Why exactly are we calling a bikini a fatkini?

I love fashion blogs.

I know this may surprise you, considering how much I say I love pajama pants.

But the truth is, I love fashion.

Not in the “Sex in the City” kind of way, but more like in the “fashion is self expression” kind of way.

Because to me, that’s what fashion is: the ability to express who you are in a personal and meaningful way.

Reading fashion blogs allows me to envision myself dressed in the styles of the lovely ladies whose fashion sense I admire.

I’m inspired to try fashion trends like floral jeans, peplum tops, and neon colors.

And when I spot a fashion trend I don’t have the courage to try, I live vicariously through the daring women who step out in style and blog about it.

Now that summer is here, I’m delighted to see many of my favorite fashion bloggers sporting bikinis.

I am especially pleased to see many women showing off their curves, undaunted by the fact that they don’t have what society deems a “bikini ready body.”

These women, confident in their skin and convinced they are beautiful, are my heroes.

They are who I look up to as I continue on the journey to lose my insecurities and feel comfortable in the body I am in.

Gabi Gregg is one of the fashion bloggers I admire.

She has recently been making waves with a bikini post that has gone viral.

Fearless, beautiful, and self confident, she is truly a sister worth emulating.

When I first saw Gabi’s bikini post, I cheered.

But not before I swooned when I saw her gorgeous vintage inspired two piece.

For the first time in twenty one years after giving birth to the Son, I envisioned myself wearing something similar to Gabi’s two piece.

However, there was something in Gabi’s post that burst my bubble: the fact that she called her bikini a “fatkini.”

A fatkini?

Really?

I was disappointed at what appeared to be another example of labeling.

Fatkini.

The term alone implies that it’s a two piece for fat women.

It would appear that “bikini” as in, a two piece suit, seems insufficient for full figured women, and thus, it is necessary to create a more literal term.

This makes me wonder why some women feel the need to adopt terms like “fatshion,” or “fatkini.”

Is it because we find that it sets us apart from the skinny girls; that it award us our own little club or clique?

If you ask me, terms like these only serve to make a distinction between those who are fat and those who aren’t.

In her recent post, Gabi promotes a clip of her appearance on the Today show.

In the interview, she’s asked if she thinks she’s promoting obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Gabi replies, “I’m not promoting obesity or a healthy lifestyle. I think people should be aware of what they’re putting in their bodies and be more active. The truth is be happy with your bodies we have right now.”

While I found Gabi’s answer to be acceptable, I wanted to hear a different reply.

I wanted to hear her question why it is that when fat women wear a bikini, it’s seen as way to promote obesity, but when thin, emaciated women grace the covers of fashion magazines, it’s not seen as a way of promoting eating disorders.

I wanted to hear that being fat doesn’t necessarily equate being unhealthy, the same way that being thin doesn’t automatically signify being healthy.

I wanted to hear that women wearing bikinis, regardless of their size, are just that, women in bikinis.

I find that if we really want to empower women and promote self confidence, we have to lose the labels.

The word fat used to induce fear.

Anyone daring to use it was crossing the line, being offensive, being politically incorrect.

Fortunately, many fat people are battling the word’s negative stigma saying, “We’re fat and so what?”

Nevertheless, is it really necessary to label ourselves fat?

After all, it’s not like skinny people walk around saying, “My name is so and so and I’m skinny.”

The way I see it, any woman, regardless of her size or shape, should feel free to wear whatever she wants and feels comfortable in.

Without having to rename a bikini a “fatkini.”

And surely without having to affirm, “I’m a fat girl in a bikini.”

It should simply be enough to say, “I’m a woman in a bikini.”

Enough said.

How do you feel about the term “fatkini”?

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98 thoughts on “Why exactly are we calling a bikini a fatkini?

  1. Yes, you are a woman after my own soul! I love your commentary and applaud very line. I think this post will go viral! Well said. We are women and that is that. beautiful inside and out. Wanting and giving love and that is all that matters!

