The word ‘fat’ has always been a taboo in our dictionaries, especially within this image-conscious society.
Body image is a sensitive issue. But let’s admit it, we all care about how our bodies look. Or should I say, we are body-obsessed?
Most people think that you can’t be big and beautiful because fat is ugly. We have the ingrained mindset that women have to be slim and sexy. At least, that’s what’s being portrayed in fashion and the media.
But what about ladies who don’t live up to this beauty ideal?
Well, for one, they are standing up against the notion that plus sized women can’t be attractive, confident and happy. In a world where a size 8 and above is considered plus size, and bikinis belong only on hot bods, a series of selfies are defying norms. These selfies with the #fatkini hashtag are making rounds on the Internet and social media, mainly Instagram. They feature women sized 16 and above frolicking at the beach, clad only in their fatkinis, otherwise known as bikinis.
The phenomenon was set off by blogger Gabi Gregg back in 2012. Gabi who has a swimwear line catering to plus size women said in her blog post, “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.” The relatively new #Fatkini hashtag promotes body positivity by encouraging women to flaunt their beach bodies, regardless of their size and shape.
Plus-sized model and founder of #effyourbeautystandards, Tess Munster, has close to 374, 000 Facebook fans. She has also posted a picture of herself in her fatkini, and recently modelled for Black Cat Bikinis, proving that even girls on the larger side can be sexy.
Some retailers have joined this revolution.
While revolutionising the fashion and swimwear landscape by creating demand for bigger bikinis, these women cause retailers like Forever 21 to mass produce larger swimwear and clothes.
Conflict of fat acceptance versus obesity promotion
This movement has also won the hearts of women around the world. But while there are many who support this fat acceptance movement, haters are always going to hate! Tweets in response to the #losehatenotweight hashtags accompanying these fatkini selfies included remarks that the act was promoting and galvanising obesity.
While #losehatenotweight aims to create an accepting culture, if you take an objective approach, ‘not losing weight’ could also pose a health threat. Being very overweight or morbidly obese is, unfortunately, unhealthy and possibly dangerous. The same can be said for being extremely skinny and underweight.
However, such negative comments have failed to dampen the atmosphere as more celebratory posts and pictures of larger women wearing a two-piece are cropping up. Health issues aside, this move is an awesome way to cultivate self-love because acceptance is the first step to change. Seen as a visible influence on brands and a source of empowerment to fat (because fat is not a dirty word) women, fatkini selfies are here to stay. And need I say it’s spreading like wild fire?
One thing we can learn for sure though, is to love your body always, for it’s the only one you’ve got.