My partner and I have just recently booked a holiday to Greece for September, my best friend is getting married out there so it was the perfect excuse to get away for a week. Thank you Mica! And although I absolutely cannot wait for it, thoughts of holidays are combined with an impending dread. The dread of wearing a swim suit.
I’m not the biggest of girls, but I’m certainly not the smallest. As I stand today I’m a 14 on top and a 16 on bottom. I have enormous thighs, well, to me they’re enormous, as are my hips and I’m not a huge fan of my belly. So when it comes to swimwear, I see all the size 6 models in bikinis and assume I’m in no way ‘bikini ready’ thus making me believe I need to cover up as much as possible. This thought process has resulted in years and years of stress, tears and disappointments. I’d see a gorgeous bikini and instantly think to myself ‘if only I could wear that’. Well, something I’ve noticed online lately is inspiring me to stop saying ‘if only I could’ and start saying ‘I actually could’.
#fatkini has been trending throughout instagram and twitter over the past few days. It involves a collection of plus size girls taking selfies whilst wearing bikinis to demonstrate that this idea of the perfect ‘bikini ready body’ the world forces upon women can actually be obtained by simply just wearing a bikini in confidence. Who’d of thought it would have been so easy?!
This first popped up in the US back in 2012 after plus size fashion blogger Gabi Gregg posted a blog with pictures of herself in an amazing stripped bikini whilst holidaying.
Here’s what she had to say;
“As always, I truly encourage you guys to get to the beach (or a pool) this summer–don’t let body shame keep you from having a good time! I don’t expect everyone to feel comfortable in a two piece, but hopefully I can inspire some of you to take the plunge. I can’t tell you how freeing it is to just have fun without worrying about what other people think.”
She’s since posted other entries which, along with this idea of inspiring women to have the courage to wear a bikini, is also in response of the lack of bikinis for bigger girls, and the lack of pictures in social media and advertising.
Thanks to Gabi, #fatkini and the accompanying selfies and comments like “today I put on a bikini for the first time in three years, and damn I look good!” and “I never thought I could wear this” have swept through social media, and its amazing to see. (Obviously theres a fair share of haters trolling the pictures, but don’t be disheartened if you see some of these comments if you do any site searching, they deserve little attention.)
The message these girls put forth is not just one of ‘real women’ because we know by now that women come in all shapes and sizes. Whether that’s a size 6 or 26, we’re all ‘real’ women. But targeting the idea that you have to be a certain size or have a certain body shape to wear, and to look social acceptable, in a bikini. And promoting the idea of body confidence, accepting what size we are, wearing whatever the hell we want to and being brave enough to not let our body worries hold us back.
I envy Gabi, not just for her gorgeousness but for her undeniable self confidence, I’m not quite there yet. But the older I get the more I love my body. So after I purchase my bikini, spend an hour finding the courage to wear it in public, I might just take a selfie and start to love my bikini body.
Gabi’s website has some amazing fashion tips for the plus size figure, as well as some inspirational blog posts, much like the fatkini one. Check it out here;