When I met Chrystal, it was via Skype and love at first sight. She was a down to earth, kind, and real talkin' babe who's passion was (and is) to help larger girls feel sexy as hell. This was music to my body lovin' ears. She owns Curvy Girl Lingerie in San Jose, which is a rare and magical place: a brick and mortar store that carries sexy everythings for the plus size gal. I loved listening to Chrystal talk about radical sex ( totally blush free) at The Body Love Conference and  I'm honored to call her a friend. Wanna know why Curvy Girl exists and why plus ladies in lingerie is revolutionary? Well you're in luck; Chrystal wants to tell ya.



Ooooooh, Internet, you are so kind to me.

After posting my "OMGYOUCANGETAPLUSSIZEBIKINILOOK" blog, I asked you to share your bikini photos with me. And ya know what? So much awesome started pouring in that I got completely overwhelmed. Women of all sizes, shape, shades, and ages bared their belly for me via the (very visible) Militant Baker Facebook and goddamnit I was so proud. It was a glorious sight to behold.

#VanityAsAFormOfResistance is one of my favorite (super long) hashtags, and I see my shero Subsantia Jones using it a lot. It's exchangeable with the similar #VisibilityAsAFormOfResistance.

These two concepts influence a large majority of my wardrobe and they also highlight the importance of bikinis. When we allow ourselves to wear something that makes us vulnerable, it makes us powerful. When we wear something that makes us powerful, we start to feel sexy. When we start to feel sexy, we begin developing confidence. And when we begin developing confidence, we start allowing ourselves to take up space... and THAT my friends is incredible. In fact, it's pretty damn revolutionary. So start your own personal revolution, whydon'tcha?



(Photo by Abril Castillo)

Before life got weird and famous and overwhelmingly bodylove-ilicious, I was all "Weeelllllll, I guess I'll make a Facebook for my blog. I mean, I don't get why, but I'll do it."

Fast forward 6 months and I realized that I probably needed to get my sexy ass in gear and get me some credible media accounts. And get those credible media accounts I did. If you wanna follow more of me, here are 6 ways you can:

Tweet me, bitches. I love to hear from you. And this is the one way to reach me that won't be buried under 900 unanswered emails. You think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. This feed is similar to my Facebook stream but is ALSO used for the rare quippy one liners that I find clever, though no one else does. Whatever. Their loss.

This is as personal as it gets. A subscription to my Instagram signs you up for a steady stream of catstagrams, photos of crepes, and portraits of me and my honey being all cute. Be warned; we're really cute.

THIS IS SOMETHING I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT. Starting June 30th, I'll be hosting a weekly video channel where I'll get firey about the media, snappy about life, and gushy about Laura Prepon. That last one is only a maybe-if-you're-lucky kinda deal. Subscribe and join me on the 30th. I'll want your input on what you'd like to see!

The biggest time sucker ever. I love Tumblr for its uncensored goodness. I'll binge post occasionally and you don't wanna miss that shit. It's usually a combination of adorable + inspirational + hilarious + tattoos. WIN.

I loooooooooooooove my Pinterest boards far more than a normal person should. But with titles like Fems, Girl Gangs, and Mondo Trasho... well, how can I not? I also have a super legit Body Image  and Mental Health board that I refer back to often.

And, of course the overly censored, selectively shared, eye-rollingly updated Facebook. Just kidding I love Facebook. I update this almost hourly, so if you haven't liked the page... you're slacking.

So join me ladies and gents! Lets hang out on the interwebz 24/7. Cause that's what the interwebz is for.


First, a little information about me, because I'm sure the first thing people will do upon reading this is make assumptions about who I am: I am a 27 year old American woman who is comprehensively involved in the Body Advocacy movement and additionally works 40 hours a week as a Mental Health Professional. I am most certainly plus-size at 5'6" and 260 pounds; a size 18 in most stores. I’m pretty damn fat and unabashedly so. I eat well enough, I shop at our local food co-op and I own a juicer. I'm constantly on my feet at work, attending intensive African Dance classes (which I'm really fucking great at), riding bicycles, and having a shit ton of sex. My blood pressure, cholesterol, and all other vitals were recently assessed and are perfectly fine according my PCP. I'm a logical, intelligent, and critically thinking blogger who is here to explain to Carolyn Hall and the rest of the world the 6 things that are often misunderstood about the "fat acceptance" movement.

