(Photo by the phenomenal Jessy Parr)


It's happening.  It's real.  It's FINALLY HERE:

"LANDWHALE: On Turning Insults Into Nicknames, Why Body Image Is Hard, and How Diets Can Kiss My Ass"

Landwhale (a memoir!) officially has a super snazzy cover, 256 pages, a pre-order option and a place on anyone's bookshelf who wants another book to add to their collection of rad words printed on paper.

This second book (which feels quite different to me in comparison to Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls) is best summarized by the quote I used in place of a dedication:

"We have tried to prove to the thin world that we are worthy for far too long.
If you are going to be brave, be brave for the fat people."


About the book (from the professionals):

"Building on the manifesta power of Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls, this memoir goes deeply into Jes's inner life, from growing up a fat girl to dating while fat. With material that will have readers laughing and crying along with Jes's experience, this new book is a natural fit with her irreverent, open-book style. 

A deeply personal take, Landwhale is a glimpse at life as a fat woman today, but it's also a reflection of the unforgiving ways our culture still treats fatness, all with Jes's biting voice as the guide."

About the book (from me):

I wrote Landwhale from scratch; digging deep and purposefully covering topics in ways I haven't before.

I wrote about PCOS, feeling like a hobbit, 
fat sex, new realizations about my childhood that came only through writing, Harry Potter roller coasters, honest thoughts about online hatred and why skimming emails will only leave you with mortifying regret. 

I included experiences of traveling internationally while fat, Justin Warner's indefinitely open invitation to join us in a threesome, the effects of online heroism and the complicated feels that comes from having three vaginas which will make sense once you read it. I promise. 

I talk about the pros and cons of being fat, the complicated conversation around weight loss surgery AND as a bonus, I answer the Internet's most pressing question of all time: "Have you ever thought about dieting?" 

Really though, all you need to know is that it's raw, honest, vulnerable, and if I'm lucky- occasionally hilarious.

This book may have required three therapy sessions a week while writing it but it was 100% worth it. Plus, this is the COVER OF MY DREAMS, so that is hella rewarding in and of itself, right?!?


Wanna read it? Well, it is available May 8th, but in the mean time, you can pre-order it from your preferred site! You know, so you don’t forget.


While searching for some old college essays a while ago, I stumbled upon a forgotten Photobucket album that held 48 pages of memories from the last 10 years. I was thrilled to find this photographic treasure chest and eagerly clicked through them, reliving every moment that I had captured. It's so strange, the things that old photos can evoke. 

I could somehow remember the smell of my dorm room, the dust in the abandoned apartments upstairs, that specific monsoon season, those nights smoking cloves in a hoodie, that visit to a park in Baltimore, those tears on top of a parking garage, that drive to nowhere, those feelings of hopelessness, that moment of ecstatic joy, that museum trip with the Renoir exhibit, that afternoon spent listening to Jenny Watson and drinking Highlife in the backyard, that week spent on the circus train, and that cup of espresso in Venice. 

The evolution of me becoming who I am today; my many faces and multiple facets. It all came back to me with such force, it nearly knocked the breath out of me. It was unexpectedly powerful. 

I then noticed how beautiful I was in all these old pictures, and immediately connected this with how much thinner I used to be. I wasn't skinny, but I was not fat in the way that I remembered, and this shocked my nervous system in a way I can't explain.

I became hyper aware of how I felt sitting in my current body, and how I didn't see it reflected in any of the photos on my screen. I was instantly attacked by the cruel teachings of society that I've internalized my entire life.

So I wasn't as fat as I remembered back then. Why did I remember always feeling like I was twice the size that I was? How was my body dysmorphia so extreme that I felt like I was an embarrassment to those around me? Why did I hate myself so much? How could I not see?

The spiraling continued.

Maybe I'm even more of a failure now than I was then and maybe I should lose weight to become like Old Me again. Maybe I would meet more people if I looked like Old Me. Maybe I would succeed more if I looked like Old Me. Maybe I would be happier if I looked like Old Me. Maybe Old Me was better.

And then I caught myself.

I realized that Old Me hated everything about herself. I can see the beauty so clearly now, but she had no idea. She loathed every piece of her body and wished she could trade it in for anything else. Anything. Her self-esteem was nonexistent, though she pretended this wasn't the case. Old Me wanted to die instead of live in that body and I wish I could have hugged her and told her how exquisite she was.

And then I started to sob.

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 person out there who believes the same lies that she did. I sobbed because these lies destroy lives.

And then my answer came. Retrieving the body of Old Me wouldn't change a thing. I'm fatter than I have ever been and somehow I happier than I have ever been. I have a career and mission in life. I have more fulfilling friendships. I am solid in my beliefs. I believe in myself and my purpose. I have learned how to heal. I have people who love me, a partner who adores me, a lover who worships me, and goals that I'm achieving.

I am the happiest I have ever been and this simply proves that happiness is not a size

Happiness is a state of being. Happiness is about finding what you love about yourself and sharing it. Happiness is about taking what you hate about yourself and learning to love it. Happiness is an internal sanctuary where you are enough just as you are, right now.

There is a comic by Toothpaste for Dinner that has a drawing of a fat man saying "I hate myself." The next frame is him as a skinny man saying "Nope, that wasn't it." Every time I read it I smile at the profound truth. It's far more difficult to treat our mind and bodies well until we learn to accept them. Nothing good comes out of finding the flaws and harboring resentment towards ourselves. 

