INSPIRATIONAL INTERVIEWS: With Jes Baker!

This week’s Inspiration Interviews is a very special one! I got a chance to interview Jes Baker, a blogger that recently went up against Abercrombie & Fitch and their views on the plus-size figure. Many may have seen her all over Yahoo! News or ABC News. Now Jes is on VogueBinge.com sharing her inspiration behind her “Attractive & Fat” campaign.
 
I’ve recently reviewed articles and interviews on you taking on Abercrombie & Fitch. I feel that what you are doing is very admirable and will make a difference in society.
 
When contacting Mike Jeffries, did you think that your “Attractive & Fat” campaign would impact Abercrombie & Fitch? 
I couldn’t have ever imagined that this campaign would get this amount of attention! I’m thrilled though, because my intent was to start a conversation about the larger issue of size discrimination, and it did just that!
 
Did you think that “Attractive & Fat” would gain as much publicity as it has?
Not at all.
 
Abercrombie & Fitch recently apologized for Jeffries’ plus-size comments. Did you think the apology was sincere? Do you think that this meanings their will be a change in how the company markets their brand?
I don’t know if it was sincere or not, but I don’t think in the end that it truly matters. They have created a platform for “mainstream” social change and it’s incredible!
 
If Abercrombie & Fitch said: Starting today we are going to start selling XL and XXL sizes in our clothing, would you be content?
It’s not about the sizes offered in the store. It’s about the concept of fat bodies being valueless. Until this perception of worth changes, the XL shirts will just be XL shirts.
 
When doing the photo shoot with Liora K., what was the initial message that you wanted to create? I wanted to make a statement that all bodies are equal. I knew a fat woman and a not-fat man would stir up a little controversy… and I was right!
 
I’ve recently visited your blog and love everything it stands for. What inspired you to create The Militant Baker?
I wanted to provide a blog that was representative of what real life looks like. I love covering the good days, but it’s also important to acknowledge the bad as well. I take readers on my journey as it comes… it’s really that simple.
 
As a blogger, what has been the most rewarding through out your experience? 
Processing my life through writing has allowed others to feel validated while doing so… that is the most rewarding for me! It’s like therapy where everyone wins!
 
Now, lets talk fashion…
 
You are absolutely adorable and have great fashion sense. This wouldn’t be an official Voguebinge.com interview, if I didn’t ask you: Where do you shop and what influences your style? I’ve only recently allowed myself to wear whatever I want. My style motto is simply this: “f*** body shame!” If I want to wear a gold bikini, I’ll wear a gold bikini. If I want to wear pajamas, I’ll wear pajamas. Fatshion is an incredibly powerful political statement and I love toying with the public’s perceptions of what I “should” and “shouldn’t” wear. I shop in thrift stores the majority of the time. There is no high like the one you get when you find a plus size vintage gem!
What fashion trends are you into at the moment?
SHEER EVERYTHING.  Forever.
 
I love your tattoos, what was the inspiration behind them?
Each piece represents a significant moment in my life. These moments make me who I am… this was my clever plan so that I never regret a tattoo. It’s a patchwork of my life; the good and the bad.
 
If you don’t mind me asking, how many do you have and which is your favorite? 
I have 19? 20? I really love the words on my knees that say “My life. My rules.”  They are the most recent tattoos I have gotten, but my tattoo artist emailed me recently and we’re collaborating on an homage to mental health. I also love the psychotropic medication on the tops of my feet. Some people get stars; I get Prozac and Lamictal.
Where can we keep up with you and The Militant Baker?
I’m finally all over the web! My blog is at www.themilitantbaker.com and I have a Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and a new Twitter! I’m new to some of these forms of social media, but I’m teaching myself. Slowly.
 
What advice do you have for those who are struggling with body image issues and societal rejection? 
Surround yourself with body positive media. We don’t realize how much we internalize when subjected to mainstream media. Find body positive books, websites, Tumblrs, blogs, friends, music etc. There are a lot of resources out there… you just have to look. Trust me, it will change your life.
 
 
Jes Baker is a confident and inspiring individual for going up against such a big company. Regardless of the feedback, Jes was determined to making her voice be heard. I hope she influences someone out there to speak up for what they believe in. Despite how society defines “beauty,” we all have our own definition. Never let anyone take your pride away from you or break you down. No matter your figure, skin color, or how you look, you are a beautiful person. I encourage you to love yourself for who are and settle for no ones opinion.
Inspiration.
 
 


Photos courtesy of: The Militant Baker
 
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