Tuesday, March 24, 2015

ADVERTISE ON THE MILITANT BAKER! (ALL THE COOL KIDS ARE DOING IT)


I keep forgetting to tell you guys that advertising on The Militant Baker is both easy and rad. So I'll tell you now: ADVERTISING ON THE MILITANT BAKER IS EASY AND RAD.


There are a few reasons why you're gonna wanna advertise.
#1: Your ads support the time I invest in the blog, which is a shit ton of my time and life, so fuckin' a- thanks for your support! 
#2: The Militant Baker receives on average, around half a million hits a month. That's a consistent 500k... which is a bunch. 
#3: Passionfruit Ads lets you see how many times your ad is viewed/clicked so you can keep track of your biz.
OH AND- #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.

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. 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- someone told me that smart bloggers have giveaway option, so now I LOOK LIKE A SMART BLOGGER! Have a product you think readers would love? Have your own blog post here, host a giveaway, get some rad exposure, give rad people rad shit, and make more humans like you! Sounds like a good deal. Lets partner up!

Thanks for all your smiles, support, and loving internet slaps on the ass, y'all.
You're great.

Monday, March 23, 2015

FIVE CHANCES TO HEAR ME SPEAK IN THE NEXT THREE WEEKS!


I met a whole group (called a blessing- Google it) of magical feminist Unicorns at Williams. I loved them all.

Bitches, I'm speaking five times in only a few weeks, and so I wanted to let you know where. Y'know, JUST in case you can make it and want to come get an official Jes Baker lecture and hug. Now that I'm thinking about it, what I really need to do is keep an official page updated with up and coming speaking times, but for now this post will have to do. (EDIT: I PUT THEM ALL HERE)

Come visit, listen, roll your eyes at me and have your goddamn minds blown. Where? Here:

March 25th // Missouri Western State University (St. Joseph, MO)
March 29th // Arcadia University // (Glenside, PA)

April 1st //  Houston, Texas (TBA- leave a comment and I'll tag you with the details!)
April 6th // Monroe Community College  (Rochester, NY)
April 8th //  First Unitarian Church of Rochester (Rochester, NY)


Search their events/contact the universities for the times if you're interested! And if you're not near any of these, don't worry. There will be MORE coming up soon (especially in the fall) Aaaand... if you wanna bring me to YOUR university, it's really really easy! Click here or have your department contact MacRae Speakers at kmacrae@macraespeakers.com .

I just updated my favorite lecture "Change the World, Love Your Body: The Social Impact of Body Love" and it's good. Like really good.

And also, starting March 29th... I'll have rockin' take-away kits just for you.

SEE YOU SOON MOTHERFUCKERS.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

SIX PLACES I NEED TO SEE (AND I WANNA KNOW YOURS)


My edits for the first draft of my book are due Friday and I'm freaking out over the responsibility so OBVIOUSLY I'm ignoring it for a moment it by dreaming of trips across the world. Y'know... classic avoidance techniques that us grown-ups use.

I've always been filled with insatiable wanderlust, as long as I can remember. I spent my childhood at the Wilmot library pouring over travel books in both the adult and juvenile sections; learning everything I could about whatever place I was obsessed with at the time. DID ANYONE ELSE DO THIS?

I was such a nerdy kid.

I now travel a LOT for speaking engagements (2-5 times a month and P.S. you can book me here!) but those trips are brief 24 hour turn-arounds and while I love exploring university towns (and talking about body love!!!) it's different than extended trips to far off places. I've been keeping a mental list of cities that seem to call my name for years now and I've collected travel porn for each one. The top six?

(viaviavia)

Amsterdam: Perhaps I've romanticized Amsterdam far more than it deserves, but a historic city with tulips, other copious greenery, bicycles (and designated singing trails), colorful buildings and cafes galore? No wonder it's one of the happiest cities.

(viaviavia)

Palm Springs: After deciding that I needed to visit Salvation Mountain, I noticed that I'm less than 5 hours away from Palm Springs. WHY HAVEN'T I BEEN? It may seem weird to travel from Arizona to another desert town but I'm looking forward to the color, palm trees, pools, and Elvis paraphernalia filled rooms. OH and visiting Dinny the Dinosaur (from Pee-wee's Big Adventure) on the way!

