Get to Know Jessica Wilson
Jessica Wilson (she/her) is a dietitian, storyteller, and community organizer whose experiences navigating the dietetic and eating disorder fields as a Black, queer woman have been featured on public radio shows and in print media, including the New York Times. She is the co-creator of Amplify Melanated Voices, a movement to center Black and Brown people in conversations about social justice. Jessica knows the grandeur of Black joy and invites everyone to celebrate it for the magnificence and resistance it is.
In It’s Always Been Ours eating disorder specialist and storyteller Jessica Wilson challenges us to rethink what having a “good” body means in contemporary society. By centering the bodies of Black women in her cultural discussions of body image, food, health, and wellness, Wilson argues that we can interrogate white supremacy’s hold on us and reimagine the ways we think about, discuss, and tend to our bodies.
Black women are always my inspiration. I hadn’t found a book that put us at the center of conversations about food, bodies and joy and I wanted us to have one; a place where we could be seen. The things I learned as a dietitian working with eating disorder clients who don’t fit the norms of my field hadn’t been in books and resources and created a large gap in care; the importance of their stories in the healing of all of us inspired this book as well.ˆ
Tressie McMillan Cottom; no question. Her joy, her critique, her ability to use both the spoken and written word to reach such a wide audience with her work is something that I aspire to. She brings so much of her life, professional and personal experience to her social media and it brings me so much joy to watch her “gramming the life [she has] built.”
I’ve been listening to the podcast “Best Friends” with Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata again. I could listen to Black women laugh all day, everyday. I say “again” because I felt guilty for listening to podcasts that were strictly for joy and not edu-tainment while in the book writing process. I felt like I should be searching all corners of the media landscape to find academic and pop culture references for my book; if it wasn’t going to get me to the finish line I didn’t think I should be doing it. In the end, a discussion about plus size clothing from “Best Friends” ended up in the book. Lesson learned: Incorporate more joy.
My friend Amy helped me celebrate my manuscript completion with a signature meal and cocktail. She made two different tater tot recipes to share. Tots are my favorite food group and any meal that includes them speaks to my soul. Amy’s cocktail was so thoughtful; it encapsulates different parts of my life. It’s made with gin, a connection to Lexi (who is at the center of my book’s eating disorder chapter and currently lives in London); marionberries (unique to Oregon, where I met my spouse); and rosemary (a staple of Sacramento, where I currently reside), with a splash of prosecco for celebration.
I just finished the second season of The White Lotus, which inspired me to make a dramatic exit when afforded the opportunity! I’m also keeping up with Abbott Elementary, which I adore.
My sun sign is Capricorn and it is everything that I love and loathe about myself! Capricorn is an earth element which means that I’m a grounding force, and also hardworking. I’m pragmatic, stick to my own boundaries and am good at seeing the long game all the way through. Unfortunately, I can be very stubborn and rigid at times.
I am a Pisces rising which is also accurate; I love feeling feelings, talking about feelings, and connecting to others by hearing about their feelings.