Sunday, August 30, 2015

BODY HATE ON THE INTERNET: HOW TO COPE


I'm on the Internet a lot.
It's part of my job, and yes, it's kinda cool. BUT (OMFG, a big ol' but) while I love the community it can create, I'm also hyper aware of the catastrophes that it can quickly cause. Every once in a while, a brand new "body hate site" (a page dedicated to cruel commentary and bullying of a specific body demographic — often, but not always, fat bodies) will pop up in all its blazing glory and, well . . . the understandable horror is contagious. This gruesome display of filterless human nature just sits there, screaming shame-based obscenities in our face like it's NBD. We become upset that this exists, but we don't know what to do . . . so we post it everywhere.
And this re-posting is understandable! When you're battling a lifetime of body shame and are swimming upstream in an attempt to love yourself, this undeserved hate can send anyone reeling. When this happens we all want emotional assistance, and so we share the hate pages with an intended: "Hey, validate this feeling I have so I know I'm not alone." I get it; we all need people in our corner for support. Let’s acknowledge this, and the fact that there are ways to do this that are more effective than others.
As someone who continues to live a happy life after seeing thousands of hate sites (and can easily Google my name to find more!), I want to share three tips that I have used to “deal” when confronted by online body hate:
#1: Be selective with where and whom you share your findings.
We must talk about the things that upset us. Shame shrivels up and dies when exposed to air, and any amount of rage, when processed, can transform into healthy anger. The way we do this, though, is important if we want a positive outcome.
Before I share the Dos, bear with me as I share a few important Please Don’ts:
  • Please don't post the link on your pages saying OMG LOOK AT THIS HORRIBLE THING — this can cause an emotional nosedive for a friend or follower who isn't expecting that level of hate and/or doesn't know how to cope with this indirect attack.
  • Please don't post it on my page, or on the page of another person that you assume might share your outrage. I know this shit exists and it doesn't need assistance to find me. It does piss me off (you're on point!) but it also doesn't serve me and will most likely trigger followers who aren't expecting something awful on a body positive page.
  • Please don't post the links indiscriminately in public. Just, y’know . . .  in general. Think twice before giving these sites a platform for others to find them. These sites aren't special, novel, or creative, and after one dies down, there will be another . . . so don't offer any of them 15 minutes of fame! In the years of watching online body politics, I have rarely experienced good that comes from blasting negative web pages into public forums.
Are you still with me? I hope so, because I also have some important Dos for you!
  • PLEASE DO find the perfect person or persons to discuss this with. Have a Trigger Buddy. This may sound silly, but if you have a person that you've previously discussed these issues with and you know you're on the same page . . . they are the perfect sounding board. Find this person in your life and keep 'em close.
  • PLEASE DO use online support systems. While your personal profile or page may not be the best place to share horrifying examples of humanity, there are online support systems that ARE. Rolls Not Trolls is a great example: It's a Facebook group created by Ragen Chastain that was made for the exact purpose of combating weight hate online. This would be the PERFECT place to share your activism and personal feelings and have a discussion about it (you can message her to participate). Those who have joined this group have consented to talking about these tough subjects. There are other similar pages, find them and use them!
  • PLEASE DO follow up with the next two suggestions.
#2: Report, block, and move on.
If it's a social media account, you almost always have the option to report it. You’re not obligated to go back to the site and trudge through online bile, but if you want to "do something" about it . . . report it. It's OK if your request is denied. The reports will stack up behind the scenes and a few clicks are often worth the chance of future scrutiny.
In addition to reporting: BLOCK. BLOCK WITH RECKLESS ABANDON. On Facebook. On Twitter. On Instagram. Block those motherfuckers, sever the connection, and get better sleep at night, OK?
What if the offensive shit isn't on social media? Install a website blocker on your computer and add that page to list of sites you're no longer allowed to visit. If we're gonna be honest with ourselves, sometimes we're drawn to negativity in a way we can't explain. If you know you might check back later out of morbid curiosity, block yourself from it. Ain't nobody got time for that bullshit.
#3: Search out and fill your life with body positive examples.
Because we're inevitably gonna feel something negative when we come across hate, we need to balance our brains with some positive. It's easy to forget that positivity exists, but it does and I'm here to remind you of that with a few useful links.
Sometimes it's helpful to remind yourself WHY these sites exist. For this, I prescribe "Why People Hate Tess Munster/Holliday (and Other Happy Fat People)." Sometimes you need an intersectional reminder that body love is for everyone. For that, I suggest you visit The Body Is Not An Apology. Sometimes you need a million awesome body activists to follow so your social media feeds are flooded with good. Here are 13 I think you'll love. Sometimes you just need visual proof that fierce people exist and kick ass daily. If this is the case, I point you to Virgie Tovar's Instagram. And y'know what? Sometimes you just need a goddamn smile. Here. Have a goddamn smile! You deserve it!
You got this
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This piece was first published on Ravishly, which I love.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

THE BAD-ASS BABE BOOK CLUB / SEPTEMBER READ: FAT GIRL WALKING



HI. WELCOME TO THE SECOND MONTH OF THE BAD-ASS BABE BOOK CLUB!