(via, via)

Amalfi Coast: The color. The water. My quenchless need to go back to Italy after visiting Venice and Treviso. Sigh.

(via, via, via)

Havanna, Cuba: As an island country suspended between tragic history and tourism booms, Cuba fascinates me on many levels. I have mixed feelings about visiting (much like parts of Mexico) but I'm still in love with what I've seen of the people, culture and cities.

(via, via, via)

Seattle: I have a feeling that Seattle might become a home to me someday. I have a lot more interest in vising this beautiful city over Portland and yes... I'm a sucker for giant markets.

(viaviavia)

San Juan, Puerto Rico: I plan on visiting Puerto Rico next, after Palm Springs and I'm hoping to go at the end of this year. Puerto Rico (oh the colors and tiles and villas and bioluminescent bays...) is considered US Territory which means that traveling from here to there is more or less seamless. No passport or currency conversion needed. That plus the fact that flights in December are less than $500? I better start working on my Spanish immediately.

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There are of course a million places I'd love to see (like family in Dublin and US cities like Savannah and Charleston) but these six make me swoon the most. Conquering this list should be an adventure and a half though, as my favorite way to travel is solo (which allows me to cause the least amount of cultural disruption) but now that I have a person that also loves to travel? I suppose I'll be learning a new way to explore these places.

What about you? Do you like solo, couple or group travel best and why? And what's your list of 6 places you need to see? Leave them below... I obviously need to lengthen my list.

Monday, March 16, 2015

I WEAR WHAT I WANT: COCKTAIL DRESSES AND SHOES THAT TRIED TO KILL ME


Many of you have asked where to find plus size formal wear, and until a month ago I had no fucking idea. Imagine my joy (and surprise) when Bruce from Chubstr (best plus size fashion website for dudes ever) e-introduced me to Azazie.

My current definition of "dressing up" means throwing on a mini skirt and boots- so when faced with legit formal events I'm consistently shit outta luck. Azazie kinda changed that with their "bridesmaid dress and bridal gown" (which pretty much just translates into: evening wear) site that has optional custom sizing up to 26 and formal dresses all available in literally over 40 colors. You pick a dress, choose the exact color you like, put in your measurements (I'm always amazed when this actually works) and then perfection arrives at your doorstep in a couple weeks. Frreal guys. 

I chose this black number because 1.) I'm predictable  2.) I know what I love and 3.) if Marilyn Monroe played a villain this is totally what she would wear.  The fit was great (you know that feeling when you zip up the back and it fits like a glove? Euphoria.) and the cut was sexy as fuck.

My only mistake was pairing it with the hottest heels I could find. Sure, they're bangin', but they're also painfully unrealistic and quite honestly- dangerous. Like, I feared for my life dangerous. But if you don't believe me, that's cool, you can try them for yourself. But if you twist an ankle (or puncture the goddamn sidewalk) I'm reserving the right to say I told you so.

These definitely belong in "for photo's only" or "well that was a nice idea" file.
Scratch that. I'm filing them under "fuck this shit" instead.


So, now that I know of one quality place for fat girl formal wear, tell me what you know! Where do YOU find cocktail dresses and evening gowns? Leave the websites or companies in the comments below and I'll check them out- especially if they go above size 26.

I think I'm going to wear this snazzy little number to the MOCA Gala next month. But with different shoes. Because I'm smarter now.

Monday, March 9, 2015

3 WAYS BURLESQUE HAS MADE ME A BETTER MOM // ADIBA NELSON


Shimmy, shake, bump 'n' grind. Shimmy, shake, bump 'n' grind.

That's what the hourglass beauty in the "How To Burlesque" video on YouTube said over and over again. I stared at her, wondering if I could really do it. Could I really DO burlesque? My hips can shimmy, and I may (or may not) have been known to bump 'n' grind a bit in my day. But now, my 37-year-old, post-baby body shook and shimmied on its own -- no music or instructor needed. My inner thighs even clap for themselves, congratulating each other for going another day without catching fire.