The article "6 Things I Don't Understand About the Fat Acceptance Movement" is an interesting read for several reasons...One, the author is aware of some of the key components that are discussed within the movement. She may be largely uneducated about the details, but knows enough to start a conversation. I can appreciate this. Two, she seemingly speaks from a place of ignorant concern more than malice. Also appreciated. And three, she may not necessarily be looking for the answers, but she has created a fantastic and organized opportunity for those of us educated on body love to clarify some of the most common misconceptions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s critical to realize before we even begin, that ignorance of, deflecting of, or outright refusal to believe in fat acceptance affects us all. This body love movement is inclusive; it's about acceptance for everyone (not limited to, but including fat bodies.) 

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.

(For those of you who haven't read the article, her text will be in italics, and my response as well as those from professionals in the field will follow!)

1. America is extremely accepting of fat.
I have not lived in many other countries in my life, but I have done it enough to know that America is exceptional in its general permissiveness about obesity and ill health. Though there may be negative stereotypes, staring, bullying, or crude comments, the environment we live in is one that is incredibly tolerant of unhealthy lifestyles. There are enormous portions, extreme levels of convenience, and a low priority put on physical activity (even in our schools). While treating someone differently because of how they look is not okay, with upwards of 60 percent obesity in certain cities, you can’t say that America is not accepting of fat people. We basically ensure that people will be fat, and are tolerant of the lifestyle choices that surround it. If anything, we need to be cracking down on it more.

Hilary Kinavey LPC, Be Nourished


Our summer here in Tucson is hotter than hell, but one of the sweet sweet consolations that comes with this weather is the absolute necessity of pool time. We love our cool pool time here in the desert. And with that pool time... comes some serious bathing suit shopping. 

Before we continue any further, I must warn you: I bitch about plus-size bikinis A LOT. Or rather, I bitch about the scarcity of them.

Read on.

A couple of years ago, I began my first quest for a plus size bikini in town. And I found nothing. Absolutely. Nothing. It sort of repulsed me and I believe my exact words that summer were: bathing suit season is chunder worthyIt was obvious to me that by refusing to stock bikini options retailers were (not so) subtly body shaming by reflecting what society says about large bodies without saying a word.  Fat girl swimming options were strictly limited to one pieces, tankinis and skirted suits; all created to hide, tighten, slim, trim, and cover.

And guess what? If you do a basic search for plus size swimsuits online, you'll find the exact same thing:

Look familiar?


Lindsey Averill is one of my personal heroes. She is half of the brilliance behind Fattitude; a budding documentary about the truth behind fat discrimination. Just in case you aren't sold on the prevalence of fat discrimination, let me share what has recently happened since the launch of the Fattitude Kickstarter: Lindsey and every person involved in the making of the movie have been personally attacked by cyber bullies who have posted their personal information with encouragement of harassment. The bullies have also taken to Twitter and YouTube to spout some of the ugliest opinions based on nothing else but a body size. This along with a barrage of phone calls at homes, partners works, and other associated places they have also ordered pizzas and other items to have delivered out of spite. You can read more on what has happened and how to help here.

This doesn't intimidate me, though my heart goes out to those who have to deal with this reality, but in fact it makes me even more determined to help make this movie happen. The extreme hatred has proven even more that Fattitude must be made and that social change is needed so that all bodies can exist in a positive, supportive, and safe world. 

So, I’m going to tell you my story – but I want to tell you the end first: I figured our how to love my body! That said, I trekked through a lot of bullshit on my way to body positivity and I don’t want other people to have to swim in that body hating garbage, so I’m trying to change all that with a film I’m making. It’s called Fattitude and you can check it out here.


I remember the first time I was called “fat.” It was on the playground. A group of us were playing freeze tag and I had just left the home base of a tree and was confronted by my classmate, a girl named Stephanie. She sputtered it out, that one word, punctuating and finite: “fat.” I was seven.
Years later, this same classmate, who I had not seen in over two decades, popped up in my friend requests on facebook and I was completely stunned. Had she not remembered?
I don’t trace my struggles with accepting my body to that moment alone. I have had plenty of opportunities over the years to find my body lacking. Even when my teenage body was completely healthy, I berated myself for being too big. I was too tall, my hips were too wide, my body weighed too much, the size on the back of my jeans was unacceptable. I learned that “too muchness” was the worst crime a woman could commit. So I learned to tone myself down. I learned the safe places to be the larger version and the places where I needed to small myself.
In my senior year of high school, I was bullied by a girl who made her way into my friend group and sucked up to all my friends while being completely nasty to me. One of the ways she did this was by insinuating I was fat. When my friends and I dressed up to commemorate the last episode of Beverly Hills 90210, I dressed as Brenda, in a striped bodysuit and jeans (hello nineties!). And when we were trying to reenact the opening scene and someone said, “Well, doesn’t the group of guys hold up Brenda?” she looked at over at me sneering and started to guffaw. My friends refused to acknowledge this side of her and the pain she was causing me.
I share these select moments when I learned I was not enough because I am sure that most women, regardless of their size, have these. Maybe it’s acne, the size of their nose or hips or butt, and on and on. As a culture, we are merciless to women, finding fault everywhere. We suppress women’s bodies as a way to suppress their power. When these bodies—bodies beautifully flat or thick, beautifully tall or short, faces beautifully round or thin—are stifled, we women can become so obsessed with our perceived physical inadequacy that we completely forget how amazing we are. We forget to pursue our dreams. Or when we are in the process of pursuing them and feel insecure, we find ways to lash out at ourselves, often making our bodies the first target.
In my early twenties, I lost sixty pounds using Weight Watchers. I ate crappy WW frozen food, eliminated alcohol, and counted points. I exercised as well, but I wouldn't call my approach to eating or exercise a part of a healthy lifestyle. I was doing all of this solely to lose weight because I was sure that once I lost weight, my life would magically change.