The Bad-Ass Babe Book Club is an online round table filled with all us bad-ass babes (though everyone is welcome!), and focuses on books books written by OTHER bad-ass babes. Fierce female identified writers. That's what we're all about. YOU IN?


Our first month's choice (the book being read during August - you can still join in!) was a novel called Dietland which will be discussed here on September 7th. JOIN US!


The SECOND book choice- to be read during the month of September and discussed the first Monday of October is Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons!


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I recently asked you which book you'd be interested in reading out of a top three and this one won by a landslide! Turns out Brittany Gibbons is one of my favorite humans, so I'm absolutely game. Fat Girl Walking is now on the New York Times Bestseller List and rightfully so.

From Amazon:

"Told through a series of larger-than-life snapshots, a hilarious memoir in essays about love, sex, marriage, motherhood, bikinis, and loving your body, no matter what size you are from the acclaimed blogger and body image advocate. 
Brittany Gibbons has been a plus size her whole life. But instead of hiding herself in the shadows of thinner women, Brittany became a wildly popular blogger and national spokesmodel—known for stripping on stage at TedX and standing in Times Square in a bikini on national television, and making skinny people everywhere uncomfortable.
Talking honestly about size and body image on her popular blog, brittanyherself.com, she has ignited a national conversation. Now in her first book, she shares hilarious and painfully true stories about her life as a weird overweight girl growing up in rural Ohio, struggling with dating and relationships, giving the middle finger to dieting, finding love with a man smaller than her, accidentally having three kids, and figuring out the secret to loving her curves and becoming a nationally recognized body image advocate. And there’s sex, lots of it!
Fat Girl Walking isn’t a diet book. It isn’t one of those former fat people memoirs about how someone battled, and won, in the fight against fat. Brittany doesn’t lose all the weight and reveal the happy, skinny girl that’s been hiding inside her. Instead, she reminds us that being chubby doesn’t mean you’ll end up alone, unhappy, or the subject of a cable medical show. What’s important is learning to love your shape. With her infectious humor and soul-baring honesty, Fat Girl Walking reveals a life full of the same heartbreak, joy, oddity, awkwardness, and wonder as anyone else’s. Just with better snacks."

You're already in, huh? Thought so.

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HERE'S WHAT YOU DO: You get your hands on this book (props if you can support a local bookstore when you do!) and you read it during the month of September. We will then reconvene on the first Monday of October (the 5th- make sure you physically mark your calendar) right here and talk allllllll about our thoughts. We're gonna have a lot. 

I'm hoping to see folks of all shapes, sizes, shades, sexes, and genders getting in on this conversation. The more diversity in viewpoints, the better the discussion is!

So share this with your friends, families and online crushes and I'll see you back here on October 5th!!!!!!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

DUMPLIN' ADVANCE READER BOX GIVEAWAY!


That time when you email this author and you're like: Hey you're really awesome and your book looks fucking incredible so... yeah and then they reply back OMG I'm a huge fan and you're such an inspiration and HEY wanna giveaway something cool on your blog just because?

Life can be good folks. All the way around.

Julie Murphy is the author of an already muchly talked about YA novel called Dumplin' that is set to be published on September 15th of this year. It's totally possible that I read somewhere that a company (*cough* Disney) already bought movie rights. HOT DAMN.

From teh web:

Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . .  until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.  

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.
Haven't read it myself, but I'm gonna the day it arrives in my mailbox. And maybe it's a possible book club selection in our future? We'll see! (Pssst we're reading Dietland this month and you still have time to join in!)


Giveaways happen when someone contacts me and says: I wanna buy a specific spot on your blog (though in this case, the exchange was only one of love) so I can give free awesome shit to your readers. To which I say: does it involve heavy metal music, sunscreen, or goat cheese? (I hate those things) and when they come back and say NO, actually it's really awesome you'll definitely like it!,  I'll investigate and then say... OKAY! Let's do this.

Things to know: I always ask that there is a chance for everyone to enter at least once without having to "like" or "follow" anything. This giveaway is just that- enter your email in the comment section below and Rafflecopter will choose a random winner on Tuesday the 25th!

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. You're a grown ass adult and you get to make your own decisions, mmkay?


Julie wants you to have one of the Advance Reader Boxes which has all the things pictured above- most notably A COPY OF THE NOT YET AVAILABLE BOOK JUST FOR YOU.