    1. Sing it, sister! Jodi, your words make my heart sing! Thank you!I hope this post goes viral but only because it’s just another reminder of the importance of accepting and loving ourselves the way we are! :)

  2. Fatkini?
    NO. No. No. The word is offensive and demeaning.
    When will the day come when people just accept others for who they are “NOW?” Society wants to change people to what their EXPECTATION is. For example: Old to Young. Big to Small. Fat to Thin. Muslim to Christian. NO!
    MLK pretty much said it perfectly: “”When will the day come when we look at one’s character & content?””
    The interior is sooooo much more significant than the exterior. Once we realize this, the world will be a beautiful place.
    Luv ya, Bella. Great Post. Xxx

    1. Kim, absolutely, sister! I’m with you a hundred percent. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. couldn’t be more appropriate. If only we could value in others the qualities that matter the most! Indeed, the world would be a more beautiful place! Love you, lady! XOXO :)

  3. I also heard this term recently, but it came from a young girl probably junior high age and it was in reference to herself. I literally almost cried. This post is very empowering and I truly enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing your point of view!!

    1. Skyetaryn, young girls are extremely vulnerable to the media. It breaks my heart to see how many young women, girls, even, worry about their weight and their body shape. I truly hope we can promote health and not just physicality. I’m delighted you liked the post! :)

  4. I don’t like the term fatkini either. It’s not very self-esteem friendly. I saw her post too, and I think she looks incredible – but there is no need for labeling.

    1. Deborah, I love it! A bikini is a bikini is a bikini! Okay, now my brain is going to be repeating this tongue twister all day! hee hee! :)

  5. No need for labeling, especially such negative labels.

    Wear a bikini; don’t wear it. If you wear it. Own it, girl! Rock that bikini!

    I agree with you, “I’m a woman in a bikini.” Scratch that. “I’m a PHENOMENAL woman in a bikini.”

    How’s that? :)

    1. Paz, your comment inspired me to do a happy dance! Indeed, you are a PHENOMENAL woman, sister, and don’t you forget it! :)

  6. Labels can be both positive and negative. In this case, as far as self-promoting, it seems to have worked for Gabi. She’s a beautiful young woman, no matter her size. I just wonder if dressing up or sugar-coating who and what we are ultimately hurts us more down the road. Being that I’m from a state that’s number two on having the “fattest” children in the country, I’m very concerned. I had a cousin, just 15 years old, to have a stroke because of his weight and the eating habits he’d grown accustomed. No matter what we call ourselves, we have to face our own truths.

    1. Beatrice, you’re right–labels are used for different purposes. I don’t know if I’d classify them as good, but they most certainly can be negative. We do have to own our reality and our truth. And most of the time, it’s hard. That said, I think it’s harder when terms like “fatkini” are thrown at us. Suddenly, we’re no longer just wearing a bathing suit, we’re fat women wearing a bikini. All I want to be is a woman in a bathing suit. That is all. :)

  7. I think good health is the most important thing and having self-esteem is an essential part of being healthy. Labels like that, even clever ones, just aren’t helpful.

    1. Shary, most definitely good health and self esteem go hand in hand. And I think that you acquire self esteem as you become more fit and healthy. That’s what really helps a woman feel better about herself. :)

  8. “Fatkini” is not okay. I totally agree with you, Bella. It’s a slap across the proverbial face – and a self-given one, at that. It seems like she had a need to acknowledge her size to stave off negative responses, perhaps? She looks fabulous. I’d find her more fabulous if she’d stuck with “bikini.” xoxo

    1. Ellen, I agree. She looks fabulous no matter what. I just know that if and when I have the courage to throw on a two piece, I’m going to proclaim I’m wearing a bikini! And that’s all she wrote! hee hee! XOXO :)

  9. Great post, Bella. I think the term “fat” is ok, it is truthful if one is overweight. Just as “skinny” is if one is underweight. No need to relabel the bikini though, or anything else.

    1. Michael Ann, I think we’ve gotten to the point where people don’t feel as uncomfortable saying the word fat. Like you mention, it’s an adjective that serves to describe a person. I hope that it continues to lose the negative stigma and that people won’t feel the need to use it to modify the meaning of things. I’m glad you liked the post! :)

  10. ‘After all, it’s not like skinny people walk around saying, “My name is so and so and I’m skinny.”’
    They don’t say it in those words exactly, but I’ve met women who think of themselves as too skinny (which they are, think bones protruding from the body so you wonder when they’re going to rip the skin from the inside), and yes, they say they’re skinny, and not in a good way.
    I don’t find the word “fat” (or “skinny”) offensive, they are merely terms which describe someone’s body, like saying that someone has blue eyes. I see no particular reason for the term “fatkini”, though, unless it’s a humorous word which helps people learn to live with their bodies.