Well, I lost all the weight and was finally for the first time in my life: skinny, and you know what? New things cropped up to show me why I wasn't good enough. This led to a few epiphanies.
I realized that I hadn’t been as successful with dating not because people weren’t attracted to me but because I hadn’t yet learned to love myself; I was incapable of seeing myself as a worthy partner or seeing others’ admiration for me. I realized that pursuing my creative work, putting myself out there in my writing and my music, was just as hard as when I wore a bigger pants size. I realized I was many pounds lighter and still faced tremendous uncertainty, unsure of who I was and what I wanted to do with my life.
And to top it all off, even when I was as thin as I was “supposed to be,” I couldn't see myself as beautiful. I saw a slight roll, a smattering of cellulite. I was able to find inadequacies just as easily as before.
Now, I go to African dance class and yoga several times a week. I walk my dog. I commute to my job on my bike. I stay away from foods that give me digestive issues and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Most of the time, I tune in to see what my body wants and needs. I am the healthiest I have ever been in my life. And I weigh the second most that I have in my life.
I grew up thinking the external expression of my body was the biggest part of my worthiness. I grew up thinking that I had to define my own perception of beauty based on the expectations I saw all around me. I realize now that what I have grappled with all my life is not my weight, but the way in which my weight, as a woman, has defined how others think about me and how I am supposed to think about myself. At the heart of it, I haven’t struggled with my weight, I have struggled to love my body.

Although I appreciate them, it was not the words from supportive friends and lovers that got me there. I was only able to see myself and my body as beautiful in the slow but growing recognition of its power.

There is a certain tone to the word acceptance that can sound like tolerance. That’s why the Body Love Conference is important to me. I don’t want to accept my body, I want to love it. I have made the decision to love my body in whatever state it is: when it is healthy or when it is ill and sore, when it weighs less or more, when I am having a difficult day emotionally or when I feel peaceful. Most of all, I have decided I will love my body as the only vessel I have in this life, the one that lets me experience the world in so many small and large ways.


A native of New Orleans and resident of Tucson, Lisa is a nonfiction writer who uses her work to investigate her curiosities and bridge gaps in both personal and collective understanding. Lisa teaches writing at The University of Arizona and Pima Community College. She has also developed curricula for and taught writing workshops with incarcerated students at Tucson detention centers. Lisa received her MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Arizona and serves on the board of Casa Libre en la Solana, a literary nonprofit supporting Tucson writers and The University of Arizona Poetry Center. Her writing has most recently been published in The Feminist Wire, defunct, The Fiddleback, drunken boat, and Diagram. She loves constraint-based writing, evidenced by her online literary project The Dictionary Project, where she writes and edits others’ pieces inspired by a word, chosen at random from the dictionary. She is an unapologetic feminist and often uses her writing to investigate ideas and assumptions about gender.

She will be teaching the (Em)Bodied Writing; Integrating Engagement With the Body Through Creative Writing" workshop at The Body Love Conference!


I’ve been working with kids and families for a long time. I’ve been a smoking cessation counselor, a middle school and high school teacher, and most recently a child and family therapist. I have worked with people from all walks of life, and I’ve come to realize something important, we all bully ourselves.

That little voice inside my head tells me that I can’t speak up in groups because someone will realize that I’m really not all that smart. It tells me to look away when a cute guy looks at me because he will notice how fat I am and I can’t bear to see how disgusted he will be. It tells me that I have to push people away before they hurt me, that I shouldn’t eat when I’m out with friends because they will think I am a pig, that I can’t wear tank tops or show my arms, and that if I just lost a little weight I might be worth it to someone somewhere. It tells me a lot. That mean voice inside my head didn’t just show up one day… it’s always been there. It was there when my boyfriend of three years (who never took me around his friends and only let me meet his mom once) told me that he couldn’t imagine marrying me because he would be too afraid that my health would be in jeopardy because of my weight. It was there when all the girls at Girl Scout camp ostracized me and wouldn’t be my friend. And it is still with me now… telling me that there’s no way anyone will believe that what I have to say is really worth reading.