Enter away! Giveaways will run for one week three days and Julie's publicist will contact you if you're the lucky bitch that fate (kfine, Rafflecopter) chooses!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I WEAR WHAT I WANT: ADIOS SUMMER! (AND THE DRESS THAT YOU PICKED FOR ME THAT I LOVE)


Dear summer,
Good. Fucking. Riddance.

And by that I mean- I'M SO READY TO START WEARING AWESOME CLOTHES AGAIN AND MAYBE EVEN START WEARING MAKEUP EVERY NOW AND THEN... SO BYE!

I know that Tucson isn't the hottest place in the world (and lets be real- humidity multiplies the torture x a million so it could be worse) but when you spend May - September only wearing enough clothing to avoid being arrested for nudity... cooler temperatures bring a lot of joy. And wardrobe options.


Today's joyful wardrobe option comes in the form of a Strawberry dress (size Small to 4x!) that y'all picked out for me a over month ago. Remember

You were right. It's perfection and while Modcloth lets me choose something every month (fist pump) and I've loved almost all of them (I've only sent back a couple things- like jumpers. WHERE DO I GET AWESOME FAT GIRL JUMPERS? HALP!)... this wins. 100% so far. Reasons: 
  1. A halter strap that doesn't hurt thanks to the thick stretchy fabric in the back. 
  2. A padded boob area that allows me to go braless (but see Brittany's post on strapless bras if you if you don't wanna.)
  3. It flares with precision. 
  4. Enough of a skirt to twirl, but not too much that it becomes heavy.
  5. I think it was made for my body; belly and all.
  6. IT IS COVERED IN STRAWBERRIES.

Made my point? Though so.

THANKS GUYS FOR THE GREAT RECOMMENDATION. I owe all of you a hug and kiss and the optional opportunity to motorboat these padded babies.





I own 3-4 pairs of these basic black flats at a time. They're from Walmart and are exactly $5. I'm also wearing Dolled Up glasses from BonLook that- because my eyesight is worsening- I love for multiple reasons.


Before you go, I want to make something really clear: In this post, I'm all made-up and femme looking and hourglassey. And this is a real, honest, and authentic representation of me! I look like this! I'm a total babe!

But if there is something that summer has reminded me of (besides the fact that transition is hard and that Devendra Banhart's old stuff is still wonderful) it's that we have a million different looking versions of our outsides. I spent this entire season in bralettes and booty shorts. If I wore mascara it was a miracle. I even took a picture of myself to demonstrate this (here- from the same day these pictures were taken) where I wasn't hourglass and fancy. In fact, I was scrunched and bellyicious and messy and y'know what? That's the real, honest, and authentic me too.

So don't forget that the internet is full of highlight reels. And they're cool. And inspiring. And usually fucking gorgeous. But you don't have to always aim for that level of "shit togetherness." All the versions of us are equally awesome, so why bother?

THANKS FOR THE DRESS Y'ALL. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for just existing. And if you want to leave your fancy pictures and especially NOT fancy pictures below... I'd love to see them.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

10 INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS I FOLLOW AND WHY

You want my Instagram feed. Trust me, you do. The accounts I stalk follow may not add up to much numerically, but I'll tell you what: they're a stellar group. I obviously love them all (my IG real estate feed is valuable to me), but here are 10 I'm enamored with for various reasons currently and why:

A photo posted by Marie Forleo (@marieforleo) on

Marie Forelo: I have a crush (which honestly is now a full-on online boner) on Marie Forelos websites. Her newest one: The Copy Cure does things to me. I admire a woman who is successful and OWNS that success. It's biz porn. Plain and simple.

A photo posted by Virgie Tovar (@virgietovar) on

Virgie Tovar: I follow Virgie for her fuck you attitude and fierce fashion. The end. I have been known to scroll through her pictures on down days where I needed a boost. Works every time.




Matt Diaz: I value male identified voices SO much in this body image movement. You might know Matt from his video that went viral (if you don't, watch it) and I enjoy his selfies and positive affirmations on the daily.


The Tiny Hobo. Valerie is one of my favorite body positive artists. I order buttons from her when I want a special tiny gift for a friend and I CAN'T WAIT TO HAVE A PORTRAIT DONE BY HER.



Mathu Andersen. Stereotypes: break them. BREAK THEM ALL.


Studio Mucci: Gold glitter trolls. Unicorn tears. Sprinkles. Balloons. And every picture gets cuter. Don't know how.




A Feminist Lens. I appreciate the intersectionality and variety of important feminist subjects covered on this account.

A photo posted by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on


Taylor Swift. Just because I'll never be a 6 ft brilliant business woman who is smokin' and knows how to rock a crowd of a million doesn't mean I don't dream of becoming that every single day. #LifeGoals


Melanie Gaydos: I watched Melanie's interview last year... and cried. Then I watched it again. And again. This woman is fierce and kicking ass and will make you question everything you thought you new about modeling.




