Jaclyn McCabe, owner of Jaci Blue, speaking at the Not So Skinny Dip
In a million years, I never thought this event would get the attention it has received. Every day since we announced, something new, exciting, challenging, and ultimately lovely has occurred in my social media feed and messages.
Did you hear conservative talk radio took a shot at me?
Bless their hearts.
The opening line of the Times-Picayune article read "Jaclyn McCabe isn't afraid to make space for herself." It took two days for those words to sink in. And when they did, I giggled to myself and thought, "Oh shit! That's true!"
The reality that Chelsea Brasted so accurately reflected back to me isn't a reality that I have always lived in. Fueled by self-hatred, I spent most of my life trying to disappear.
It was a beautiful, loving tribe who held me up and opened the door for me to learn to love myself - and in turn my fat body.
The very first time I ever joyfully jiggled was in a swimming pool. Who knew fat jiggling underwater could feel so good? But I had been too busy trying to keep my thunder thighs from wobbling - I never noticed the sensation of fat jiggling.
It's marvelous! Try it!
Out of my personal experiences in healing the wounds of diet culture - I decided to create a space where beautiful plus-size women could get together, hold each other up, and joyfully jiggle.
And look here we are! For the second year in a row!
Not So Skinny Dip, June 2019 at The Drifter Hotel
Let face it, ladies, there is nothing scarier than swimsuit shopping. It wasn't that many years ago when I wouldn't go to the pool without a swim skirt on.
God forbid anyone ever saw me eat in public. And if they did, it sure as hell wasn't tacos and ice-cream. I was too busy pretending to be a ‘good fatty’ and munching on salad.
Thinking back to that, I really don't know who I thought I was fooling. But then again, I was too busy pretending to be invisible to stop and think logically.
It doesn't matter where you are on your journey towards self-love - just know you are exactly where you are supposed to be today.
I'm going to encourage all of you to make a new friend. Start building that lady tribe. Hold space for each other. Have those powerful conversations about how it feels to walk in the world in your body.
And above all remember you cannot have courage without vulnerability.
But here's the real truth - I've been southern long enough to learn the subtitles of the polite middle finger. And today I am fueled by just enough self-love and rebellion to give a damn what anyone thinks of me.
So I'll be over there eating tacos and ice-cream in my bikini while jiggling these thunder thighs. This small act of resistance is my polite middle finger to the comment section!
Now who's with me?
Not So Skinny Dip photos by Emily Kask
Chenese Lewis, who is one of the incredible social media influencers who help me see my fatness as beautiful. I am so honored to call you a friend. Please go check out her podcast asap.
Hollagram and Ian Means Dyer for letting me follow you around all Mardi Gras Day. And then agreeing to entertain all of us with very little questions asked. I'm still not sure they know what they’ve gotten themselves into.
Marc Settembrino who keeps teaching me about balance - even though I keep falling over.
My loving tribe who kept checking in on me, listening to me process all my the things that happened leading up to this, and even speaking for me when I felt I couldn't speak for myself.
And last but certainly not least, my team captain Sarah. Who over there holding down the shop as she does every day for me.
Jaclyn McCabe with Special Guest Chenese Lewis