We've all done it: meticulously gone through our Facebook or other publicly shared photos to ensure we don't look anything less than perfect. Taking into account this careful curating, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who willingly shares a picture of herself in a bathing suit. But enter fashion blogger Gabi Gregg. The plus-size fashionista proudly posted pictures of herself on her blog Gabifresh in what she calls a "fatkini," a striped black-and-white two-piece bathing suit.
She also asked other plus-size women to post pictures of themselves in swimsuits, and she published them in a gallery called "31 Hot Sexy Fat Girls in Skimpy Swimwear" on xoJane.com.
"As a size 18, my swimwear posts tend to gain way more traffic than my regular outfit posts," Gregg wrote on xoJane. "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."
The size of models has become a real issue in the fashion community, spurring debate as to whether models should be exclusively rail thin or whether other body types should have a fighting chance. Aggressively thin girls have been the norm for years, dominating the runways and gracing the covers of major magazines, whereas models size 10 or 12 have been labeled "plus." Gregg's photos succeeded in further fueling the conversation.
"I love my body; we should reject these fashion rules," she told "Today" host Tamron Hall in the video above. Hall asked Gregg to respond to critics who say Gregg is encouraging obesity.
"I'm not promoting obesity or a healthy lifestyle," Gregg told Hall. "The truth is we have to live in our body right now, no matter where we are on our jouney to health."
Gregg's attempt to go against the grain prompted positive comments on her blog.
Lace N Leopard wrote, "Oh em ghee! I LOVE this! I am so scared to wear bikinis and I feel that this one would really be flattering. Ordering now >>> Thanks you look wonderful!" Christina of Profresh wrote, "Hi I'm Christina and I'm effing jealous of you! Girl, look at that boom-boom-body! Love it girl and you inspire me daily to be comfortable to be who I am and not make excuses. Love you girlxxReply."
-- Jenn Harris
Video: Gabi Gregg talks to "Today" host Tamron Hall about her swimsuit photos. Credit: msnbc.com.