Body Positive Teen. Want a million memes that will make you smile for a second? Follow this one.

And of course, I enjoy my IG as well. Tell me what your favorite Instagram accounts are! I'm always looking for stellar ones!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I'M 29! AND THE BEST THINGS I LEARNED WHILE 28

This birthday thing keeps happening year after year and each time I make a point to look back and note the progress, projects, and profound realizations that happened in between then and now. (Here's 27 and 26!)

Year 28, guys? Lemme tell ya what- it was a fucking ride. 

For example:
  • I am overjoyed at the amount of fulfillment that I have found so far by doing body image "stuff" full time. What an amazing opportunity! But I am also saddened by the amount of emotional violence and hate that I encounter while doing this. 
  • I wrote a book that I fucking love, but there was blood, sweat and tears that went along with it.  
  • I honed the wonderful skill of removing negativity from my life, but in order to do I had to first experience that negativity.
  • There was an enormous amount of change (even still- I've been absent on the blog lately because of it!) but no matter how wonderful that change may be, there will always be disorientation and the questioning of self that follows. 

This my friends, is called real life. 
And ohmygod how real it is. Y'feel?

BUT FRET NOT! There is still a highlight reel!: I WROTE A FUCKING BOOK IN CASE YOU MISSED MY MILLION HAPPY ANNOUNCEMENTS. I went to the Dancing Man shindig and was able to visit with some of my favorite humans. I took a kajillion mini trips with my man and enjoyed every single minute of them. I just survived two weeks without the internet. I published a million outfit posts. I used a lot of commas and wrote a lot of run-on sentences. I connected with new body image heroes. I hosted my first Modcloth event (what an honor!). I lectured across the country and made new friends while doing so. I discovered Candy Crush. Ohmyfuckinggod I discovered Candy Crush. I wrote my favorite blog post. I learned every word of Bad Blood. I took boudoir photos and didn't die. I spent a lot of meaningful time with my family. 

All of that AND I learned these very important things:


I want you to share with me: what have you learned since your last birthday? Any wisdom you'd like to share with me? I'd love to hear it.

I'm off to practice a karaoke song so I can nail it after a few "trust me shots" tonight. All with my favorite people of course. Wish me luck... I'll need it.

Cheers!

Monday, July 13, 2015

THE BAD-ASS BABE BOOK CLUB / AUGUST READ: DIETLAND


"I keep thinking about something Sarai Walker said the other day at the author talk we did. Someone asked her about what it would take for women to get angry about sexism, diet culture, etc. And she said women are already incredibly angry. They just direct the violence of that anger inward." 
- Virgie Tovar


HI. WELCOME TO THE FIRST MONTH OF THE BAD-ASS BABE BOOK CLUB!

The Bad-Ass Babe Book Club is an online round table filled with all us bad-ass babes (though everyone is welcome!), and focuses on books books written by OTHER bad-ass babes. Fierce female identified writers. That's what we're all about. YOU IN?


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August's selection is Dietland, and comes from suggestions that many of you made in the extra "what would you like to read" box on the survey. For that I thank you! Body positive books are almost always non-fiction and I'm REALLY excited to see what all the hype is about when it comes to this NOVEL written by Sarai Walker.

NPR called Dietland a "Fight Club for women that reclaims the word Fat" and added:
"Alicia "Plum" Kettle works as the ghost-writing voice of Kitty, the notably glamorous and slender editor of Daisy Chain, a teen magazine. She spends many nights at Waist Watchers meetings, and works to save up for weight loss surgery. But then Plum is drawn into a kind of guerilla underground movement of women who set out to upend what they see as the true cost to women of what amounts to a beauty-industrial complex."
I just might pee my pants. That's how excited I become when I see the words "guerilla underground movement", "women" and "beauty-industrial complex" in the same sentence. I have high hopes.

That said, I also have questioning glances. It's been said that it's also part Bridgette Jones Diary. That, AND t
here's been a lot of controversy over the aggression found in the book. I'm looking forward to seeing where my feels fall when it comes to how that anger is executed.

Regardless of my expectations and the fulfilling/failing of them, I'm fucking stoked to open up that book and devour it like I would a carrot cupcake. I loooooooooove carrot cupcakes.

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HERE'S WHAT YOU DO: You get your hands on this book (props if you can support a local bookstore when you do!) and you read it during the month of August. We will then reconvene on the first Monday of September (the 7th- make sure you physically mark your calendar) right here and talk allllllll about our thoughts. We're gonna have a lot. 

I'm hoping to see folks of all shapes, sizes, shades, sexes, and genders getting in on this conversation. The more diversity in viewpoints, the better the discussion is!