    1. Ivana, I have yet to meet a skinny person who adds on the adjective skinny like it makes a difference. Perhaps it’s because skinny is well accepted, while fat is not. I don’t find the words fat or skinny offensive either but I also don’t feel the need to have to manifest that we’re one way or the other. At the end of the day, fat or skinny, we’re just people. If we lost the labels, people wouldn’t be fat or skinny, black or white, Hispanic or Asian. They would just be people and this world would be a better place for it. :)

  11. I couldn’t have said things better than you did here Bella, you absolutely nailed it! Time to quit the stereotyping and simply enjoy fashion instead of making it an unnecessary cause of put-down and degradation.

    1. Elizabeth, I’m so pleased you agree. Lets enjoy fashion, without having to think about anything other than feeling good in what we’re wearing! Hear, hear! :)

  12. You are so RIGHT ON with this blog post. Labels. They limit. They curtail. They inhibit. They stop. My motto? Be healthy. No matter what shape ‘healthy’ is! Another wonderful message. Thank you so much!

    1. Diane, if you had asked me years ago if I thought a heavy person could be fit and healthy, I would have said no. However, I’ve now come to understand that while being overweight puts you more at risk for Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, it’s doesn’t mean that all fat people are unhealthy. I walk Roxy three times a day. My home has two floors and I live in a walk up style building. In other words, I’m climbing stairs all day long. I think this makes me more active than a lot of people. Do I wish I were thinner? Absolutely. Am I going to cry about it? Absolutely not. Like you mention, our goal should be to be healthy, whatever our size. :)

  13. Hi Bella,

    Preach! Like everyone here, I couldn’t agree with you more. Once again, we see that lovely dynamic unfolding, we are our own worst enemies. I think it’s a horrible term. The say way I think thick is a horrible term and Big Girls etc. etc. etc. People come in all shapes and sizes. ALL PEOPLE. It’s the joy of the fashion industry to define what is beautiful but their conception is flawed and driven by the almighty dollar.

    Of course, I haven’t worn a bikini since I was 16. It was white and imagine my horror when I emerged from the water and it had become umm transparent. Insanely traumatizing for a teen but it makes me howl with laughter today. Thank God for time and it’s healing powers. Nonetheless, I embrace my curves and you will never hear me saying fat outdoors ;).

    So sorry that I didn’t get to create a character for you. Forgive me and my busy life.

    Peace,

    C.

    1. Coco, I do a happy dance when you drop by my blog! No worries about the character, lady. I understand how busy you are. Next time, hopefully? :) You had me chuckling with your anecdote of the white bikini! Oh my goodness, I can imagine how that went down! hee hee! Kudos to you for embracing your curves now. I’ll be honest and say I have a love hate relationship with my body. There are days that I’ll think, I look good today, and there are days when all I want to do is hide under the covers. It’s a long journey, but one that I hope will deliver me to full acceptance of the skin I’m in. Thanks for chiming in, lady! :)

    2. Hi Bella,

      Well, I’m battling the bulge and struggling to get on the treadmill today lmao. Of course, I am WAY late to get in shape fore beach season but it seems a fine time to start. Just so I can love my self a little bit more and curse at her less behind closed doors ;).

      Definitely next time, my friend. Happy belated birthday to Roxy!

      C.

    3. Coco love, trust me, I walk all year round and I don’t lose a pound. It’s like the gods want me to stay the way I am. Trust me, I’m making peace with it. I’m tired of hating on my body. I’m tired of cursing the span of my hips, the size of my ass, the tummy that won’t lie flat. I want to accept myself just the way I am. I do. I do! But terms like “fatkini” ain’t helping, sister! hee hee! Lets get in shape so we can be healthy and live till we’re a hundred! Roxy sends you kisses! :)

  14. labels make me feel very uncomfortable, Bella. I work in a retail store that has both a “regular” size department and a “plus size” one, and I was surprised to find that labeling is done by both! Plus size women call themselves “fatties” and make fun of skinny women, who in turn like to call themselves or what they’re wearing “skinny-___” (fill in blank with type of clothing or “ass”) I always make an effort to let people know that being healthier is more important than being a certain size (I’m pretty sure I will never be a size 2, no matter how hard I try), but a lot of people are hard to convince. The labeling just exacerbates it :(