I bully myself.

And not too long ago, I realized that most likely you do too.
So why? Why am I so hard on myself? Luckily all the time I spent in school taught me something about belief structures and how messages we hear growing up incorporate themselves into our psyche. So when my mom put me on the Cambridge Diet (I’m only 36, and since it was pulled from the market and reformulated after potential health issues arose in 1986, that means I wasn’t nine years old and was on a diet that restricted my caloric intake to 440cal/day) it permanently imprinted in my brain that my weight was a problem. When my babysitter compared her weight to mine when I was ten and looked at me in disgust, I knew I was disgusting. When every famous or cool woman I idolized as a kid was a size two and so very overly sexualized by the media, I learned that sex meant acceptance. When my grandma made fun of her arm fat, then compared it to mine… well you get the picture.

So I’m stuck with this internal bully. Great. I’m stuck with this belief that I’m not smart, or beautiful, or a leader. But then I had kids. Two beautiful girls. Two wonderful, sweet, empathetic kids who shouldn’t believe those same things about themselves. So I started working on ways to make sure I am a good parent. I, of course, quickly realized that there’s no way I can avoid every turn that might lead to their eventual lack of self-esteem. My mom tried to protect me from bullies (because she believed that if I was thin I wouldn’t be bullied), and her mom her, resulting in every gimmick diet you can think of being tried by my family (my mom couldn’t name one thing she liked about her body till very recently, but remembers taking speed shots with her mom when she was a teenager). There’s just no way to predict and avoid every wrong-turn… I think it’s just destiny for every daughter to look at her mom and think of at least a dozen ways she screwed up. That’s life. That’s normal. I’m okay with that.

So I started looking at strong people I know (or know of). Why is their internal voice nicer than mine? It comes down to two things, either they were raised in an environment where they were brought up to believe in their unique place in this world… or they fought that inner voice and treated it like the bully that it is… and sometimes both.

So that’s why I’m part of the Body Love Conference… because I am fighting my inner bully, and I am raising two awesome kids who damn well better know that they are beautiful, and because to change this world we can’t sit back and wait- we have to make it change.

At the conference I am presenting “Raising Body Positive Kids: How to Raise Kids to Be Okay in a Society that Isn’t.” I hope to see you there. You can also find me online… http://www.inonepeace.com/… and on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/Dr.Dorland


I am a woman reclaiming trust in my body. My hunger, my appetites, my longings, my skin, my bones, my size are mine for the taking. I take back my worthiness, my belonging in the world of beautiful and diverse beings. I live without apology for the straight lines and curves, living tissue, vulnerable heart that hold my living, breathing manifested story.

I feel where my body begins and I protect where it ends. The marketing, the expectations, the gaze of the “other” belong outside of me and are not for my internalization. I will no longer ingest the external and make it my goal or my standard. I will not trade my right to express my freedom, my needs, my wants or my beauty. 

I listen for my appetites, all of them. I say yes.  And I say no. My body is wise.  It knows me. It is me. I am it. It is not an expression of glutton or neglect, nor is it ugly. It is an expression of life, and of being alive. It is my companion for this life that has been a journey, replete with unexpected bumps & grooves, loves and losses-- and as so, my body expresses my story with its textures, shapes, peaks & valleys.

I will not betray you, body, for an endless diet or self-improvement project. I will not confuse thinness for health. I am a woman reclaiming my movement, my rhythm, my flow.  I seek satisfaction and explore pleasure. I value my inner peace, my self-worth, more than the approval of the outside, stigma and hate inflicted eye.

I will count myself among the millions of other women who have come before who have struggled to live compassionately in the bodies they have, and I will also count myself among the millions of women to come who will reclaim body trust. I am not alone on the path.  In fact, I am helping to transition the world with my courage, my fierceness, my bold and beautiful body.


Be Nourished was founded on the idea that we are all born with remarkable instincts to love and care for our bodies.  We believe body trust is a birthright.  Our passion is helping people lose the weight of body hatred and create the change they seek from a deeper place.  Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD and Hilary Kinavey, MS, LPC, co-founders of Be Nourished, will be presenting at The Body Love Conference at 3 p.m. The title of their workshop is “Reclaiming Body Trust: Improving your relationship with food, body and self.”

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