However, on one particular girls' night out, I found myself in a lightly buzzed stupor at a burlesque show, featuring our local burlesque superstars. My girls and I hollered our faces off, showing our love and adoration for the girls on stage, commenting on how brave they were. Then it happened. The emcee made the announcement that they were offering a burlesque mentorship program. Um, do you know what happens in lightly buzzed stupors? You get brave. Really brave. So, I signed up for it. In my lightly buzzed stupor I signed up for the burlesque mentorship program. Whether I thought I could do burlesque or not, I had no choice -- I was going to. I was going to revive my old dancer bones, and shimmy, shake, bump 'n' grind myself all the way to the last step of my body love journey. Unbeknownst to me, I was also ass-tasseling my way to being a better parent.

I know. How the hell does taking off your clothes in front of complete strangers, and twirling your hips like you're Beyoncé's back-up dancer, make you a better parent? To a little GIRL, no less! It's impossible, right? WRONG. When your child has special needs, and her body doesn't do the things it's "supposed" to do, there's a slew of mom-isms you recite to continuously fight back against society's "Rules for Normal."

My typical go-to is, "You are absolutely perfect just the way you are," but the reality of parenting is that it doesn't matter what you say -- your kid will remember what you DO. So, I could tell my daughter a million times that she is perfect, and her body is beautiful just the way it is, but if I'm walking around talking about how much I hate my grocery bag tummy, or my jiggly thighs, or the fact that my left boob is ¼ cup size larger than the right one, then my words mean nothing to her. Zip. Zilch. Nada. If I was going to talk the talk, I had better walk the walk... or shimmy the walk, if you will. In two months of actually doing burlesque, I became a better mom because I learned these three things.

1. There will always be someone you think looks better than you, but absolutely NO ONE can do YOU better than you can. 

I was the heaviest girl in my burlesque class -- even bigger than my mentors. I weigh a solid 220 pounds, and I'm fairly certain that my cellulite has cellulite. But no one can pull off The Big Bang McGillicuddy better than I can. That's my stage name. There's a certain coyness, playfulness and confidence that only I can bring to Miss B.B. McGillicuddy. There can only be ONE Miss B.B. There can only be ONE me. Therefore, there can only be ONE you.

2. You really can do anything you set your mind to. ANYTHING. Regardless of who says what.

"Cosmo says you're fat -- Well I ain't down with that!" Yes. I just quoted Sir Mix-A-Lot, but follow me. Cosmo could have 12 cover stories a year telling me how to look skinny, be skinny, feel skinny, and act skinny. Up until this year, Sports Illustrated basically told me that girls like me had no place in their magazine, but then in walked the gorgeous Ashley Graham, who turned the magazine on its head. Hell, the Internet all but lost its Google-tracked mind when Tess Munster signed a major modeling contract. Everything out there says that no one wants to see a girl like me in her rhinestone-studded skivvies, but I gave them all the finger and flashed my pink diamond pasties anyway. And you know what? People LOVED it. There is real power in bucking the system and doing what everyone says you CAN'T do/SHOULDN'T do/WON'T do. So go ahead and DO IT.
3. Having the perfect anything doesn't make you beautiful, and it doesn't make you happy. Having the confidence to be true to yourself DOES. 

I used to think if I lost weight I'd be beautiful and happy. If I got braces and closed the gap between my front teeth, I'd be beautiful, and happy. If I got a weave, painted my nails, and lightened my skin, I'd be beautiful. AND HAPPY. I did all but get braces and lighten my skin, and guess what? HAPPINESS WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. But on show night, when I finally embraced the 5-year-post-baby belly, and the 5-year-post-baby boobs, and the thighs that wiggled and jiggled like a delicious bowl of Jell-O, I was the happiest I had been in years. I felt more alive, more fabulous, more confident, and more like ME than I ever have in my entire life. I finally felt beautiful. I finally felt happy. I had finally been true to myself.