    1. Laura, your comment brought to mind the only piece of clothing that refers to thin women–skinny jeans! Funnily enough, just the other day my sister told me, “Too bad we won’t ever get the chance to wear skinny jeans!” She was kidding of course, but I realized it was a discriminatory term as well. After all, it’s not like a fat woman feels welcome to wear “skinny” jeans! But you are right–the pendulum swings both ways and it’s tragic, I tell you. The only way things will change is if we embrace our individuality and know that there is no specific mold for beauty. Now healthy, that’s another story. Being healthy is something we should all strive for. Thanks for the feedback, lady! :)

  15. Fat seems to be the last outpost for ridicule. It is ok to make fat jokes, label people fat, deny them seats on planes, or name a piece of apparel as ‘fatkini’. Yet, if we replaced the word fat with any other derrogatory term, it would cause us to gasp in horror. You are spot-on Bella.

    1. Renee, my friend, sadly you speak the truth. I guess it just goes to prove that discrimination takes many shapes and forms. I’m glad you got my point, lady! :)

  16. I hate it. It is just wrong and I hope no one buys them and it is a huge marketing fail. Bella – you are such a great writer we need to get your message out there. Not labels like fatkini.

    1. Aw, Savvy, I’m blushing at your sweet words, sister! Thank you! I second what you say–huge marketing fail, at least where we’re concerned! :)

  17. Excellent post, Bella. This is a very important subject, and just in time for summer, too. I visited Gabi’s blog post to see for myself. First I have to say, I love the bathing suit she’s wearing. The black and white geometrics are stunning. It really is too bad, though, that she called it a fatkini. It makes me feel like cringing. You’re so, so right! We have to get over these perceptions and look beyond these words that try to define who we are. It’s health that counts and frankly, we’re never ever all going to be skinny minnies, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    1. Monica, sister, you get me, you really do! I gave up on trying to be thin at the age of five. I realized I had inherited my mama’s curves and there was no way we were going to undo that. hee hee! Fortunately, they are very much appreciated by the Significant Other who like you say, “wouldn’t have it any other way””! ha! Gabi’s suit is gorgeous and it fits her like a glove. I tell you, lady, it inspires any woman to want to wear a two piece! Maybe we should! Maybe you should pack one for your trip! Maybe I should pack one too! How’s that for motivation? :)

  18. I agree, labels are not good. At all. But that’s all life is anymore. Brand, brand, brand.

    Brands are a short-cut to nowhere. We need to teach people not to be such followers, we need to teach people to have independent thought. Then again such a thing is difficult to teach. People would rather share an unflattering and reductionist label than stand alone in a decent truth. That’s just my two cents :) Great post! So thought-provoking.

    1. Patrice, we don’t have to stand alone. If I stand in the circle of independent thinkers, I know you will join me, and so will all the lovely readers of this blog. We are strong. We are powerful. We will not follow when what others are following goes against what we believe in. What say you, lady? Now go put on your bikini and lets do this thing! hee hee! I’m delighted you liked the post, sister. :)

    2. My favorite bathing suit was one I bought at a sports store like 10 or more years ago. Of course it had the boy shorts, plain black, and the top was a cute racer. I just loved the look, it was super sexy, but also strangely modest.

      You keep on uniting the independent thinkers!

      I really love how you call me Lady. Thanks. Only you, Bella, only you…:)

    3. Patrice, you crack me up! I think I would be into that old ten year old suit of yours! If you’re thinking of getting rid of it, I’ll adopt it! hee hee! I can never say no to a racer back! Are you joining the independent thinker club? You’re invited, you know! And yes, lady, only me! ha! :)

    4. hey…check out my new header when you get a chance. I used my new camera!! Macro lens. It’s sad how much I had to crop it to get it to fit, but at least I’m breaking out of my shell ;)

  19. My Inner Chick said it well (above). Her reference to Martin Luther King even made me think of Rodney King’s statement – “Why can’t we all just get along?”

    I don’t think either one of them was thinking of people’s sizes, but it is discrimination, isn’t it? There are no “skinnykinis” or “averagekinis”.

    Another thing to consider is how long it takes for people to change how they see things. I think this process takes around twenty years – a generation or so. It took about twenty years from the time that cigarettes had that warning label printed on the packs to the time the public accepted that they were a problem and started to put no smoking laws in place. It took about twenty years for people to accept that eating disorders were not something to be hidden but discussed and treated. Same with depression and other mental health conditions.

