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Tuesday, July 22, 2014



Well hello! I'm pleased to report that I've returned from a weekend that was hijacked by depression! IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE!

No, really.

I've been managing my depression very consciously for years now, and still... when it hits, it feels like it might never go away. I found myself sobbing for no discernible reason; my logical brain knew that things weren't as bad as they seem, but my emotional brain ran the motherfucking show. Getting out of bed seemed impossible and I was convinced that staying under the covers and not telling anyone was the best option. My basic activities in life (like showering and laundry) seemed insurmountable, my relationships all of a sudden seemed broken and my life's purpose (yes, all the wonderful things I do) seemed pointless. It's a grim place to be, I'lltellyawhat.

But I like to talk about it.

Why? Because I can. Because I'm not ashamed. And because, as someone that some people look up to, it's important to share that something like this affects me too. It affects me, it affects others, and none of us need to feel any shame about the situation because...

Your depression is not your fault.

Didja hear that? Again: Your depression is not your fault. Hear it that time? Okay good. In the midst of particularly rough night, I posted a FB status that said

"Chronic and crippling depression is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with, and I've dealt with some SHIT.
Holler if ya hear me!"

After reading the 350 "hollers" that followed, I found myself thinking: Man. I hope all these beautiful people know that this depression stuff isn't their fault.
So I'm here to make sure that you do.

Depression is common. 350 MILLION of us experience it. It affects all ages. All genders. All sexes. All people. It doesn't discriminate. And it's not our fault.

We often hear those who don't understand say things like "Snap out of it." "Try harder" "Get some sleep and you'll feel better." And "If you would just _fillintheblank_ more, you'd feel better." All of this implying that our hurt and pain is bad, shameful, fabricated, or insignificant. Aint true, y'all.

Here is why it's not our fault: we are simply a product of our chemistry and younger experiences, and we cannot control either. We are born into the body that we are, for better and for worse. Our biological makeup dictates a lot of how we see the world.

We are also a sum of our experiences. From the moments in utero to our childhood memories to what we do now- it's all a continuing chain of internalized data that we did not choose. The beginning affects the end and everything in between. As adults now, we can choose how our lives progress, but of course our nature and nurture have set us up with the tools we have.

My point: to feel guilt and shame about a neurological condition that has been out of your control isn't necessary. That's all. So release yourself from that shit, and maybe you'll be able to focus your energy on what you want to see happen now.

I can't love this video more:

If you ever find yourself needing to talk to someone about your depression,  I'd suggest calling this 24 hours hotline: Mental Health Crisis Hotline // Call: 1-800-273-TALK. Those in other countries have suggestions for a crisis hotline?

How do you feel about depression? Do you identify with the video? What do you do to feel better? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Last year, around this time, I was a panelist on the BBC's World Service Newshour on their medical obesity "special."  And boy, I was both honored and terrified. I spend countless hours researching the larger issue of bodies, talking to medical professionals, and getting my statistics straight. And the beautiful thing that came out of it was a clear understanding that body love was a global necessity. It became apparent that body love was much bigger than warm fuzzies, learning to take a compliment or looking in the mirror. 

Body love is a lifestyle. A movement. A complete cultural paradigm shift. And body love is a critical revolution that both men and women need to improve their lives.

THIS YEAR, around this time... I was presenting my first TED talk at a Tucson salon. I was again... honored and terrified. I spent countless hours organizing and reorganizing my thoughts. Talking to speaking coaches, and getting my statistics straight. There is something stressful about having such a large message to share... and needing it to be clear, concise, engaging, and, yeah. Under 18 minutes or else it doesn't count. OH, and it's going to be recorded, so you better not fuck it up either!

But several beautiful things came out of this experience: an opportunity to share a short message with the world. The clarity that this is what I should be doing. And the outline for my upcoming book.

Is it a perfect talk? No, definitely not. 

It's flawed, because I am flawed, and that's called real life. BUT, I'm thrilled to have been able to offer this amount of information in a video format. I'm thrilled to have this be one more stepping stone along my journey of body advocacy.

I'm just thrilled. 
So there.

Wanna dig deeper?