So yes, from Pampers to pasties, burlesque has made me a better mom. I can truthfully pass on the adage to my daughter that she is beautiful and perfect just as she is, because she will never again hear me say anything other than that about myself. She will know that being her most authentic self is what makes her beautiful -- whether it be the way she holds her spoon and shakily brings it to her mouth to independently feed herself, or how she writes an entire novel using the 84 keys on her augmented communication device. She is perfect, and beautiful just as she is, and so am I. I've got the pasties to prove it.
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Adiba Nelson currently resides in Tucson, AZ with her fiancee, 5 year old daughter, and 2 teenage stepsons-to-be. When she is not advocating for disability rights, performing burlesque, or writing her monthly style column, she is busy managing social media for her local Easter Seals affiliate. She is also the author of the children's book Meet ClaraBelle Blue, and is currently working on the follow up book, ClaraBelle's Big Discovery.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

WEIGHTING TO BE SEEN: RACE, INVISIBILITY AND BODY POSITIVITY // SONYA RENEE TAYLOR


My best friend, Denise Jolly stood on a subway train and disrobed, revealing all 311 lbs of her formerly hidden body in a black bra and panties.  This was the culmination of a 30 day journey, in which she took photos of herself in various states of  partial nudity at home and in her community.  She called it the Be Beautiful project.  Her nakedness in the photos was no more than what we might see on Victoria's Secret commercials or beer ads and yet it was revolutionary.  In a society that tells us that anyone with a body like hers is not  worthy of love let alone sight, her work was a reminder to herself and others that, “The active practice of loving myself exactly as I am is radical self love.” The photos were bold and powerful and I asked her to capture her journey in an essay for The Body is Not An Apology (TBINAA), a radical self-love and body empowerment movement I founded 4 years ago.  

The day after the blog went live the story went viral.  She was contacted by the Huffington Post, Yahoo, Inside Edition, Queen Latifah Show, Laura Engram Show and several more media outlets making requests to appear and give interviews.  Her project had achieved what it set out to do, make her seen. When the Huffington Post reblogged the TBINAA article they included a slideshow of their ten favorite “Body Positivity Heroes”. Nine White women's faces beamed at me with each click. The final woman on the slideshow was Asian.  If I am being honest, I felt the ugly tinge of jealousy creep up my spine when the media outlets started calling.  After all, The Body is Not An Apology started because of my choice to post a picture of my large body in just my undies on a social media page.  I wondered, “Where was the Huffington Post then?”  When I looked deeper at that ugly feeling it became clear it was not a personal jealousy about my gorgeous friend being seen in her brilliance.  It was the bitter reminder of how often women of color, Black women specifically are not seen.  

The same day I watched the slideshow of body positive heroines, sans any black or brown bodies, TBINAA posted a clip from GLEE's Amber Riley, dominating the cha- cha on Dancing with the Stars.  There was nary a peep in the media about her beautiful example of movement, endurance and power in a large body. Several articles talked about what a great job she did.  One article even mentioned she was “plus sized” but no one was mentioning television star Amber Riley as a “body positive” heroine. Why? Because the social narrative is “she is a singing Black girl; she's supposed to be fat.”  That narrative renders her body an act of happenstance.  Her body “just is” and therefore is not noteworthy.  It would be like reporting she has a nose. Of course she is fat and her boldness in her particular body is nothing to aspire to. She is not Kirstie Alley, former Cheers star and DTWS alum whose fatness was such a novelty in Hollywood, that it garnered her an entire HBO Series, “Fat Actress”.

Gabourey Sidibe, the breakout star of the 2009 film Precious, defied all odds and persevered beyond most of the entertainment industry's attempts to make her, the illiterate food addicted character she played in Precious.  Her out loud, charismatic, ebullient personality and beauty continue to shine through and yet she is not touted as a hero of body positivity.  Her size and dark skin make her an outsider even in movements of inclusivity.  Her absence in the dialogue in any meaningful way is unsurprising but important.  Black women have always found ways to live in our skin with a dignity that world has not afforded us.  When Black women's bodies are acknowledged it is to pathologize them.  A google search of black women and body image leads to scores of internet hits on the “obesity crisis” in Black communities.  Whereas, when the word “black” is removed the same search generates article upon article of White women embracing body positivity.  