    I think that the general population becoming “size blind” is something that is still in the works. But great posts like this one push that rock up the hill a bit more!

    1. Eloise, your kind and thought provoking words make my day. Thank you for enhancing this post with your insight. Rodney, may he RIP, had it right, sister. Really, why can’t we get along? Why must me focus on the negative instead of the positive? Why do we frown when we can laugh? Why must we create so much drama when life could be so much better if we just sat back and let it flow? I’ll be way past middle age if I have to wait 20 years for change to take effect, but I still hope to see it. Anything. Any indication that we’re becoming more accepting of each other. Thanks for adding to the mix, lady! :)

  20. Thank you, Bella, and thanks for writing about this. Discrimination is a big peeve of mine.

    I believe that we have made a dent in the twenty years on this one. There really has been progress made on the body image front; we’re not there yet, but I’d say we’re over halfway. I remember when I was in college – mid ’70’s – you were pretty much supposed to be flat everywhere. No booty and no chest, or not much of one. Pretty much the Farrah Fawcett look. It was fine for her, but that’s just how she was. It was ridiculous. No dieting can get rid of a rear end if you are genetically set up to have a rear end. And there were no clothes for people with a booty. That has changed, I’d say thanks to some celebrities of different backgrounds, ethnicities and race who have shown that its ok to be more than a stick. And I’d say that the acceptance started getting some real traction about fifteen years ago. It takes time for acceptance to go mainstream. Sigh.

    About Rodney – sad to hear about his death. He was a kind man.

    1. Eloise, amen, sister! I was a child when Farrah was popular. I always did want her hair…sigh! Imagine, a curly top like me wanting hair like that! ha! Poor Rodney. I was so saddened by the news of his death. And lady, like you said, there are body parts that refuse to be flattened! Which makes me wonder why we keep on trying! hee hee! :)

  21. Another negative label attached to another stereotype that is considered negative. I say if a woman is comfortable in her skin regardless of her size she should express herself as she sees fit. It’s her body her life her state of being. Me, I’ve always tended towards hippy/vintage and anything not big box department store trendy.. I get stares all the time.. and I don’t care. I love me just as I am.. and I still cringe when I hear stories like this… Bella, I’m sure you’re beautiful in anything you slip over your hips..

    1. Brenda, now that’s the sweetest thing I’ve heard all day! Bless your heart, sister! And I’m sure people only stare at you cause you’re rockin’the hippy trend like nobody’s money! :)

  22. The term fatkini is ridicules – I don’t think Gabi is fat – I think she is a beautiful and a very stylish women and if she wants to wear a bikini who says that she can’t . I only wish that everyone could be is confident as she is.

    1. Ariana, Gabi most definitely is a role model for all women. I want her confidence. And I want to look just as fabulous in a bikini! :)

  23. I’d never heard the term before and I think it is just foul. I spend 10 months of the year in a parka and if I want to wear a bikini I – dagnabbit – will. However, I have stretch marks up to my armpits so am much more comfortable in tankinis… and have been know to skinny dip on a rare full moon summer’s eve as well :)
    BTW, I think Gabi looked pretty fab.

    1. Astra, I know I can always count on you to provide a chuckle! Dagnabbit, you’re funny, woman! Methinks you’ve inspired me to do something daring this summer! Skinny (pardon the pun) dipping is on my bucket list! Perhaps I’ll take the plunge this summer in Spain! And write a blog post about it! hee hee! Gabi always looks fab! Thanks for the laugh, lady! :)

  24. Outstanding observations, Bella! The term “fatkini” is insulting and demeaning; no one should use it. That’s like calling a thin woman’s bikini a “skinnytini.” When will we all quit this obsessive fixation on size? It doesn’t help, of course, that “fashionistas” keep shoving the emaciated look in our faces! Much more sensible to do the right things — eat right, exercise, etc. — for the healthy way it makes us feel, rather than hopping on that endless treadmill of trying to look the way somebody else tells us we should. Thanks for saying it so well, Lady!

