) a while back and since then the tour doubled in size! Because: Lane Bryant offered their stores and support for book signings in Boston, Philadelphia AND Seattle. Bostonians, Philadelipians, and Seattleites (I'm making this shit up right now- forgive me) REJOICE! I'm coming to see you and hug you and sign things and it's going to be glorious.

I'm really super-de-duper grateful LB's support because it means three kick-ass things: #1.) Because Seal Press is a small feminist publishing company (just the way I like 'em), their resources are limited. Limited = 3 cities which is rad. BUT NOW THERE ARE MORE PLACES TO SEE YOU! I can't wait. #2.) This is probably the most radical thing Lane Bryant has done when it comes to inclusivity- this book is uncensored as shit, and I'm in awe that they're thumbs upping it. I'm also blushing. Pretty hard. #3.) I'm excited to reach their customer base, many of whom either: haven't heard of me or I terrify them (I'm teasing) and they all could use a good dose of Jes! I'm coming for you plus ladies, and we're gonna have a grand ol' time.

IN ADDITION to these six book signings, I will also be SPEAKING twice and I really want you to come.  If you're around Reading or Oxford come join us for the lecture that inspired this book! I want to make you laugh and answer your questions and listen to your stories. So get your ass there, OKAY?

The deets:
TOUR DATES!

10/27 San Francisco, CA Booksmith 7:30pm
10/29 Boston, MA LB Braintree store 5-7pm
(^ With Storybook Cove Booksellers!)
11/2 New York City, NY Bluestockings 7pm 
11/3 Philadelphia, PA LB King of Prussia store 5-7pm
(^ With Towne Book Center & Café!)
11/4 Reading, PA Penn State Berks 7:30pm
11/5 Oxford, OH Miami University 7pm
11/6 Tucson, Az Antigone Books 7pm
11/13 Seattle, WA LB South Center Square Store 5-7pm

Someone needs to wish me luck with the whole "five events in five cities in five days" thing because... well, shit. It's gonna be a ride. WILL I SEE YOU THERE? I can't wait!

P.S. If you have a book, I wanna see it! Just tag it on FB, IG, or Twitter with #FatGirlsCan and I'm ON IT!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I'LL WORK ON BEING LESS VAIN... PROBABLY NEVER


This week has been an overwhelming whirlwind of emails and to-do lists. Booking a million (kfine, 14) flights between three separate companies (and double checking to make sure that American Airlines isn't going to be flying me anywhere with a close deadline. Get your shit together, AA.) approving graphics, answering and setting up interviews, letting guest contributors know what to expect, finalizing details with my publicist, collecting addresses for books, yes to that plan, no to that plan, yes to that excerpt, no to that excerpt, writing and mailing postcards, posting a million amazing pictures of you all in all your #FatGirlsCan glory, scheduling shuttles, re-scheduling shuttles because they fucked up the reservation, approving posters, rearranging more flights, OMG SO MANY FUCKING FLIGHTS... all of this interspersed with a kajillion small panic attacks and the normal life/work things.

It's always hard to tell what is fear and what is excitement for me; they often look the same in my world. And all that good shit is laced with anxiety. SO, I'm gonna just take a breather and revel in my blessed vanity. Because this is all certainly fucking exciting (and holy shit a once in a lifetime experience, right?) but I wanna think about something easy, super fun and OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE: what I'm going to wear, duh.

THIS IS CURRENTLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE, GUYS.

Besides you, of course. The top three things in life right now go something like this: 1.) You 2.) Kick-ass outfits 3.) The newest episode of How To Get Away With Murder that I'm going to watch tonight.

With multiple events, I get to have multiple chances to look like a babe, and I'm sure as fuck not going to waste ANY of those chances. Behold! Three of my favorite ensembles that I still very much need to pack:


I'll be looking like I'm a well behaved dame in San Francisco. Which I'm obviously not, but it's almost Halloween so I'm dressing up as the classiest version of myself... clever, right?



I'm bringing the fucking bad-ass to NYC. I'm planning on chilly weather, hot coffee, dirty subway rides (always preferred over Uber), and bitchin' plaid.

Plaid shirt | Fishnets | Boots (SO great for super giant calves - 20"+!!!!- smaller version here)

I'm SERIOUSLY excited about those fat girl hot pants, guys; they fit so well (I chose a 2x). Alysse from Ready to Stare is doing amazing shit over there.


I tasked myself with finding the gold-ist outfit I could for Philadelphia and I think I did RATHER WELL if I do say so myself!


Are you going to be in San Fran, Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Reading, Oxford, Tucson or Seattle in the next three weeks? THEN YOU SHOULD COME HUG ME! Here are alllllllllll the details of the upcoming book tour starting THIS TUESDAY..

Do me a favor this weekend: wear whatever makes you happy at least once. A dress? Wear it. Sweat pants? Wear them! Vest and tie? Wear them. Lace top? Wear it. Your favorite shirt that's dirty? WEAR THAT. Tutu? PLEASE WEAR IT ALL WEEKEND!

Remember: there are no clothing rules. Only one suggestion from me: wear what makes you happy... I bet you'll find that it's fun. And when it comes to the subject of "being vain"- people only have a problem with your "vanity" if they're going through their own shit. But their shit is not your shit, so wear whatever you want, take a million selfies, look in the mirror and say "Hot damn, you're lookin' good!" and own that body of yours. You've got a good one.

SO. Will I get to see you while I'm out and about? I hope so. Come tell me your story, laugh at my exhaustion, cry onto my shoulder and let me sign your boob. Or stomach. Or face. Or book. Whatever. I'll sign whatever you got.