If you’re interested in self-love advocacy and positive reinforcement, then you will not be disappointed in Jes Baker’s new book, “Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living.” The highly anticipated, 256 page book is a manifesto and call to arms for people of all sizes and ages authored by Baker, who is the also the brain behind the popular TheMilitantBaker.com blog.
After meeting Jes Baker in New York recently, it seemed only natural to feature her as she prepares to launch this passion project. During this feature interview Baker shares her thoughts about the plus size community, her reasons for writing her upcoming book and how she plans to celebrate its release.
DailyVenusDiva.com: First, let me just say tat it was a pleasure meeting you in New York during Lane Bryant’s #PlusIsEqual launch. How important is the conversation that’s currently taking place in the plus size community?
Jes Baker: I’m so happy that there IS a conversation happening! It’s needed! But I think it’s important to realize that focusing on size is just the beginning! Not only do we need to focus on empowering all sizes, but also all ages, shapes, sexes, races, genders, abilities and other identities. I hope this “plus-size” Revolution opens the door for that conversation as well.
Before we talk about this fabulous book that you’re releasing, I want to learn more about you. Who is Jes Baker?
Jes Baker: I’m a native Tucsonan, cat lady, mental health educator, and pie baker! I stumbled on lifestyle blogging a few years ago, and once I started learning about body positivity, it began to enter into my writings as well. It’s now my main focus and through a series of fortunate events it’s what I work on as a job!
How did you come up with the name of your blog, The Militant Baker? Does it have a particular meaning? If so, what is it?
Jes Baker: It was a happy accident. When I was baking professionally, I took a few days off of work to attend a women’s reproductive rights rally in Phoenix. When I didn’t show up for those shifts, the chef I worked with became worried. When I came back, he said, “I was afraid you had done something radical and that they hauled off our militant baker!” It was genius. And it stuck. Thanks Bruce!
I read that you have many interests. Why focus on body advocacy?
Jes Baker: It was a happy accident. Something that I have personal experience with. Something that overlaps with mental health. Something that empowers others. Something conducive to blogging… it fit right in with my interests and skills. How awesome is that?
What’s important about the work that you do?
Jes Baker: I think it’s the beginning to lifting the personal oppression that most people feel which then allows them to live full and unencumbered lives. Empowered individuals can change the world. Learning to love themselves in whole is just one step on that journey!
As a self-love enthusiast, what are you most proud of when you think about the work that you’ve done?
Jes Baker: The book, no doubt. That was something I had no idea I was capable of, even while I was writing it! It was far far FAR outside my comfort zone, but I DO love a good challenge. And Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls was a hell of a challenge!
On a lighter note, I also read that you like to swear a lot. What’s your favorite curse word?
Jes Baker: Fuck is most certainly the most useful! But if there was a word or phrase I wish we all used a little bit more, it would be “asshat.” We need to brush the dust off that one and give it a little more love, don’t you think?
Now let’s talk about this book of yours. Can you give us a brief synopsis of what “Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls” is all about?
From the book:
“[This] is by no means the be-all and end-all of body image exploration; far from it. It’s not even the ultimate book of empowering things for fat chicks. The body activism world is multifaceted, and there are lots of information and opinions out there that I suggest you find and ponder. This particular book is a collection of my realizations, epiphanies, and aha! moments interspersed with facts and thoughts that I wish I’d known and had earlier. I want to share these things with you because after embracing body love I have found considerably more fulfillment, purpose, love, and sense of worthiness.”
It’s for everyone that has a body… especially fat girls!
Is this your first book and will it be your last?
Jes Baker: Most certainly my first! And I have no idea if it will be the last… I’m taking this one day at a time, and we shall see how the book release goes!
What made you want to write a book and what purpose does it serve?
Jes Baker: I initially pursued a book deal because it was suggested by a speaking agent. As I wrote it though, I gained much more than I initially thought I would. It was completely clarifying, for me and I learned so much about myself as I was forced to put my thoughts down on paper. It was also a really wonderful chance to put all my thoughts in one place; I was starting to realize that communicating complex subjects is difficult in a single blog post so I’m thrilled to have them all bound together.
When does the book come out and how do you plan on celebrating?
Jes Baker: It’s available for pre-order now, and will be published on October 27th! I’ll be celebrating at a book reading at The Booksmith with a wonderful group of guest essayists! I can’t wait.
To Order “Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living,” visit Amazon.com.