    1. Debbie, that’s what I’m saying! Thin women don’t call their suits “skinnytini” so why should full figured women call theirs “fatkini”? I definitely want to adopt a healthier lifestyle but only because I feel that the older I get, the less healthy I am. Just this morning I was telling the Son that everything creaks! I sit down, and my limbs fall asleep! Yes, it’s time to exercise and start getting in better shape. Otherwise, when the grandchildren come around, I’ll be too lethargic to play with them! I’m delighted you liked the post, sister! :)

  25. I came across this term the first time on Pinterest…most probably from one of your pins! And I just hate it! This is the reason why society at large cannot accept curvaceous women; because these women themselves accept these labels attached to them.
    Sad, really. Coz I would have more heartily supported a curvy-woman-in-a-bikini if it hadn’t been called a ‘fatkini’.

    1. Sanchari, you’ve hit the nail on the head–society oftentimes scorns larger women because they allow themselves to be categorized and stereotyped. Most definitely, it is easier to embrace a woman of any size in a bikini rather than a “fatkini.” You’re so right! :)

  26. Hi, Bella,

    It looks as though you’ve really touched a nerve. I’ve been reading through a lot of the comments and agree with the frustrations expressed here. Seems to me that this is one more thing we women do to ourselves and to each other. Guys who aren’t as svelte as they once were don’t seem to be bothered about showing their bodies in skimpy bathing suits, and I guarantee THEY aren’t calling themselves or their suits “fat.”

    I don’t read fashion magazines, so I had no idea this was going on. It’s really discouraging. Thanks for filling us in!

    1. Nadine, you’ve brilliantly alluded to the other side of the coin–men don’t suffer from these hang ups. Truly they don’t. I’ve yet to meet any male who is fixated on his size or is interested in renaming his clothing to better fit his body type. I think that’s why men have it easier in life. hee hee! I’m glad you found the post and the comments to be helpful in shedding some light into trends like this one. I’m so happy you dropped by! :)

  27. First, I love your blog makeover. I know I’ve missed a few posts or I would have said something sooner. Second, you are so right about the fatkini thing. I know I need to lose some weight, but it’s about 30% ego and 70% long-term health. If I looked like Gabi I’d be happy because she looks healthy and happy. Such is society that a young woman who has so much going for her still feels it necessary to pin negative labels on herself. What does that say to the other young women who read her blog looking for fashion guidance and a role model for self-esteem?

    1. Julie most definitely this is why it’s so important to tear down the negative stereotypes and society’s insistence to shove one exclusive definition of beauty down our throats. Gaby is beautiful and it would appear she’s interested in getting young women to feel good about themselves by being healthy and fit. However, I don’t think calling a bikini a “fatkini” is a step in this direction. It might sound cute to some, but to me, it’s simply unnecessary. Lets help empower women by helping them feel good about themselves. Thanks for adding to the mix, lady! :)

  28. I love this post! I am about to share it all over the damn place. I agree with you 100%. I know people are trying to reclaim the word, but I don’t get it. It has never had a positive connotation. It’s an ugly, hurtful word to me. I was beginning to feel like I was the only one who wasn’t on board with the fatkini (that being said, I’m doing a bathing suit shoot soon for my blog and I’m scared, but I want to do it. Not to ride of the coattails of Gabi, but for myself.). I’m sure she was put on the spot and probably wishes she had said other things. I think your answer would have been PERFECT!!!

    1. Katie, I’m so happy you agree! The word fatkini does have a negative connotation. Hence, my dislike for this novelty term. I agree with you–it is both ugly and hurtful. I’m sure that many fat people have accepted the word fat and are not offended by it, but there are still many who haven’t. I worry about the effect that a term like “fatkini” may have on young women who fall into the latter category. No need for you to be scared to do a bathing suit post. You are beautiful! I’m looking forward to seeing your photo shoot! And I’m tickled pink you approve of my answer! :)

  29. Bella, I’m sure you can guess my response! haha.

    The term “fatkini” is disgusting! It seems that you and I have similar attitudes to fashion and I love that (mostly because I think you’re fabulous). But labels are not okay, not ever. Let’s just call things what they are (like bikini) and not invent terms to put ourselves down.