For more about the Body Love Conference check out the website.
For information about the Attractive and Fat campaign, click here or here.
Ten years of self portraits, and why it's important to love yourself now can be found here.
To learn more about the history behind why we've learned to hate ourselves, read this.
For more about Health at Every Size read this book. No really, read it. And then click this link.
I talk about mental health here.
Wanna diversify your media feed? Try starting here.
Thoughts about body shaming all shapes can be found here.
More about that famous photographer? Meet Substantia.

AND, if you want to bring me to you so I can share the full 50-90 minute presentation (complete with Q&A and hugs!), click here!

Here is the truth: body love is for everyone. Men, women and everyone in between. It's for every size, shape and shade. It's for all ages. It's for every human on this planet and it's needed oh so much. 

Somehow the concept that every person is worthy of self-love is still controversial, but I'm here to tell you that self-love doesn't have to be exclusionary. You do not have to compete for self-adoration by changing yourself into what Society deems as "acceptable." Body love does not have to be earned. You have the right and opportunity to fall in love with yourself totally and completely. As you are. Right now.

Wanna know how I know? Because this is what I do for a living. Because this is what I've studied. Because this is what I've seen as a mental health professional. Because this is what I have personally experienced.
Body love is a lifestyle. A movement. A complete cultural paradigm shift. A critical revolution. And it's a journey that no one else can stop you from taking. So give the media and the haters the finger and move forward like the body warrior you are, y'hear?

I've always got your back.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Virgie Tovar is my inspiration. My gold choker wearing, public pizza eating, unapologetic sex talking, fierce face making, truth spouting, vintage dress donning, motherfucking inspiration. As I've been falling in love with my boy, I've been watching (via Facebook friendship) as she falls in love with hers. It's been both hilarious and touching. And today she wrote something that hit me so hard I nearly cried. I identify with this word for word, and am beyond  honored she is sharing this with all of us at The Militant Baker. And while I want to talk more about the concept of being whole without a significant other, there is something to accepting the fact that they can be part of your healing process too:

A few days ago my boyfriend said something that healed the little fat girl inside me:

"You're the whole package."

It's funny/sad/to-be-expected-I-guess that I keep finding little creepy ass fat shame skeletons in my closet and wounds I thought had long been healed.

When he said it I felt tingly and flattered, but I also felt a little bit surprised. And that surprised feeling kinda surprised me.

I was taught that my fat body was what prevented me from being whole and definitely prevented me from being anyone's idea of a whole package.

I was taught that no one would love me and if they were with me it was because they couldn't do any better.

These beliefs have made it difficult to feel safe in romantic relationships and get close to people I date and love. That's how fatphobia and other systems of discrimination and oppression work: they isolate us from love and an understanding of our intrinsic value, worth and beauty.

This week I dedicated a bunch of time to finishing edits for an article I wrote for the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Journal.

At first I didn't want to talk about the role that men played in my story of healing. Even though I wrote really (REALLY) openly about it in Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion this time I was writing for an academic audience and I was afraid of how it would be received by other feminist scholars.  But my editors pushed me to talk about the ways I came to heal my relationship to my body. And leaving my boos out of that story would have been a dishonest omission.

I realized in writing about that journey, that it was my friends and community who helped me survive and who brought me back into my body. Yes, my partners and lovers have played a part in my recovery from the debilitating fatphobia I had internalized. And yes those people have historically been dudes. But the bigger story was that they weren't just boyfriends. They became a part of my community. Just like the friends I wasn't sleeping with, they helped me see the world in a different way and they helped me see my place within that world differently. They saw me, and our shared sexual connection did not diminish their contribution to my healing. And that is something I am, honestly, still processing.

For a long time I have placed my boyfriends outside of my community, both actually and psychologically. As a feminist with my past, men have long been a source of suspicion, even (and maybe especially) the men I let into my life intimately.

My community of fat and fat positive friends has been the most pivotal part of becoming the person/femme/activist-badass I am today.

My boos aren't outside of that community.

So when my boyfriend told me I was the whole package, he helped me to see something about myself that I apparently couldn't see for myself. And I love him for that.