So share this with your friends, families and online crushes and I'll see you back here on September 7th!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

BE A GREAT ALLY TO FAT FOLKS BY GETTING NEUTRAL ABOUT FOOD // BEVIN BRANLANDINGHAM


Nothing bums me out faster when I’m about to eat some food than someone commenting about food. Like this, “Oh I’m being SO BAD! I NEVER eat cupcakes!” Or “I really SHOULDN’T EAT THIS!” Or “I wish I could eat THAT but it would make me SO FAT!” Or “You’re lucky you can eat whatever you WANT I will blow up like a BALOON!!!”

If you want to watch a hilarious send up of this phenomenon check out this Amy Schumer skit. Where everything they eat is the bad thing, not killing a gerbil for fun.

Listen, I get it. We live in a fatphobic society where all bodies are vilified. Either you’re fat or you COULD get fat. Living in fear of being fat in a fatphobic society brings out the worst in people. Food is super threatening and triggering of all of those perpetuated fears. We have this contradictory culture in America where we hate on fat bodies yet have all this food that is normalized in the American diet that actually can cause weight gain. Where commercials on TV cycle between McDonalds and Coca-Cola and Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig. What a mind fuck.

Words are SO powerful. When you speak something again and again to yourself or out loud, you are creating truth. I learned early on in my journey to love myself that language was one of the first things to change in order to shift your consciousness. When people shit talk food and bodies, it erodes self-confidence, body love and food enjoyment.

I think the best thing we can do, as fat folks and folks working in solidarity with us, is to refuse to participate in the system of body currency perpetuated by society. A system of body currency, where certain bodies are privileged over other bodies, creates competition, body hatred, feelings of never being enough, endless fear about body change. Body currency doesn’t just affect fat folks, it affects folks with any non-normative body–people of color, older people (we are literally all aging), disabled folks (we are literally all only temporarily able bodied), trans* folks, etc… I learned about body currency from the brilliant Jes Baker of The Militant Baker. Her analysis of why people hate Tess (Munster) Holliday and other fat happy people is totally spot on.
551438_10153458325913223_472698898048493744_nCelebrating a wedding with fancy friends with all different genders and bodies! Photo by Emily Huber of Seeing Through the Hands massage, a favorite body positive massage therapist here in Brooklyn.

Checking out of a system of body currency means assigning no hierarchical value to your body and no hierarchical value to other bodies. It means you love your body AND you leave lots of space for loving all the other kinds of bodies out there.

So you’re sitting around the lunch room at work, out to dinner with friends, at a BBQ at your parents’ house and suddenly everyone is talking about their food being SO BAD, or “I was SO GOOD, I only had three pieces of turkey bacon.” I mean. How alienating. All these people are doing is making food the enemy and turning the top soil of body hatred.

Body hatred for the fat people around them who just sit silently and assume everyone in the room is judging their bodies. Body hatred for the little kids around them are absorbing all of that food shame and body hatred like SPONGES. Body hatred for the people around them who are just trying to enjoy their burgers and don’t want to think about anything but their food enjoyment.

So what do you do when you’re surrounded by the I’M SO BADs of the world?

10277472_10153405563288749_6914403281423525504_n
Me and one of my favorite fat folks with whom to enjoy food, Devon Devine of the SF party Hard French.

When I’m in situations like that with people judging food I have a variety of responses. I’m pretty secure in my body and have a pretty deep analysis of the fatphobia in our culture so I’m fairly resilient to the commentary. I’m also a fat person whose reputation and activism often precedes her so I feel confident piping up with something educational in the moment.

Here are some scripts that I employ:

“Hey, I try to be neutral about food because I think all bodies are good bodies.”

“Hey I’m worried about commenting about the value of food and body insecurity in front of these little ears nearby. I’d love to help them love bodies of all sizes so they don’t end up with food or body issues.”

“Cultivating a culture of food enjoyment is really important to me. I would love to enjoy this delicious food instead of assigning value to it!”


1798876_10153291498942464_5151942065411462089_nJack Dawson wearing a gorgeous outfit. I freaking love the pop of color on the sunglasses and the tie pattern over the shirt and the pocket square. Killing it.


My friend Jack Dawson sent a dispatch from their fatphobic corporate office life that I LOVE. “My female coworkers regularly express their appreciation for me because ‘Jack is SO nice, Jack never judges what I eat, even when I’m sooo unhealthy!’ Pretty much every day at lunch time I find myself saying some version of ‘I actually think that everyone is the boss of their own body and I support people in making whatever choices they want with their bodies, so it’s great that you’re eating what feels good for you today!’ In response to some kind of ‘Don’t judge me!’ or ‘I’m so bad!’ comment from coworkers.”

Being an ally to fat folks is especially important when you are a person of thin privilege. People get especially fatphobic around folks who they don’t perceive as marginalized in that way. My bestie Rachael calls it being a secret agent on behalf of fat folks, so when people hear you speaking truth to the all bodies are worthy of love exactly as they are party line, they are taken by surprise and also sinks in a little better.

