If you are reading this right now, you are probably aware of my stance on body love, on emotional eating awareness, on stripping away negative labels – you know, all the THINGS.
And if you know how strongly I feel about these things, I want you to take that strength and multiply it by 5,000.
If you enter that all into the calculator, it’s going to end up equaling “The Militant Baker“.
Jes Baker, blogger, body love advocate, hilarious human being, beautiful woman, and powerful speaker, has been taking time out of her 40 hour work week for the past umpteen years writing letters to Abercrombie’s CEO Mike Jeffries, photographing stunning women of (literally) every shape and size, and also organizing the world’s first body love conference featuring fellow advocates Sonya Renee Taylor, Jade Beall (yes, the photographer, like yes, HER), Louise Green, and more.
And Jes did this WHILE WORKING A FULL TIME JOB. Like HOW though? HOW? I can barely keep my head on straight with my 30 hours teaching plus writing – and she was a mental health professional while all this was going on?
Can we say superwoman?
Well yes, yes we can. And now the time has come for Jes to step into her true calling and spread the body love full time. As in, leave the security of her full time job and take the brave step of working for the world to spread happiness, acceptance, and empowerment. She’s going to be working for us (quite literally, she’ll be working for you and me) and she’s asking us to support her while she does it.
And she is wondering if you can give her two.
Now, let me ask you something – have you ever heard of tithing?
Giving ten percent of any gifted money, income money, or money you find just laying on the street to something that spiritually feeds you?
Not charity. Not necessarily church. Tithing is giving money to that which spiritually feeds you.
Sometimes it’s a theatre that did a show that moved you. Sometimes it’s to your daughter because she taught you a lesson.
And sometimes it’s to the one woman who dares to do the unthinkable, who writes the unwritable, who is courageous enough to say “what everyone is thinking, but no one will say.”
Tithing is giving a small percent of your income to that.
Jes has spiritually fed me since the day I found that damn letter to Mike Jeffries, and if you believe in body love and awareness, then she has absolutely spiritually fed you whether you realize it or not. She has paved the way for people like me to be able to write about what I write and spread what I want to spread. If you have read my stuff, or heard about Taryn Brumfitt’s documentary, or watched Ragen Chastain dance, it’s because Jes is always so busy making the world know that we are here, we are mighty, and we are not joking around.
She shared Roar. She believes in you. She believes in me (she’s said it, she really does). And she believes that if we change our world, not our bodies, everyone will just be fucking happier and healthier and this whole world will be a better place.
If you want to make this world a more body lovin’ peaceful place, I encourage you to do the same. No amount is too small – literally $2 makes a gigantic difference – and you will be making it possible for more people like me, and Jes, to raise awareness, pave the way for the next generation, and continue to help men and women fall in love with the skin they’re in.
Oh and hey, did I mention that tithing always comes back and rewards you tenfold?
Yes. Oh yes.
It always comes back in ways we least expect.
Quite literally today, as I clicked “confirm” for Jes’s campaign support, two separate women who do not know each other, responded to my joking Facebook post about needing a massage and SENT ME $50 A PIECE TO GO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF. I have not seen these women since 2006 and 2010 and they sent me money because they love this blog. THAT’S how tithing comes back y’all. Never in a way you expect it, but it always does.
Again let me restate that “no one has ever become poor from giving”. If anything, it’s quite the opposite.
Join me in supporting Jes Baker so that I can continue to write. So that we can continue to fucking ROAR. So that your children can enter into a more accepting world. So that the beach is full of body loving people who literally could not give a shit what you are wearing.
Join Jes so that you can wake up and know that loving what you see in that mirror is not wrong, or weird, or taboo. Because I can personally you promise that Jes will never, ever let you forget that.
Let her mission be a constant reminder that it is okay to love the skin you’re in right now. And may we all take part in that mission by watching her amazing video below and supporting her in any way we can. Mahalo for your time.