So today I'd like to talk about how I'm the Whole Motherfucking Package (WMFP)! I'd like to define what that means and in such tell you why you're the WMFP too.

The WMFP is someone who has a complicated and at times difficult history and who has the capacity to heal from that past.

The WMFP is someone who sees that their CURRENT body as it exists RIGHT NOW is central to their WMFP-ness.

The WMFP is someone who knows who they are and fights to be that person.

The WMFP is someone who knows how to take lemons and turn them into fucken delicious alcoholic beverages or has the capacity to be that person.

The WMFP is someone who has room in their heart to hold other people.

The WMFP knows that traditional, oppressive standards of beauty based in sizeism, racism, ableism and ageism are fucken TI-RED. The WMFP is someone who is working to define their own beauty.

The WMFP is not strong all the time and doesn't feel like a badass all the time. The WMFP can be vulnerable and tender too.

What does being The Whole Motherfucken Package mean to you?


I get to see, hug, and (if I'm lucky) slap the ass on this fantabulous woman next week. I simply can't wait. If you haven't read the book she's edited: Hot and Heavy... well you should. It changed everything for me when I read it. You can find more of Virgie's blogs here AND she'll be the keynote at the online Fat Activism Conference that you're welcome to join

Before you go, I'll ask as well: What does the Whole Motherfuckin' Package mean to you?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


The internet has fallen in love Carol Rossetti and her message, and rightfully so.

For the last week, the Brazilian Graphic Artist has been heralded, lorded, and virtually hugged by millions all over the world. The reason being: her series of illustrations featuring women of all kinds paired with the reality checks we all need.

What started out as practice to hone her drawing skills has become a beautiful voice on feminism, ablelism, racism, and gender acceptance. It's something I support a million percent. It's something I would cover my walls with. It's something that made me feel weepy the moment I started looking at the images. I asked permission to share her work and when she shot back a "Yes!" I promptly collected a few of my favorites:

There are dozens of other images just like these on her Facebook, and also on her Tumblr. I would recommend looking at both. One of my favorites is this one addressing "Real Men Love Curves."As I scrolled through her work, I recognized several of these women (like Whitney Thore) and I started to wonder what my image would say. Truthfully, there are multiple things to say. But, because I already identified with so many of these, I forced myself to think of another area of social commentary that has attempted to play a role in my life. I chose:

"Jes has both a mental illness and a million dreams. The world tells her that having a diagnosis means that you're broken and are unlikely to succeed. Jes, that is bullshit. You know your brain better than anyone and you know that it's brilliant. You also know that something perceived as a weakness can be re-framed as a super strength! You are capable of anything you put your mind to and more! Get it, girl."

If you were to make an image of yourself for yourself... what would it say? Write it out for me and leave it below. It feels really good to identify, clarify and share... Trust me.

And lets all send Carol a hug right now, because that woman is a rockstar.

Sunday, July 13, 2014



Snapshot Sunday is my chance to share photos that would otherwise stay hidden in the archives on my memory card!  I love scrolling through my smartphone's gallery upon occasion; remembering all the little moments that I thoughtfully captured... and then promptly forgot about. I don't always get to share all these precious memories through social media, so here on Snapshot Sundays, I'll invite you to share in those forgotten simple moments. It's an unfiltered, weekly peek into my day to day adventures! Welcome!


1.) The vinyards at Hops & Vines were so picturesque. 2.) Lilac colored trees against a brewing storm. 3.) This cute boy at the winery. 4.) Kisses in the desert. 5.) We cooked everything in our outdoor kitchen. This is Handsome getting serious about garlic prep. 6.) The Walker Ranch that we had all to ourselves. 7.) Swing set! 8.) We would wake up, jump in the pool, make coffee, jump in the pool, eat food, jump in the pool... you get the idea. 9.) Skipping stones. I pretended not to see most of them. 10.) Pond exploration. 11.) Guadalupe shrines in town. 12.) Being in love is pretty fucking rad.

What did your week hold? Share some pictures below!
And this week make sure you go on adventures and document them so you can post them next Sunday!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Things to know:

1.) I had purple hair. Twice.
2.) I fully support small businesses.
3.) I have kick-ass friends who do kick-ass things.

All that = right here, right now.

So, the purple. Obviously, as you see above... it was awesome. And the purple eyebrows made it even more awesome. I tried the vibrant color first when I was 22, and then a few years after that again. The honest truth about this story, though? When I dyed my hair purple the first time, I only kept it for a month.

The reason behind this being: I was so insecure about taking up space as a fat woman that I was worried that purple hair made me TOO visible. That I would draw MORE attention to myself, and this would allow MORE people to judge me and my appearance. A damn shame, right?

It was a shame because I loved it. But, the happy ending is- that the second time around, I kept it for years. By then, I had graduated to the point in life where I cared less about what other people thought and more about what I liked. To dye your hair a vibrant color IS defiance in a way; you're saying- "I stand out. You can see me. And I'm totally okay with that." It was empowering.

Now the thing about dying your hair purple (or red, or teal, or pink or...) is that it fades like a motherfucker. That's where #2 and #3 from above came in. The reason I went back to my natural color the second time was because it just felt like too much maintenance. There wasn't a way to keep the color from fading instantly and this meant a million trips to the hair stylist.

Do you remember Liora? The photographer behind the Abercrombie and Fitch photos? Well, her and her fiery orange-headed friend Maegan came up with an answer, and it's organically based, feminist founded and all kinds of cool shit... and I wanna support them and their killer new business. They've started oVertone, which is this bad-ass company that sells color depositing conditioner with vibrant color in it that revamps your hair every time you wash it. If I had this, then.. well, I might have kept it longer. They're doing this cool towel challenge where you take a picture of your towel after you wash your hair and the dye is everywhere, and then tweet/Fb it with hashtags #towelart #overtone. If you join in, you get 10% off the order. I love any kind of discounts... so I'm in. If you're thinking about dying hair, or need to maintain your already colorful 'do, I would recommend checking them out.

Ah, purple.

I kind of miss it guys. And I really miss wearing clashing red with it. One of my favorite pictures is the time I went to Mass at the San Xavier Mission. I decided to take pictures next to a dilapidated structure... and got so. Fucking. Stuck. In  the WORST mud. I had to be rescued by THREE trucks, and the contrast of the help and surroundings compared to me was epic. Proof:

I'm going to change my hair color again sometime, and purple suits me. And when I do, I'll probably enlist Liora and Maegan to help me keep the vibrancy and my sanity.

Have you ever dyed your hair a wild color? If you could dye it any color, which would it be? My other choice would probably be turquoise...

Sunday, July 6, 2014



Snapshot Sunday is my chance to share photos that would otherwise stay hidden in the archives on my memory card!  I love scrolling through my smartphone's gallery upon occasion; remembering all the little moments that I thoughtfully captured... and then promptly forgot about. I don't always get to share all these precious memories through social media, so here on Snapshot Sundays, I'll invite you to share in those forgotten simple moments. It's an unfiltered, weekly peek into my day to day adventures! Welcome!


1.) Truck stop diners are THE BEST. 2.) My beautiful friend Chelsea and I enjoyed late afternoon drinks. 3.) Shooting range dates are fucking fun. 4.) I'm not terrible with a rifle. 5.) When it's wet and warm you wear summer dresses with winter boots. It's weird, but it's Tucson in July. 6.) A wishing fountain covered with bees. 7.) Liora and I take cronuts very seriously. 8.) He doesn't understand why I don't want to cuddle when its 110 degrees. I've tried to explain it.

What did your week hold? Share some pictures below!
And this week make sure you go on adventures and document them so you can post them next Sunday!

Thursday, July 3, 2014


GUYS. There is something amazing coming up.

It's a virtual conference about FAT ACTIVISM. Like, the most radical of body love subjects. And I, along with the best of the best in Body Love will be participating.

Check out these topics covered! I'll be a part of the Shameless Self Promotion Panel.  Often activists can be shy about self-promotion as well as unsure as to how to go about it, this panel is created to address both of these, and guys... Imma pro at this.  The panel will be 60 minutes including Q&A! ASK ME ALL YR QUESTIONS.