In Western culture, White womanhood is held as the epitome of beauty and desire. Part of the machine of size discrimination is stripping White Women of that status as punishment for fatness.  There is a way in which body positive movements both reject the notion of the body as object while reclaiming it as beautiful by dismantling the definition.  Black women's bodies have always been object in the social sphere but never exalted as beautiful.  The fat Black woman's body has been rendered as an object of service whether for food, advice, care-take etc., but has never been a thing to aspire to, not a thing of beauty.  The mammy, a stereotypical trope born out of slavery validated large Black women's existence only through their service to White women and White families, think Gone with the Wind, Give Me a Break or The Help.  

Our society tells us fatness is not beautiful.  Blackness is not beautiful.  So even while reclaiming size diversity as beautiful, the presence of Blackness complicates the narrative.  We don't deal well with complications, which often means we don't deal with complications, particularly in the realm of race.  We simply don't tell those stories.  It is this unwillingness to wade through the murky waters of race that make Black and Brown women invisible even in the places where we say we are trying to make people seen.

There is a reason women like Stella Boonshaft and Denise Jolly’s images have gone viral. Without question a great deal of that is about their brave declarations of beauty over their bodies, bodies that because of weight stigma, the world says should not be seen as such. However, their loud demands for a seat at the table must be mitigated by the reality that they have always been invited to the table, as long as they could fit in the prescribed seat. 

Being seen in our bodies, in our fullness and beauty is a birthright women of color have never had and what I thought was jealousy about a friend’s success was not that at all. What I was feeling was the aching reminder that the vehicle to even beginning to dismantle weight stigma is to be seen as fully human in this society. Far too often, that is a privilege that requires white skin and no matter how much I weigh or how naked I get, I will never have that.

I will always have the reminder that the vehicle to being seen as fully human in this society often requires white skin.  

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Sonya is one of my personal sheros/inspirations and I'm honored to call her both a mentor and a friend. Frreal, this woman blows my mind. If you haven't heard her perform, give the goosebump inducing Beautiful a watch. No really Watch it. If you want more comprehensive body love, follow The Body Is Not an Apology on Facebook or visit the website here (god DAMN, it's good). All the love.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

MY 15 FAVORITE MILITANT BAKER POSTS OF ALL TIME


In the last year, 60 thousand of you have joined in on the Facebook fun and over 300 thousand of you have started visiting the blog regularly. Which is pretty fucking awesome, if you ask me. It also means that thousands of you might not know about all of my favorite posts hidden in the archives.

I'm not gonna lie- several of my old articles make me wince when I reread them... some are poorly written, with embarrassing layouts and (to me) share overly simplistic messages that are more than outdated. But because this blog has been and always will be a documentation of my own personal journey... I suppose this is to be expected. The Militant Baker contains things I've learned along the way, life changing lessons that have popped up and revelations that took years to surface. So, naturally, this blog has evolved just as I have... and just as all humans do. But while I my cringe at some, I also smile at others. There are some reminders within TMB that I still need to hear often and maybe (just maybe) you're in need of the reminders too!

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Ten Years of Self-Portraits and Why It's Important to Love Your Body Now"I sobbed for the girl that was so beautiful on the inside and the outside but couldn't see it. I sobbed for the girl who spent years missing out on magical parts of life because her perspective was poisoned. I sobbed for the girl that repeatedly punished herself for not being good enough. And I sobbed for every other girl out there who believes the same lies that she did. I sobbed because these lies destroy lives."


Scars, Self Harm, and the Saturday I Stopped Giving a Shit: "We all have our stories and secrets. We all have our insecurities and perceived flaws. Don't ever feel alone or guilty for being one of the many. But also know that our bodies are gorgeously unique, and the fact that not one is exactly alike is the most magnificent part of all. Uniformity is what they teach us, but that doesn't exist. Allow your body to be what it is, how it is. Allow it to not fit in. Allow it to have wrinkles, scars, cellulite, freckles, dimples, discoloration, or bumps. Allow it to exist and serve you so that you can live your life to the fullest."