Aloha to all of you and thank you for the incredible response to Roar 2: The Celebration. In just under a week, we are looking at stats like this:
With about 9,000 views in 5 days, this means that we are reaching people. We are spreading a powerful message that compassion, self-love, and celebration is essential. This video might not reach a million views like Roar 1 did, but it’s not about that. It’s about shedding light on the simple fact that it’s perfectly acceptable, wonderful, and inspiring to recognize how awesome we are. And for that, I’m so thankful to all of you who participated, contributed, shared, sang along, and celebrated with us!
So, let’s keep the celebration going shall we?
I want to shed light on some of the positive things that are happening in this world right now. I mean seriously, we are constantly being bombarded with bad news, bad guys, bad foods, bad this, bad that. I mean, shit. Where’s the optimism in that?
It’s just as important to be bombarded with good news, and wonderful movements, and powerful women, and hope! So I wanted to make sure I highlight those things this week.
1) The Body Love Conference
Everyone knows about Jes Baker and her big middle finger to Abercrombie & Fitch’s CEO last year, yes? In case you missed it, Jes (more commonly known on social media as The Militant Baker) wrote a letter to Mike Jeffries (A&F CEO) that included pictures of her wearing the very clothes that Mr. Jeffries told the world people like Jes shouldn’t wear.
A revolutionary in style, humor, and ballsiness, Jes has now taken her body love a step further to include the rest of us who are struggling, picketing, or looking for it. She’s founded an amazing event called The Body Love Conference. Jes can obviously explain what this beautiful event in detail better than I can. And this is what she says:
“The Body Love Conference is the first event of its kind; a comprehensive and inclusive event that focuses on assisting all shapes, sizes and shades to embrace and love the skin they’re in right now.
Our bodies are installation art that we curate publicly. Our bodies are the first message those around us receive. Our bodies are our personal bookmarks in the world. Our bodies are magnificent houses for everything else that we are. Our bodies are a part of us, just like our kindness, talents, and passion. Yes, we are so much more than our outer shell, but our outer shell is an integral part of our being too.
This is why it is SO important that we learn to accept, embrace, and even fall head-over-heels in love with them! The way we view our bodies impacts the way we participate in the world, and it is my life mission to share the message that we can love ourselves as we are; right now. We don’t need to change our bodies, only our world.
Join us in our mission! Let’s change the world together!”
-Jes Baker, Founder, The Body Love Conference // The Militant Baker Blog
The event is taking place this Saturday, April 5th in Tucson, Arizona. I know. You’re groaning just as loud as I am that you didn’t know about it sooner and you don’t have time to book a flight and get your hot booty there. BUT there’s still hope. Check out the website so that you know what amazingness is taking place and then, consider donating to the campaign so that next year, you, me, your sister, my mama, and all of our friends can meet up in Tucson and have a hell-raising, body-loving, rip-“roaring” (get it?) good time. I’ll be speaking at the event next year, and the Roar videos will be played this year at the conference. It’s all happening. And if we come together and help it happen, we can ensure that this world will continually change for the better.
Donate to The Body Love Conference to make it annual! (This page includes details on how the smallest amount helps continue the conference’s momentum, and a message from Jes herself!)
Jes’s Website: The Militant Baker
The guest blog I wrote for the conference about teaching self-love to the next generation: It Starts With Us
2) Week of Self-Care: Finally Say YES to Making Your SELF a Priority
This is a free event. I repeat, this is a FREE event. Yep. I’m saying FREE and like, meaning it. One of the participants in Roar 2: The Celebration is offering this event up to all of my blog readers for FREE. The world is a good place, we just have to take time for ourselves so that we can see past all of our to-do lists and our stressors and see the hope and the beauty around us!
For the week of April 14 – 18, at 12.30pm Eastern Time, Roar 2 participant, Charlotte Blake, is teaching a very special (100% complimentary!) tele-class called Week of Self-Care: Finally Say YES to Making Your SELF a Priority.
In this week long virtual event, Charlotte will be gathering a community who is sick and tired of being sick and tired. Her intention is that even just 15-minutes of connecting into your body, mind, and self will help fulfill you from the inside-out.