In addition to that, the conference will include GIANT BODY LOVE NAMES like Virgie Tovar, Tigress Osborn, Linda Bacon, Louise Green, Sonya Renee Taylor, Whitey Thore, Marilyn Wann, and a dozen more.

It's gonna be a remote conference so you can listen on your telephone or on your computer from the comfort of your house. Skip the travel costs and join us while you wear your PJs. Kinda awesome, yeah?

The best part: it's $39 OR you can pay-what-you-can. TOTALLY accessible for all. I fucking love that.

See you there, bitches!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Just in case you missed the memo, there is a new size in town. Size zero is old news, and the double zero is so last year. Right now, everyone is obsessed with the trend of becoming a size triple zero.

Yes. It's a thing.

Metro explains: "American shoppers are now able to buy size triple zero clothes; with very small 23-inch waists, the same size waistband in fact as 6-8 year-old girls would typically wear." They go on to talk about "vanity sizing," the Hollywood push to become thinner, and the impracticality of it all. But before we play too much into the dramatics, lets put this concept in context.

See, there isn't anything wrong with having "pencil thin legs" or "sharp collar bones," as many may suggest. Bodies rest at different weights naturally; some of us are small and some are large. Simply a fact of life. I have no idea what size Lizzie Velasquez wears (have you seen her TED talk?), but I'm going to guess its smaller than we think. And it's not because of her quest to become the desirable size; it's because of a rare syndrome that it makes it impossible for her to gain weight. 64 pounds is her bodies natural size. This body type totally exists.

Seeing tiny bodies in our media isn't the problem; the permeation of the thought that smaller bodies are worth more is. Not only because it's simply not true, but because it affects all women whether we know it or not.

So I'm not going to say that a triple zero is an "unnatural" size for everyone; there are obviously exceptions to this statement. Lizzie is, but she's one of two people in the world that have Neonatal Progeroid Syndrome. The point? Triple zero isn't impossible, but highly improbable for the large majority of the world. A fact you might not know: More women report wearing a size 16 than a 0,2, and 4 combinedwhich goes to show that a 23 inch waist should probably be a moot discussion for almost all women. Most women won't ever be able to attain a triple zero body, and the harm comes from thinking that they must to be found worthy and the journey that follows. The journey paved with failure, self loathing, perceived inadequacy and more.

Because a triple zero is an impossible goal for most women, critics are labeling this trend as "horrifying." Disturbing. Concerning. Cataclysmic. And I get that. But aren't all of societies messages that cause you to hate your body horrifying, disastrous, and cataclysmic? They all take a negative toll on our psyche, body, and life. What I'm trying to say is: the "Triple Zero" phenomenon is just another trend that highlights the extreme inferiority that our society peddles for profit. And while the higher value placed on it is definitely complete bullshit, I propose that the trend might actually have an upside.

The fact that the triple zero body is so unattainable for nearly all of us actually offers this positive opportunity: to band all women together to reject the impossible body standards we see. Until now, we have seen a separation of shapes, "straight sizes" vs. "plus sizes." Women occasionally choose to shoot the other down to build themselves up- thin women calling larger women "lazy" and large women calling thin women "sellouts." Neither of these are true, and maybe it takes a standard that almost no one can truly reach to help us realize that we are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. We are ALL told that we are inferior in one way or another; it's time we stop pitting ourselves against each other and start loving ourselves as we are.

Ultimately though, what others decide to do with their bodies is none of my business. If aiming for a 23 inch waist is what they feel is important, well, it's their life and their rules. But I hope for each and every single person that we can learn why we've learned to hate ourselves, how to embrace the body we have, and how to see the beauty in others.

Maybe the absurdity of triple zero will push us all closer to the truth.
One can hope.

What do YOU think of this trend? Horrible? Helpful? Attainable? Ridiculous?

Shout it out!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


SO, it's my handsome boyfriend's birthday next week. A little about him: he's unbelievably wonderful. He also loves bicycles. Like, a lot. Like he rides them in 110 degree heat because he hearts them so hard. How adorable/bizarre, amiright?

