Self-professed “fat girl” and style blogger, Gabi Gregg, posted a gallery of 31 “hot sexy fat girls in skimpy swimwear” on XOJane yesterday. In it, she touts the fact that these women can rock the “fatkini”. It was intended to help larger women feel empowered and sexy in their bathing suits this summer, but instead of being empowering, it was degrading.
Last month, for the second year in a row, I posted photos of myself in a bikini on my personal style blog.
As a size 18, my swimwear posts tend to gain way more traffic than my regular outfit posts. I attribute this to the fact that our culture is so obsessed with having a “beach ready bod,” that the mere idea of someone my size in a swimsuit, let alone a bikini, is shocking to most.
She went on to say that her goal was to inspire women with a “gallery of fat girls in bikinis (or ‘fatkinis,’ as we so lovingly refer to them in our lil’ community),” but calling these women fat, featuring only overweight women and terming bikinis “fatkinis” only furthers the divide between thin people, average people, overweight people and everyone in between.
Why do we constantly have to call people “fat”? And worse yet, why do we have to call a bikini that an overweight person wears a “fatkini”? It’s just offensive and degrading, if you ask me.
And some of xoJane’s readers seem to agree.
I love the idea of baring it all so that the world can see women come in all shapes and sizes. But as a plus size person who is trying to inject more positivity into my personal self image I resent the term fatkini, its a little degrading and personally, joking about being fat is just as bad as calling yourself fat.
And Cattie Price added:
As a size 20 girl, I HATE the word fat. It’s super offensive to me and I really dislike this new trend of trying to “reclaim” it. It isn’t reclaimed, for me. It hurts.
But not everyone was against this gallery.
BUT if I’m wearing a string bikini, I may be smaller than another fat person, but in the eyes of most of this country I am still a fat girl in a bikini. And that’s cool. And it’s cool that you’re whatever size you are wearing whatever you want to wear. I don’t know, I think the term fatkini is cute.
We definitely applaud Gregg for encouraging women to feel happy and confident on the beach in “something other than a Hawaiian-print skirted one piece.” We just wish it had included women of all sizes–without calling anyone fat.
What do you think? Empowering or offensive?