- Do you find yourself feeling depleted even if you’ve slept enough, eaten healthy, or exercised?
- Are you always “working for the weekend” with little to no enjoyment of your weekdays?
- Do you feel like you keep waiting for a family member, partner, or friend to give you permission to take a break but find that you never just give it to yourself?
Charlotte Blake knows how you feel. Charlotte teaches Pilates, but knows there is more to health than just working out.
With a very compassionate and down-to-earth manner, Charlotte combines a truly holistic approach with her Pilates expertise. She works with students and clients who not only want to learn new movement, but know it is time to shift their entire lives toward a more fulfilling and healthy way of being. This may sound HUGE but she understands that everyone starts out taking baby steps which is one reason why I am so excited about her one of a kind teleclass event.
Using her down-to-earth approach, Charlotte will share her personal story as well as offer:
- Daily lunchtime calls you can even join from your desk where you will be led through breathing exercises, stretches, take-home rituals and meditations.
- A 30-minute Pilates video exclusively for the members of this week.
- A daily guest blogger everyday with an article on what self-care means to them.
Another reason you don’t want to miss this event is because I have been personally asked by Charlotte to be a guest blogger for this event!
Sign up for this FREE event right here: Week Of Self Care
Along with Charlotte’s tips and guidance, you will receive the guest blog that I personally wrote. I will be sharing what I think about self-care and how to incorporate it into our daily lives.
You don’t want to miss this! Her tips are simple yet profoundly effective.
3) Women’s Body Wisdom Retreat
If you’re looking for an actual retreat away from your home, then I want you to know about Julia Speer’s upcoming retreat in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. Coming from three and a half months of volunteering at a wellness retreat center myself, I know the power of taking time off, indulging in nature and good company, and living simply for a few days. The retreat center where Julia’s event will be held offers walking trails, a labyrinth, and beautiful views, as well as a range of accommodations designed for comfortable sleep. All meals are provided with main meals being catered locally, and if you’ve ever been to Asheville, you know that the food is incredible! Most of it organic and locally grown.
Women’s Body Wisdom Retreat
July 18-21, 2014 in Asheville, NC
As women, we are born with a deep instinctual knowing, a deep, insightful wisdom housed in our wondrous physical selves. However, we are bombarded by messages in society that shape us early on, teaching us to focus our care and attention outward to others — and ultimately, even to reject our own bodies.
This soulful retreat is a returning to the wisdom of our bodies through the practice of self-compassion, creative expression, and powerful ritual. Creating an emotionally safe and sacred space, we begin to repair the disconnect with our physical forms, accessing the wisdom that lies within, and exploring the imbalances we have accepted around giving and receiving. There is nothing more profoundly healing than sitting in circle with women and knowing that all of you is welcome here.
For more information and for registration, please click here: Women’s Body Wisdom Retreat
Julia has also set up a scholarship fund for those women who need help to get to the retreat, which is why I was so drawn to her work in the first place. The reason I found myself volunteering at Kalani this past year was because I could not afford Geneen Roth’s retreat in California. Accessible retreats are hard to come by these days, and the fact that Julia has set up such an amazing fundraising campaign to help women get to Asheville gives me hope.
To check out the fundraising campaign for this retreat, click here: Body Wisdom Retreat Fundraising Campaign
With those three things happening in this world, plus countless other workshops, movements, retreats, videos, books, blogs, and events taking place month after month, we have the opportunity to take our lives back into our own hands. I hope you take the opportunity to check out the three events I listed for you today and be reassured that there is hope. There is possibility. There is room for growth and expansion and change. And you’re a part of it. I’m a part of it. We are making the change, just by passing on the word that these amazing things are taking place.
Thank you again, for all of your support and sharing of Roar 2: The Celebration. If you’re having a shitty day and need a pick-me-up, please watch some people being brave and have a dance party in your office by clicking here. Now go out there and GET TO CELEBRATING!
Next Week’s Posting:
The Biggest Announcement I’ve Ever Made, Ever