10421425_10102336927006350_7030431944225492207_n
This photo was of the time I introduced my friend Leo to Jack Dawson, who we started calling “New Leo” because they both resemble a young Leonardo DiCaprio and also Leo moved away. Photo by my health coach Vic.

If you want to go a little deeper than these scripts, try to create a lifestyle where you are actually neutral about food! I find this a wonderful daily challenge as a person who is fat and proud, who knows what kinds of food I am sensitive to and the effect they have on my body. (I have a chronic digestive disease that is wildly affected by the food I eat.) In my internal monologue, I could say, “I’m being so bad I’m eating this gluteny piece of wedding cake!” But instead I just think to myself, “I am making a choice about participating in the food-centered nature of this celebration and I accept the physical consequences that will surely develop tomorrow. I’ll take a probiotic about it and I will make different choices tomorrow.” Sometimes replacing an internal monologue with something very long that actually explains your feelings and what is happening in a neutral way is really effective in changing the way you think.

I work with my partner on this all the time, too. She is on a super low sugar anti-cancer diet after her experience with breast cancer. (We intend her to be “one and done” with cancer, so we’re employing lots of holistic ways in which we can keep her cancer free.)

In addition to this low-sugar lifestyle, she is an external processor so listening to her process externally about her food gives me the opportunity to support her with reframing her language to be food neutral. It’s also important to me, as a fat person, who is dating a perosn with thin privilege, that she knows her privilege and works with me 100% of the time on team Stepping out of Body Currency. I’ve dated people who were not 100% body positive and it was really shitty.

10996651_10153116129793749_5950987657574205891_nI love Dara a lot, she is super supportive and open to new ways of speaking and being in the world. I feel so grateful to have such a wonderful partner in adventure.


In the words of Nicki Minaj “Life is a journey, I just want to enjoy the ride.” I can’t enjoy my food around folks who are shit talking food. So I do my best to create environments where food enjoyment is valued and food is value-neutral. I invite you to join me, life is much more fun this way!!
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Bevin blogs at The Queer Fat Femme, is quoted in my upcoming book, and is one of my favorite online humans. I'm so thankful that she said yes to the re-posting of this article because many of you have asked for something similar and while I always share this kind of awesome shit on FB it tends to only find 9% of you. SO. Here is another internet bookmark for this message. Which is important. And wonderful. And happily written. THANK YOU BEVIN.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

IT'S OPPOSITE DAY! WHEN OPRAH MAGAZINE SAYS YOU SHOULDN'T, THEY ACTUALLY MEAN YOU SHOULD!

(via

WAHOO! IT'S OPPOSITE DAY Y'ALL! How do I know this? Because Oprah Magazine just said something so ridiculous that they only way it would go to print is if it was available on Opposite Day! What a clever trick Oprah Mag. Well done!

The Internet has it's panties in a twist today because of a Q&A answer found in the latest Oprah Magazine that reads:

Can I still pull off a crop top?  
 If (and only if!) you have a flat stomach, feel free to try one. For more coverage, layer the top over a longer shirt as shown in look two.

But cant you see, Internet?!? It's (either a huge typo or) just a fancy play on Opposite Day!

I know.
I know it's neither. But a girl can dream. Right?
Sigh.

It's not like Oprah + her company is notorious for championing body positivity (if anything, the empire was built on the opposite) but it's always sad when large companies have ignorant media representatives that promote the opposite of empowerment, when this is what Oprah Mag is "all about". If we're gonna be honest, this sidebar is just another case of a "behind the scenes worker" projecting their own body bullshit onto the world... and it has nothing to do with you or I and how we live our lives. And maybe it has nothing to do with what Oprah believes herself. Maybe.

Regardless, we can use this fuck-up as an opportunity to rebel against this opinion which (isn't original in any way and) is held by many who believe the expensive brainwashing we're all subjected to. Here's the truth: when someone says you CAN'T do something you want to, that's a clear invitation to say YES I CAN and do that thing like a motherfucking champion.

SO, if you've always wanted to wear a crop top, NOW IS THE TIME. Here are nine in plus-sizes (though make no mistake- not all straight sized women have "flat stomachs" either!) for inspiration:

1 // 2 // 3

1 // 2 // 3

1 // 2 // 3

And with this amazing quote by the woman who took the first image, I close this post:
"Surprised to see this level of #bodyshaming in Oprah magazine. The feature is about women feeling healthy. Part of health is self-esteem and that's intrinsically connected to body image. Stop telling women what they CAN'T wear. We can wear and do and be ANYTHING that makes us feel strong, powerful, passionate and in charge of our own destinies. I hope young women and women of any age don't feel like they're restricted by editorially imposed fashion "rules." The only rules are there are no rules. Wear what you love, what makes you feel confident, and own it. Confidence is power, and it's contagious."  - Tamar 

Amen Tamar. Confidence is power, and it's contagious.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

I WEAR WHAT I WANT: MY 3 FAVORITE ("FUCK OFF BEAUTY STANDARDS!") TOPS


I've accumulated a several amazing tops recently that scream FUCK OFF BEAUTY STANDARDS! and they're just too good to not share.