Years ago I was more "conventionally stunning" and hated everything about my body; hurting it repeatedly on purpose. I am unconventionally beautiful now and I find myself with more good days than bad. My life is no where near perfect, but I'm learning to love myself. Just the way I am. Right now. And I am happy.

And isn't that what it's all about?

(Note: This is an updated post from 7/13 before the diluted Body Positive movement became mainstream in 2015. I left the term "body love" in the title per the original post but it's important to know that I am speaking of the concept of body liberation. You can read more about this here!)


Image courtesy of Shainna from A Thick Girls Closet
(Sexy white bralette can be found here!)

I'm a dedicated (bordering on zealous) bralette convert. Underwire bras are something that I'll strap on for the occasional photo shoot or sexy moment but only when the outfit really requires it. Otherwise? 98% of the time you'll find me in these unpadded, wire free, stretchy little numbers because COMFORT IS SUCH AN AWESOME THING YOU GUYS.

If you're wondering if bralettes are for the plus crowd as well, the simple answer is: YES. There are tons of options thanks to their semi-recent popularity and while they will never offer you the cleavage-pressing-into-your-chin-almost-suffocating-you support of a push-up bra... I'm okay with that.

More than okay with that.

They can be worn like a bra under clothing, they can peek out of your top and add some flair, or you can follow in the stylish footsteps of Shainna above and wear them as a top. Yep, they're great as outerwear too. THE WORLD IS OFFICIALLY OURS!

Below you'll find some of my favorite places to shop for bralettes as well as your recommendations.

There really is something for everyone (Smart Glamour literally makes every size in the world) and for those who need more chest support than others, there are some full coverage styles that might peak your interest. The greatest part for me is that because their versatility also includes sizing. I don't need to obsessively measure cup size any longer, and that is a personal win.

Without further ado, 11 rad places to shop for plus bralettes:

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When I asked you where to the find the best plus bralettes, the answer was almost unanimous: Torrid. And I totally get it. The selection is SUPER sassy and I'm a sucker for any lacy high neck bralette that can double as a top.

Price range: $28-35

1 | 2 | 3

Hips and Curves was the first company to send underwear that fit like a glove. I even wore them for my first ever boudoir shoot: proof here. Their pieces are solid and sexxxxxxxxy. 10/10 recommend.

Price range: $20-40

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Modcloth has been and likely always will be one of my favorite companies to shop from. While I normally spend my time browsing their plus size dress section, they also have a cute selection of bralettes to choose from and a return policy that makes life easy. That last part is critical for this fat girl that shops online.

Price range:  $14-20

1 | 2 | 3

Smart Glamour is out to change the fashion industry and Mallorie is doing a damn fine job. Get this: they custom make their clothing and WILL MAKE ANY PIECE OF CLOTHING IN ANY SIZE. That means no matter the size/shape of your body, you will find the perfect fit. That's an experience that's hard to come by and if I didn't feel so weird using emojis in a blog post I would post a dozen clapping hands here.

Price range: $40-45

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Forever 21 Plus is where I go for my daily bralette purchases. They're inexpensive, stretchy, comfortable and cute. They're currently out of their basic bralette with the adorable crossing straps but these options above are super hot and I'm sure they'll be restocking soon. (Check out Charlotte Russe Plus below for something comparable!)

Price range: $13-16

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Not only is Curvy Girl Lingerie run by a fat babe and friend of mine (Chrystal Bougon) who has dedicated her life to making sure plus women have a plethora of sexy options, these bralettes also come in sets which makes the price completely reasonable in my book. I have to be honest: that first ensemble is MAKING ME FEEL THINGS. SO MANY THINGS.

P.S. She named a negligee after me and I can't think of a time I've ever been more flattered.

Price range: $38-55

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I've never shopped at Maurices, but many of you have and swear by them. After browsing their bralette selection, I can see why.

Price range: $18

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While I have a million (and one) bones to pick with Lane Bryant as a corporation, I have to be honest: Cacique has been there with amazing options for my fat back since the beginning. In fact, Cacique was where I maxed out my very first credit card at 21 before going to live on a circus train for a week, so, y'know... there's a history.

That, and I have to be real- that middle peek-a-boo bralette is sexy AF.

Price range: $33-49

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Bare Necessities has some high coverage options for those who want support but don't want to sacrifice the ubiquitous lacy bralette style. Full stop.

Price range: $24-62

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Re/Dress (one of my favorite companies ever- seriously, check them out) used to carry Tegging bralettes and they have become my wardrobe staple and the pieces of clothing that people ask about the most. Especially the bralette with a web cut-out that I wear underneath every single sheer top I have. I just wore it in Portland a few weeks ago (and here and here)... it's my most coveted piece of clothing.

UNFORTUNATELY, Tegging bralettes sold out (whomp whomp) but FORTUNATELY Amazon has something really similar! It's gorgeous and lets not forget about that free Prime shipping and returns, right?

Price range: $11-25

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I feel like Charlotte Russe's plus bralette options are everything I'll ever need. Simple, super wearable and they start at FIVE DOLLARS.


Price range: $5-15


These are just a few options out of many and if you're looking for other bralette reviews, you can check our Alysse's article here

I'd love to hear your feedback! What bralettes have you tried? Which worked for you and which didn't? WHERE DO I NEED TO SHOP NEXT?!?!?
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