    1. Rachel, I just love you! I knew you would have this reaction! I know how you feel in regard to issues such as this one. I echo your words: “Labels are not okay, not ever.” Sing it, sister! And by all means, lets call things by their name and avoid a loss of self esteem through the use of terms with a negative connotation. Thanks for adding to the mix, lady! :)

  30. Amen, Bella! Yet again, we are on the same wavelength. For me there are several different issues this raises.

    One is the word ‘fat’. I wish we could reclaim it as a simple adjective, rather than a perjorative term. Some people have straight hair, some have curly. Some have blue eyes, some have brown. Some have dark skin some have light. Some people are thin and some people are fat. I prefer it to ‘overweight’ because that raises the issue of over what weight? Over a healthy weight for me is not the same as for someone else and in any case, it implies a judgement. I know that people often use it meaning to be diplomatic, polite or otherwise nice, but it wouldn’t be necessary if ‘fat’ wasn’t loaded with the hatred and judgement it bears now. Wouldn’t it be great if we could describe people by their more important attributes? Attributes like kindness, energy, humour, generosity, patience, goodness, and the like. Leave their physical attributes down the list further, where size would be put in its place as just one element of a human person, full of inherent dignity and deserving of respect.

    As to your blogging friend, she probably just meant that it was a bikini in which she could feel comfortable, but I agree, it’s sad that she felt the need to say that, that she needed to apologise for even wanting to wear one. But it’s an almost inevitable result of the gestalt we live in, where women seem cheifly valued for what they look like and have to make excuses for not conforming to other people’s desires in eye candy.

    How about we say she’s a woman who’s going for a swim?

    1. Imelda, indeed the gestalt we live in leaves much to be desired. I, for one, am tired of seeing how some women feel they have to apologize for daring to break society’s norms. I say, wear what you want and don’t justify your actions! There’s no need. No matter how attractive you are, there’s always going to be someone who finds something to criticize and judge. And since this is the case, I shall strive to do what makes me feel happy. Methinks you have enhanced this post with your excellent comment, lady. Thank you! :)

  31. Why is it necessary to put titles/labels on everything? I’ve not heard of “fatkini,” also never liked the term “fatshion” either! It’s just clothes … some stylish, some overpriced, seasonal, vintage or trendy, etc. I wear what I like when I like, more labelling just seems to be (incredibly negative and depressing, and) an “inside of the box” placement mentality that one doesn’t need to be summed up into or grouped in. We’re all so very different beautifully, why not celebrate that, and steer away from these unappealing terms for others and ourselves! Great post!

    1. Lady, you rock! As always, you’re spot on. Let’s celebrate our individuality and uniqueness. At the end of the day, what really matters is that we’re content with our actions. And surely this shouldn’t include having to conform to society’s rules and expectations. I say it’s time to break free, once and for all! :)

  32. Thanks so much for your funny, thoughtful blogs….and for introducing me to Gabi and her posts. It’s apparent that while it most often appears to be a never ending battle against stereotyping, ageism, fattism and on and on and on, and all that goes with those types of things, what we can try to do is just live our own truths, stand tall and be proud. Really, who are we trying to impress anyway? It’s just ourselves that we need to make happy. Of course easier said that done but hey….it’s a journey. Thanks for your posts. Have a great day.

    1. Mz Zoomer, hello and welcome! “It’s just ourselves that we need to make happy.” I love this! Indeed, at the end of the day, this is all that really matters, isn’t it? It is a journey but I’m confident we’ll reach our destination, one step at a time! Have a great weekend! :)

  33. What a depressing subject Bella!
    I’m not going to pretend that I’m ok with my extra weight. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a bikini or even a 2 piece or a 1 piece. I steer clear of the beach these days,rationalize that my fair skin can’t take the sun, I’d age too fast :-(
    I you saw me in my younger years in a bikini, when all I wanted to do was flaunt my figure, you’d understand. If some heads didn’t turn…

    1. Debra, I understand what you’re saying. Just today my sister sent me an email of her when she was 16 enjoying the sun and beach in Spain. She wrote in her email, “Where has this body gone?” I wrote back, “Three pregnancies killed it.” Some women are lucky and still retain the figure they had back when they were a teenager. Unfortunately for many of us, that’s not our reality. Nevertheless, it’s no reason for us to deprive ourselves of sun and surf, lady! This summer I’m parting from the premise that I need the Vitamin D. Other beach goers will have to look the other way if the size of my ass, I mean, hips, offends them! hee hee! :)

  34. Thank you very much for this post Bella. You are so right, but although I know what ‘they” have put in my mind is wrong, i can’t help being influenced. When I was under 11 years old, I used to be ashamed to wear a swimming suit because I was TOO skinny, then when I started gaining weight, i was TOO fat. In my country, when you meet someone you say: hello, wow, you lost weight, or hello, why did you gain so much weight? The shape of your body defines who you are