Riots Not Diets tank top: I love a good crop top, but I also love the length on this shirt. It's comfortable, giant, and awesome enough for an older man to exclaim "EXACTLY!" when I walked by him the other night. The shorts are ALSO comfy! They're Jeggings that SWAK sent me last year and I had them made into shorts for $10 by a local tailor. Best idea ever. Sandals are from here, and they're my favorite of the summer. Not pictured in sandal pic: the epic backs that have "leather mesh". Oh, AND they're on sale for  $21. Yep. Schmexxxy.




Diet Industry Drop Out crop top: SHAWNA THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS SHIRT. I think I gasped when I saw it online (it goes up to 5x) and immediately purchased it without thinking twice. I chopped the neckline and sleeves as I often do and it's definitely a summer staple. The skirt is an old Target find (and I cant find another anywhere- sorry!) and I simply LOVE these feminine ankle strap flats!




I <3 Pizza/Fries/Donut tank top: A few years ago I wouldn't have worn this anywhere; I wasn't brazen enough. It's a fascinating thing: if a straight sized gal wears such a shirt it's considered cute and quirky. But a fat lady? Disgusting and shameful and dear god fat women just should NOT. Girl, whenever someone tells me I shouldn't wear something... I'm gonna fuckin' wear it. It's a tad shorter than expected, but it challenges me to stop giving such a fuck about my midriff which is a gift in and of itself. I also love the side bra/cleavage reveal. Oh, and it's also on sale. LUCKY DAYZ.


And remember the post about fat girl shorts? I ordered these and love them even more than the last ones! They're similar fabric but shorter and more suited to my body shape. JUST LOOK HOW SMOOTH THEY ARE. These kick-ass shorts would fit a size 18/20 and smaller, and I heard great things about the last pair so I'm confident in recommending them. And those shoes are sadly a thrift find, but you can try these!

Do you have any fuck off shirts you love to wear? Leave a picture or link below and I'll check them out! And, if I'm gonna be honest... I'll probably order them. Fuck Off shirts are my favorite kind.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

ADVERTISE ON THE MILITANT BAKER IN JULY!

(The Virgster and I at Fractured Donuts being all cute and shit... just for you!)

I'm terrible at reminding you of this, but I'll make up for it by typing like I mean it in all caps: YOU CAN ADVERTISE ON THE MILITANT BAKER AND IT'S AWESOME!

Between you and me, July is gonna be a good month. After a severe case of writing burnout (from finishing that goddamn book- which BTW the audio version is now available!), I finally have some creative juices flowing again. Yes, I'm just as stoked as you are.


There are a few reasons why you're gonna wanna advertise.
#1: Your ads support the time I invest in the blog, so fuckin' a- thanks for your support! 
#2: The Militant Baker (while it varies) receives on average, around half a million hits a month. That's a bunch. 
#3: Passionfruit Ads lets you see how many times your ad is viewed/clicked so you can keep track of your biz. 
 #4: Because you’ll be part of TMB sidebar team. We're a cool bunch and we like beer and dirty jokes. Come join us.

OH. AND #5: Because there's a discount available this month only! Use the code: JULY15 for an easy 15% off any size your heart desires.


There are several different types of ads, all of which can be viewed here. (If you cant find it, click this instead.) Choose the size you'd like to, hit "add to cart", then "proceed to checkout". From there it will prompt you for the rest. Enter your info, upload your ad image (if you need one I’ll make it!) and pay for the spot using that special promo code! Your ad will go up right after approval and stay up for 30 days no matter when you purchase it. It’s like magic.

Additionally: There is now a giveaway option. Get on it!

I love you all. 
SWEATY KISSES FROM ARIZONA.

P.S. My dress is from Target and yes it's still available <3

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

FAT PALS: CHUB CLUB LOVE WHEREVER YOU ARE


A kajillion of you have asked if I know the best way to connect with plus size babes where you live. And honestly, unless you live in Tucson, I have no idea.

BUT. FEAR NOT.

Rachele from Rad Fat Vegan has created the solution! Fat Pals.

CHECK IT:
"Connect with other fat identified folks if you feel overwhelmed by negativity or need a friend. Send and receive positive messages, artwork, encouragement, etc. Take part in Fat Pals girl gang activities and action. Complete the below survey and Rachele will match you with a Fat Pal! You may also receive messages or mail from Rachele Cateyes. Please be safe and do not share anything that would put you in danger. Rachele will not disclose your address to your Fat Pal unless it is a PO box. PO boxes are encouraged but if you decide to share your address with your Fat Pal yourself, that is up to you. You may sign up as much as you would like, just make sure you send at least one thing to each Fat Pal you are assigned. No sexism, racism, ableism, homophobia, fatphobia, transphobia, diet talk or general hatefulness allowed. All gender identities and sizes welcome. Share your positive messages! #fatpals"

How fucking amazing is that?