A Letter to Sixteen Year Old Me Exactly 10 Years Late" It's hard to believe, but you'll evolve into a heavily tattooed, purple haired, artistic, fat, spunky, sarcastic, and intelligent Behavioral Health Professional. A Behavioral Health Professional is someone who works on "whole life healing" with people and you also work with neurological deficiencies. That means brain diseases. It is a far cry from Dental Hygienist and Interior Designer and it sure as hell doesn't pay as much.  Well, not yet anyways. You're going to find out that money is not as important as you thought and that contributing to the world is much more fulfilling. You are totally rolling your eyes right now. Stop it, I'm being serious. Also, hell is not a bad word. Stop trying to find creative ways to spell and say it. Just say it."



So You Want to Put Me in a Box?: "The Egalitarian Box: All people are equal regardless of race, economics, gender, or age. Opportunity is not equal in today's world, but it sure as hell should be. I'm working on that."


My Womanifesto: "My right is to fuck it up... every now and then. My right is to express my feelings. I don't care if you don't like them. My right is to be wildly inappropriate. My right is to wear a dress one day and dirty hair the next. they are both good. My right is to be as educated and informed as I can. My right is to be a fabulous lover, artist, girlfriend, feminist, daughter, advocate, seeker. My right is to speak up when the point is moot. My right is to be sexy and seduce myself. My right is to give a shit."


The Un-Breachable Subject of Sex: "Sex in and of itself not un-breachable per say, but when it comes to the sex lives of women in long term relationships... we just don't talk about it. Sure, we LOVE to compare notes when we're single. Women's magazines are full of how to's and what to do's and you should try's. We love to talk about the hook-up from last night, the numbers, and the tips. But those of us who are years deep in a serious relationship don't get the media coverage that other women do. Many of us are left in the dark when it comes to whats "normal" when you have that "forever" connection."



Why I Fight"It's just too easy to hide in our world with our friends and cats and others and vinyl records and cameras and think everything's just dandy out there in the world. And there is nothing really wrong with that. However, clusterfucks always gather speed, so if you are willing to promote change you most certainly should. Find something you're passionate about. My mom is passionate about promoting non-violence. My grandma is passionate about educating the world about how bad red Gatorade is for you. My friend is getting politicians and their laws out of our vaginas. Another friend is funding Arizona literacy programs."


Fat and Easy- Totally Not Synonyms: "I grew up mortal enemies with my body; so much so that I was completely and utterly detached from it. Me and My Body were separate entities all together; fused only by physical proximity. My body was the friend that people tolerated so they could hang out with the rest of me. My poor body. So hated, reviled, ignored, camouflaged, shunned, demoralized and loathed. My body was neglected and famished for attention and so I jumped at the chance to be with whoever would have me."


6 Things I Understand About the Fat Acceptance Movement: "All bodies- large, small, and everything in between pay dearly for the negativity in which fat bodies are perceived. Why? Because as long as we demonize a body shape (any body shape) there will always be a fearful comparison. And the fearful comparison will inevitably breed all forms of hatred; both internally and externally. We will never be able to embrace our bodies as a diverse society as long as negative body messages exist. So yeah, we’re going to be talking about the “social deviants” of the body world, but this discussion is applicable to us all."


To That Guy Who Made a Fat Joke About Me to My Boyfriend: "When the world looks at a "sexy" man with a fat woman there are many assumptions: that he is settling. That he would prefer something else, but is forced to date a lesser lady. That he has a questionable fetish. That he is a perverse abomination. That there is something inherently wrong with his sexual preference. But just as I state in the original Lustworthy article: all bodies can be paired with all bodies; not an opinion but rather a fact. Fat with fat. Thin with thin. Fat with thin. Thin with fat. And everything in between."



