Two years ago, Bigi -- as she calls herself when engaging in Bacon Girl activities -- somehow ended up at the Cochon 555 event as the guest of a friend, despite the fact that she'd been a strict vegetarian for 13 years. "She told me it was a 'charity event,'" Bigi explains. Nevertheless, she spent a few hours wandering around the booths, talking to the farmers and chefs about pork.
"They kept telling me about these heritage-breed hogs, which I didn't know much about," she says. "I was also finding out about how the farmers raised them. This wasn't part of Food Inc. -- this was small family farms, raising their pigs humanely." Then she smelled Allan Benton's bacon cooking at one of the stands, and couldn't resist trying it.
"I stood in that line three times," she says. "And the next morning, I woke up thinking about bacon." Bigi started eating sustainably raised, artisanal bacon every day. For months. In January 2010, she went to a party where her friends kidded her about her new eating habits. "I
don't know what to do," she told one, somewhat in her cups. "I'm going to have to start wearing it."
It was as if she had been bitten by a mutant spider or zapped by gamma rays. Bacon Girl was born.
Actually, Bacon Girl simply asked photographers she knew if they would take pictures of her wearing bacon -- sometimes as part of an elaborate costume, sometimes with very little else on. And this month, Bacon Girl is publishing the photos as a 2012 calendar. Bacon hairdresses, bacon shoes, psychedelic bacon panels -- every month offers a new tableau of Bigi in bacon drag. The price is a little steep -- $20, plus $5 shipping and handling -- but Bacon Girl is trying to raise funds for the 2013 calendar photoshoots.
Was bacon a gateway drug to a newfound love of meat? "No, just bacon," she says. "I think I'm in the gray area between vegetarians and meat-eaters. But there are a lot of us. I read somewhere that 90 percent of vegetarians cheat with bacon."