Fat Pals Girl Gang Mission
- Bomb the blogs of fat girls that need it with encouraging comments.
- Attack our fat pals with letters, art and chub love.
- Fight negativity with comradery.
- Take our bad assery into the real world and out from behind our screens.


If you'd like to sign up, here's the link! Happy pal-ing!

Friday, June 26, 2015

FIERCE VISIBLE BELLY OUTLINES FTW!


Oh, the fierce and flabulous Visible Belly Outline.

Also called the VBO, (according to this fantastic Tumblr) the definition is:
Visible Belly Outline; that protruding shape that pushes from under your clothes when they are a certain material or tightness. It comes it different sizes and shapes: some are round, some are square, some are perky and some sag, some are smooth, some are lumpy.
The Tumblr then says:
"Let’s make our bellies visible instead of trying to hide them and show everyone how fabulous of an accessory a belly can be!"
WHAT A FUCKING IDEA! You mean... I don't have to hide my belly? Like, I can even accessorize it and flaunt it with reckless abandon? I'm SO IN.

Guys, I love spandex. NOT SPANX. SPANDEX. I love the way it looks. I love the way it feels. I love the way it hugs my fat body like it just doesn't wanna let go. And for the longest time I never let myself wear it because: the horror!!!

My belly is the last part of me I'm learning to love and it's not always easy. I know that is partially because I never see fat bellies positively represented... well, anywhere. We are all so easily conditioned and the lack of visible and sexy VBOs (plus the abundance of super flat sexy torsos in every ad ever) has us convinced that a belly outline isn't allowed to make an appearance in our world. And, like every other body rule, this is bullshit.

SO HERE. I HAVE COMPILED 44 AMAZING VBOS FOR YOU TO ADMIRE:





Did you look closely at them all? Did you notice the sexy shapes? The smiles? The middle fingers? The bad-assery radiating off these gorgeous humans? Good.

Now go back to the top and look again.

If you did this twice, you're already starting to retrain your brain and normalize the diversity of shapes we have in our world. Good job! Follow every body positive Tumblr you can get your hands on and continue this practice. It will make a difference.

Now, know that after you look at these, you don't have to run out and by a bodycon dress or skintight pencil skirt. And you definitely don't have to immediately start loving your belly. But what I DO want you to do is entertain the idea that all of these people are amazing. Fierce. Fucking HOT. And they're rocking something our world tells us we can't.

Think about that. 'Cause you can do it too. I'm starting TODAY. You with me?

All images are from FuckYeahVBO- click for more!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

5 THINGS I LOVED ABOUT #BLC15

(Thanks Lisa Roden for the images!)
We've all been recovering from that exhausting weekend, but I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge how hard the volunteer team worked and how amazing the event was. Even though it was supposed to be a small regional/local event, we sold out and had almost as many attendees we did last year. People came from all over the world to join us and I'm honored. Five things I loved about this year:1.) Diversity was far more present than last year. BLC14 wasn't what it could have been; it was female focused and while there was some variety and inclusion in the workshops, there could have been so much more. It was great to create the space for such an event and this year couldn't have happened with out it... but we wanted more. I loved the panels, lectures, and emcees we had this year. I loved having teens there. I loved the energy that each person brought. There were more shapes, sizes, sexes, shades, genders, and ages than before and this progress was wonderful.


2.) I loved the ticket price. While it was a really no frills event, it was still incredible and the team somehow was able to make it happen with tickets that were $25 and teens were free. They also were able to offer free admission for anyone who's budget didn't allow the fee. I can't tell you how expensive (and exhausting) these events are and I'm amazed and appreciative that the volunteer group managed to make this happen.



3.) It happened. There was a huge learning curve this year and several plans didn't pan out as expected. And while I hear this is normal, it was still difficult. I stepped back to write a book and trusted the team to create the event. THEY DID and THEY DID IT IN FIVE MONTHS. Hot damn.



4.) There was a dance party at the end. It was a really unconventional way to close the conference, but Kristen Nelson led everyone in a series of movements to "Flawless." Everyone was encouraged to participate at their comfort level and it was wonderful to release the energy accumulated throughout the day.



5.) It was imperfect. There is still a long way to go. I hope to see more diversity next year, more inclusion, more opportunities for attendees to connect and the creation of a more supportive environment that allows everyone to process what they've learned. There are so many opportunities for growth next year and I can't wait to see what the team comes up with.



I love the social media team for collecting experiences. Well done!

See you next year?