The Truth Behind Borderline Personality Disorder: "to acknowledge that you have a biological imbalance is one of the bravest things that you can do. It is a sign of strength, not weakness. So you have that extra barrier and you STILL get up in the morning? Baby, that makes you miraculous. You deserve a standing ovation and a certificate for your stunning survival. You are my hero. Never give up. I sure as hell wont."


Fat Girls Find Love Too: "So, real talk: all bodies can find love. And honestly, guys, they already do. While many people share that they feel like they may never find someone, twice as many post comments about how sexy their husbands/wives/lovers think they are and how ecstatic they are to have unconditional love."


Expose: "When was the last time you opened up your browser and saw a beautiful image of a body shape that looked just like yours? When was the last time you saw an image of skin markings that looked just like yours?When was the last time you saw an image of breasts that looked just like yours? An ass that looked just like yours? Scars that looked just like yours? A belly that looked just like yours?"


A Diagram To Help the Next Time You Have a Shitty Brain Day: "The thing to remember is that you have ALL the answers and you can find solutions all on your own; it’s just a matter of asking yourself the right questions. This process that borrows from CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) will hopefully help with your next day full of not-awesome."


Exercise Classes and Fat Girl Freak Outs"So often, us fat ladies feel the social pressure to "better ourselves" by losing weight but then feel ostracized in a workout setting. We feel obligated to join The Perfect Body Factory (okay, maybe you call it a gym) but once there, we feel out of place and pushed into a competition we've failed at before even stepping foot inside. It's a mindfuck, and scares a lot of us shitless. The combination of fat bodies and exercise can resurrect a lifetime of shame. The most powerful kind of shame in the world."

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Do you have a favorite that isn't listed? I'd love to hear it in the comments! 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

LEONARD NIMOY AND HIS THOUGHTS ON "FULL BODIES"


With the ending of life comes always comes the visitation of what that life entailed, and the passing of Leonard Nimoy a few days ago is no exception.  And while the world rediscovers all of the actor/director/poet/singer/photographer/activist's work, the body positive realm has become especially enamored by his fat girl photography. I'm included in that group, but not only am I impressed with the images (that were at the time considered radical- Adipositivity also came out that year) but also with his approach, respect of people and authenticity in which he talked about body acceptance.





"The Full Body Project"- a collection of photographs of joyful fat women from a burlesque troupe in San Francisco- was published in book form in 2007 and of course with the launch, there were interviews galore. But these interviews were nothing short of appalling which, sadly isn't surprising but definitely disappointing. Regardless of whether it was NPR or The New York Times, each interviewer never failed to sling sensationalized questions about his sexual preferences or his thoughts on the "new" connection between fat and disease. They also relied heavily on the clinical shock word "obesity" to move the conversation forward.  What impressed me though, was that in the midst of this, his responses to these conditioned probes were wonderful. Instead of a Wow this is fascinating! the news was focused on the Wait, why did you do this? and yet he managed to answer these questions sincerely without insulting the offender or playing into the desired drama.

Beyond his ubiquitous championing of the fact that our standards are unrealistic and everyone deserves to feel good about themselves, Nimoy was also quick to shut down the simplistic "health concerns" that everyone likes tout when talking about fat people by emphasizing that there is more to the picture. When asked by Scott Simon if he was aware of the link between cancer and "obesity" Leonard said:

I'm aware of that. I just became aware of it in the last two or three days. I haven't seen the science, I haven't seen the information on it, and I'm obviously will be looking into it very carefully and with great interest. I'm also aware that there are studies that tell us that stress and lack of self-image, lack of self-esteem, severe dieting, binge dieting and binge eating can also be very damaging to a body and bring on various kinds of abnormalities. So one wonders if there is a counterbalance to this issue, I don't know. I'm not a scientist, I don't plan to know.
He addressed it. Plans on being educated. Acknowledged other complex issues that might affect people's emotional well being/body development and then basically went on to say It's not that important when it comes to the point of my photography which is to give fat women a platform in which to visibly love themselves. For someone who wasn't heavily involved in the body acceptance movement, this perspective is both surprising and a breath of fresh air. We STILL don't know how to talk about fat bodies yet without it sounding like we're commenting on a circus act, but he did. And that's even more rare than the photos themselves.