Only mildly related: I have issues with giving gifts. I find myself going round and round about what the person would like. Will they enjoy it? Do they actually want it? Will it become another piece of clutter? Why do we feel so obligated to buy shit for others? Am I giving for the right reasons? And on and on it goes. Does anyone else do this?

So occasionally I gift things like wine or flowers; something that makes you feel good and doesn't fill the recipients life with unnecessary junk. But in this case, I wanted to get Mr. Handsome something rad; I just didn't know what. I was thrilled when Uncommon Goods contacted me.

As I flipped through their site, I quickly found and got stuck on a page full of bicycle items. MY PRAYERS FOR MY GIFT GIVING WERE ANSWERED. These were my 8 favorites:

And as if this collection of choices wasn't enough, I found out that they have a non-profit that has resources for women who are survivors of war and they start their employees at double minimum wage. That shit matters to me guys. I was sold.

My choice was easy: the guy also loves frozen pizza. Can you guess which one I chose for him?

I dunno if you have a gifting opportunity coming up, but they also have "Lady" gifts (Magazine holders, shaped like buildings? Yes please), personalized options, and assorted birthday ideas too. It reminds me of the SkyMall catalog... only fucking awesome. And for a good cause.

Hopefully he doesn't read this, because what a shame it would be to know that you have a damn cute pizza cutter coming your way before it arrives.

Do you have a bicycle aficionado in your life? What would you give them for their birthday? Gimme more ideas!

Monday, June 30, 2014


I have a confession: when I was younger I prayed to need glasses. I wasn't the kid who was afraid that I would be called "four-eyes," I was the kid that maintained that I would be infinitely cooler if I had some kick ass frames.

Another confession: I wanted glasses so much that I wore a faux pair during my hipster years. 

Well, I got my wish for poor vision years later- I cant see shit past 3 feet, and now I actually need those goddamnwonderful spectacles for daily wear! Hurrah?!?

I've been wanting to ditch my super basic glasses for a while now, and Warby Parker has heard my plea for the adorable + the affordable + the easy to try on. Yes, all those things.

When I found out about their home try on service, I was ecstatic- and rightfully so. When you've been wanting cool-as-shit glasses for a decade, you wanna make sure they're perfect. Warby Parker gets it; they let you pick out five frames, ships them (for free), try them on for 5 days, and then lets you ship them back (for free) before purchasing. OMG THIS IS WHAT MY DREAMS ARE MADE OF! And to be honest, I'm really glad I got to look at them in person, because I simply didn't love any of the first five. The second batch of five? Well, there were some DAMN good ones. And I want your help choosing my new glasses! I picked my three favorite and I wanna know which ones YOU think fit this cutesy face:

1 // 2 // 3

I'm torn, so your input would send me over the moon. Which ones do you love? TELL ME ALL THE THINGS. And after I order them, you can expect to see the chosen pair in some future outfit posts, since y'know, seeing is cool and all.

This is how happy seeing things clearly makes me:


Which ones would you choose for yourself? And have you ever tried "Home Try-On" glasses before? What was your experience? 

Saturday, June 28, 2014



Snapshot Sunday is my chance to share photos that would otherwise stay hidden in the archives on my memory card!  I love scrolling through my smartphone's gallery upon occasion; remembering all the little moments that I thoughtfully captured... and then promptly forgot about. I don't always get to share all these precious memories through social media, so here on Snapshot Sundays, I'll invite you to share in those forgotten simple moments. It's an unfiltered, weekly peek into my day to day adventures! Welcome!



1.) I'll probably always have a million cat pictures. This is Inga. She's a bitch. And I love her. 2.) The carousel at the Tanque Verde Swap Meet. 3.) Highlife is for lovers. 4.) I have a rainbow keyboard (from Kidecals) and a fan because it's SO GODDAMN HOT on the cafe patios. #AZProblems. 5.) Kitten naps. 6.) A quick John Waters inspired CandyStrike fashion show before the showing of Cry Baby on the big screen! 7.) Food Conspiracy Co-op produce makes my world go round.

For images that DID make it on teh interwebz, you can visit my Instagram!

So, I think you should take pictures of your adventures and post them here every Sunday. Show me what you're up to... and if you're not up to anything take a picture of that too! Lets catch up!

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