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Jes Baker      

American Writer, Photographer, and Activist, Best Known for "Body Positive Movement"

Jes M. Baker is an American writer, photographer, and activist who is most well known for being part of the body positive movement. She blogs as The Militant Baker. Her writing focuses on self-image, and can range from topics on body hair to rape culture. Baker founded the Body Love Conference, which held regional conferences in Arizona in 2014 and 2015.

Baker was born in 1986, the eldest daughter of a large Mormon family. Baker went to college in Arizona and Idaho. After college, Baker worked as a pastry chef, a psych-social rehabilitation specialist and mental health educator at a company that provides job support to those with mental difficulties.

In March 2012 Baker began blogging, using the moniker The Militant Baker. Inspired by a body positive writer named Rachele who wrote a blog called The Nearsighted Owl. Baker's blog features posts that include the idea of equality, recipes, body positive language, DIY, notes on self-acceptance, the feminist movement, and empowerment. In her blog, Baker has explored the connection between self-esteem, body image and mental health.

In 2013, Baker helped create a series of images, using the phrase "Attractive and Fat". The images were a response against the popular clothing store Abercrombie and Fitch. Baker, who wears a size 22, changed the store's logo from A&F to "Attractive and Fat" in a mock ad, intended to challenge the marketing strategies of the clothing store. Back in 2006, store CEO Mike Jeffries had publicly made a statement that only "cool kids" belonged in Abercrombie clothes and that the store was exclusively for those who were considered to be popular. In May 2013, Baker wrote "I challenge the separation of attractive and fat, and I assert that they are compatible regardless of what you believe;" Following this Jeffries issued an apology.

Baker's photo for The Adipositivity Project in 2013, was described by Bustle magazine as one of 'The Most Body Positive Photos From the Last 30 Years'. In 2014, she co-founded the Expose Project, which features views of bodies that don't conform to cultural stereotypes and standards of beauty.

In 2014 she gave a TEDx talk, during which she expounded views that body insecurity hinders personal and professional productivity. She explained, "the way we view our bodies determines the way we participate in the world." In 2015, Baker coined the term "body currency" referring to how people can put their financial and mental energies into every effort they make to make their exterior bodies perfect, at the cost of mental happiness.

In October 2015, Baker's book, Things No One Tells Fat Girls was published. The book is written by Baker and includes short guest essays by Virgie Tovar, Sonya Renee Taylor, Andrew Walen, Jen McLellan, Shanna Katz Kattari, Kimberly A. Peace, Sam Dylan Finch, Bruce Sturgell, and Chrystal Bougon, who present perspectives and experiences on topics like self-acceptance and unlearning patriarchal beauty standards. Alongside these essayists, Baker shares personal experiences paired with research. The book includes tips to promote body positivity. To promote the book, Baker developed the hashtag #FatGirlsCan as a way for women to share videos and images of what activities they can participate in regardless of their body size.

Baker was the October/November 2015 cover model for She also gives talks and does outreach and writes articles for publications like xoJane, "Ravishly" and Volup2.


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