And now, I present with great pleasure, an interview with the amazing, Jes Baker, a.k.a The Militant Baker. Jes recently became known for her very witty and straightforward manner, which she used to recently speak out against the words of CEO, Mike Jeffries of Abercrombie & Fitch. As many of you may know, Jeffries comments (there is an article where he gives a somewhat backhanded apology) concerning us big beautiful people inflamed much ire (including mine). Jes’ response however was so unique and innovative, it’s made her a national name and I am so thrilled she agreed to join me at Black Satin.
1. Who is Jes Baker?
A mental health professional, pastry chef, ex-art major, crazy cat lady, fat model, fiery advocate, and total pain in the ass.
2. How did The Militant Baker come about?
I strive to provide a place in the blogosphere that offers fresh and colorful perspective on what is presented as normal to those immersed in our gender bent, body loathing society. I love that the internet is an open forum and the only media that doesn’t have a universal one sided skew. You have to sift through a lot of shit on the internet, but you can also find gems.
3. Are there any particular people who inspire you?
This sounds so cliché… but my Mom. She’s the strongest lady I know. We’re taking over the world together!
4. How did you develop your personal 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!
5. Was there a particular incident in your life that caused you to look at things that way?
It’s been a long, slow journey. I can’t pinpoint a moment… but there have been a lot of amazing women who have helped me along.
6. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Do you even like the word?
I love the word, and I do. A feminist believes in equality. That is all. I don’t understand those who disagree with this.
7. What exactly is a Baker Babe?
They are ladies who know how to use an oven like a champ! I’m also open to Baker Boys 😉
8. About the Abercrombie & Fitch situation, when you first saw the comments, what were your first thoughts/reaction?
I wasn’t bothered by the comments; I’ve heard them before. But my readers we’re outraged, and I wanted to offer a response for those who couldn’t.
9. What do you hope to accomplish?
I wanted to start a conversation about size discrimination… and it did!
10. Heard anything on the matter yet from the big boys at Abercrombie & Fitch?
I haven’t 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!
11. How do you feel about the reactions you’re receiving?
All of the news coverage has been 100% positive, and I think that it shows that we’re ready for change!
12. What the most positive reaction so far? The negative?
I think that being covered by every major news network is pretty positive. And the negative goes in one ear and out the other. It’s important to acknowledge that it exists though… that’s the whole reason we are having this discussion!
13. What other issues and/or situations make you speak out?
I’m a “big” (hah!) advocate for size acceptance, feminism, mental health and honesty.
14. Who is the handsome blade sharing the pictures with you?
John C. Shay. He’s a pretty incredible human being on his own.
15. What are a few of your favorite things?
Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens? Well, really coffee, family, cats, activism, thrifting, canoodling, and riding bicycles. I’m pretty simple.
16. Do you have any quirky or unusual stories to share?
My entire life is made of these.
17. Do you have advice for the other Big Beautiful Women out there?
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.
18. Tell us about your current and future projects. What is on the horizon?
Check my blog on June 5th for my newest venture! I’m so excited!
I’ve also included some questions by Author Rachel Cron, by special request:
19. Does it put pressure on you to know that your fans/followers believe you to be the voice of the new generation and holds you on high as a modern day heroin of sorts?
I’ve built my blog on honesty and candor… though i do feel this strange amount of pressure from millions of eyes, it helps to know that I just need to continue what I’ve always done. I just need to be myself.
20. How did you get started with all of this? What road did you take to become the woman you are today?
I’ve been through so many phases, some good, some horribly ugly. I think scars are beautiful and when we look at them we remember where we’ve been and what we learned while there.
21. Your writing is so vibrant and full of positive energy! It resonates through the readers mind and makes you sexy in your own right. Was this a journey for you, like it is for many of us in this society? To love yourself as you are, the amazing person that you are or was it instilled in you?
I think it will continue to be a journey for the rest of my life… and I find that exciting!
Jes, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by and give us your thoughts today. May all your fights be fought just as bravely and with as much enthusiasm ~ Peace! ~ CJ Black.
Here are the places where you can find Jes Baker: