Food Psych #112: Body Liberation and Difficult Conversations with Jes Baker

Jes Baker

Jes Baker, body-liberation activist and author of the book Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls, discusses her continuing process of recovery from trauma related to food, eating, and fatphobia; why talking about trauma is so important; why she uses the term "body liberation" instead of "body positivity" or "fat acceptance"; why we need to have more nuanced conversations about people's body-liberation journeys instead of reflexively shunning celebrities who've had weight-loss surgery; how the experience of being "small-fat" differs from the experience of being in a larger fat body; why the mainstreaming of body positivity has been so problematic; and lots more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about starting movement again after a history of compulsive exercise.

Jes Baker is a Tucson blogger and author who is on a mission to turn our society's concept of beauty on its oppressive head as she knows for a FACT that every person in this world is worthy of respect and feeling valued regardless of their size, shape, shade, sex, ability, gender, age or health records. She preaches the importance of body autonomy, ALL CAPS, self-love, mental health, strong coffee, and even stronger language. Find her online at

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We Discuss:

  • Jes’s relationship with food growing up, including her experience with food scarcity and never learning how to eat “normally”

  • The trauma of living in diet culture

  • Why body trust is so challenging after prolonged deprivation

  • Removing fatphobia and weight stigma from medical practice

  • Intuitive eating, body love, and Health at Every Size as concepts vs. practice

  • The deprivation mindset

  • Compassion

  • Trauma recovery and theory

  • Roxane Gay’s new book, Hunger

  • Weight loss surgery

  • Holding the diet industry accountable

  • Body autonomy

  • Patriarchy, the beauty ideal, and choice feminism

  • Radicalism vs. mainstream movements

  • Lisa Frank BoPo

  • Body positivity vs. body liberation

  • Dealing with weight gain

  • Reactionary conversations

  • Therapy vs. community healing

  • The pros and cons of internet communities

  • The consequences of mainstreaming body love

  • Body currency

  • Body acceptance and body neutrality

  • Ableism

  • Jes’s experience writing her second book


Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.


Listener Question of the Week

How do we engage in intuitive movement and fitness without triggering old diet-mentality thoughts? Is it possible to the gym or do gym-type activities without being inundated with diet culture? What are some non-gym forms of movement?

(Resources Mentioned: Curvy Yoga with Anna Guest-Jelley and Cody classes with Jessamyn Stanley and Dana Falsetti)

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