    1. Nikky, I think it is sad and unbelievable that the shape of one’s body determines who he or she is. Sadly, many times this is the product of media influence and societal norms that we adhere to. Hopefully, we will be able to change all that, one step at a time. For now, I think it’s important that we celebrate our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. Every one of us has something to offer the world. We are beautiful but we have to believe it. I believe that in time, you too will come around, friend. I have faith in you! :)

  35. Wow – I read the first part of the article, clicked through to Gabi’s post and thought to myself “Wow, what a pretty girl and she sure looks amazing in her bikini”, then I read the rest of your post and was saddened also that Gabi had used that term about herself. I think it speaks to the the way many women need to ‘apologize’ for whatever insecurities they feel. I think about how often I hear a compliment given to a woman and how so many times after a ‘Thank You’, she follows it with some sort of apology. I think that is sad indeed, yet, I think that decades of marketing messaging about beauty and body ideals has permeated women’s psyches to the extent that it is incredibly hard get beyond feelings of self-criticism. How do we get to self-love? I think it requires continual re-framing of situations and re-training of our minds to just love all the wonderful things about ourselves. As I write this, it does disappoint me that women have to spend so much time worrying about all of this instead of simply enjoying each moment we are given without regret or shame.

    1. Lisa, I shook my head in affirmation as I read through your comment. How right you are, lady. Many women do offer apologies after receiving compliments. I would go so far as to say many women will deny that the compliment is true or that they are worthy of receiving it. I think this speaks of low self esteem that is the result of being made to believe that beauty only has one face and body. If we don’t have either of these, we are not worthy; we are not deserving of feeling good about ourselves. I love how you closed your comment because truly, living life and savoring our very existence is all that really matters. I hope that in time we can change the negativity and non-acceptance that many of us feel. Thanks for your input, friend! :)

  36. I agree that there exists a double standard whereby we see thin – and I mean freakishly thin – women as healthy and larger women as obese. Truth is, neither – skinny or fat – is healthy. Of course, we can’t judge based on appearance alone. I’m sure there are seemingly fit people out there plagued by a number of ailments while larger people are by all accounts healthy. As a person who has struggled with the swimsuit since having my two kids, I’m not sure I’m a good assessor of what we should term bathing suits. Each one I put on feels like it’s my own “fatkini” regardless of whether it’s one or two pieces. But that’s because I’m not happy with my body, which is because I know I’m not making healthy choices for it. I feel you on what you’d have liked this blogger to say. We need an entire shift in our perceptions of healthy.

    1. Laura, I wholeheartedly agree–our perception is influenced by how we feel and the concept of self image we may have. I had to smile at how you deem that any suit to you is a fatkini. Most assuredly, we have to make healthier life choices. I know I do as well! Gosh, I need more self discipline! :)

  37. What a wonderful post! I hate the term “fatkini” – I just hate labels, period. This post is such an eye-opener that as far as we’ve come, we still need to go even further to stop labeling ourselves. It is far worse, what we call ourselves, even as a joke, than anything the media can call us.

    1. Nan, now I know why I think we’re soul sisters–we think so much alike! Most definitely, what we call or label ourselves affects us more than anything. We have to exercise self respect and above all, understand that words have the power to hurt and they prevent us from reaching the milestones we so need to reach. I’m so happy you liked the post, friend! :)

  38. Well said, Bella! I agree with you… From what I understand, some women feel that by using the word fat to describe themselves, it’s a way to reclaim the use of the word. In our culture, fat is just about the worst thing you could call a woman — women fear the word, and that is what gives it power (power to hurt). But by reclaiming the word, it loses that power… (Some people say).

    But I agree with you, and understand what you’re saying. If women only realized that a lot of people (myself included) really, really like curvy bodies like Gabi’s – Bountiful Goddesses — so “bikini” will do :)

    1. Lady, you are spot on–Gabi’s beautiful figure is to be envied. Curves like that are simply amazing! The word fat does hold a negative stigma and like you mention, we give it more power when we run scared from it. I always say we shouldn’t be afraid to say we’re fat but then it’s not something I’m shouting to wind either. Is it a reality? Yes. Is it something I want to advertise constantly? Absolutely not. It serves no purpose, other than reaffirm that many times we base our worth on how much we weigh or how we look. And really, that’s not what our essence is made up of! Thanks for adding to the mix, friend! :)

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