When asked about his final thoughts on fat women and if he thought they we're beautiful, he said:
“I do think they’re beautiful. They’re full-bodied, full-blooded human beings.
Nimoy and I were never buddies. We never chatted about body activism together. But from what I have read, heard, and most importantly seen through the happiness found in the images, he was a person who understood the simple fact that most of our world has yet to grasp: all bodies are beautiful, and all humans are worthy.

And that my friends, is a beautiful thing.

Friday, February 27, 2015

I WEAR WHAT I WANT: HORIZONTAL STRIPES AND FAT GIRL SHORTS


I know some of you are buried under two feet of snow, but it's 70 degrees here in Tucson and hell no, I'm not sorry. Why? Well, because in three months the tables will turn; it's gonna be 70 where you live and 115 here, so feel free to rub it in my face in May. But for now, I'm gonna jump ahead of your weather curve and talk about my new happy thing: fat girl shorts.

Some of you might be like- OH I LOVE FAT GIRL SHORTS. I wear them all the time! And others might be like- Uh, it is against THE RULES for fat girls to wear shorts WTF is wrong with you?

To the latter, a reality check: there are tons of fat girls in the world and lots of them wear shorts. It happens all the time. Frreal.

That being said, they're hard and tricky so the WTF is wrong with you? doesn't surprise me. I dunno why shorts are so hard for me and many of my lady friends. Maybe it's because a lot of them ride up thanks to all the squishiness. Maybe it's because we're self-conscious of how they make our hips and bellies look. Maybe we're afraid of knowing the size we wear. Or maybe we're just uncomfortable showing off our definitely-not-photoshopped legs.

Whatever the reason, it doesn't gotta be that way. There are some that don't ride up (and it's cool if they do), your hips and belly are fine, size doesn't matter, and your legs are goddamn perfect just as they are.

So. BAM. Enough with the excuses already. If you wanna wear shorts, wear the goddamn shorts.


Now, I haven't worn shorts (tiny hot pants don't count) since the Abercrombie and Fitch days simply because every time I thought about trying to find some it seemed too exhausting. Much like trying to find jeans for the winter, only harder because: well, they're shorts. All you plus size girls know what I mean. And straight size girls too, cause finding bottoms that aren't made out of spandex but fit just right is a bitch.

So, when I saw these "Karaoke Songstress" shorts online and the fact that they came in 3x (with good reviews) I gave in and said FUCK IT. LETS DO THIS!




And holy shit, they worked.

The jean material is thin and sturdy and there's a great amount of stretch- all these things are needed to conform to this epic ass. The super great reviews on the shorts were spot on, I would only add a note about the size: I ordered them in the largest size- 3x and I would say they could easily fit an 18 to 22. I sometimes wear size 24 shorts (because sizing is fucking weird) and while these do fit, I don't know if they would stretch much larger. Anyone who wears up to size 22... these are fucking GREAT shorts.

Which leaves me wondering though, for those over size 22, where do you get your favorite shorts? Will you leave your suggestions in the comments? I'd love to do some investigating.

But really, the whole outfit was bangin'.

DEM SHOES, y'know? They're kinda like if you combine the best part of the late 90's and the best part of now and put them in sandal form. The striped boatneck top is from here, the fucking killer sunglasses are these ones and of course, SHORTS HERE y'all.



This summer is not the time to worry about how your body looks or what other people think about it. Let people own their personal body shit and you just do you. If you wanna go sleeveless, go sleeveless. If you want to wear a bikini wear a bikini. If you wanna wear a long sleeve, full length ballgown, wear a long sleeve, full length ballgown. (But bitch, if you wear it in Tucson in June you're gonna overheat.)

If you wanna wear shorts, just wear the goddamn shorts.

Your body isn't wrong. Your belly isn't wrong. Your legs aren't wrong. They're just right for you so wear what you want; insecurities be damned.

Got a picture of you wearin' shorts like it's nobody's business? Post them below! I want inspiration!
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