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?


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


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”?

Do these pants make me look groovy?

Spying myself in a shop window while I walked Roxy this afternoon made me realize I have to start dressing better.

Really, even a strong advocate of “clothes don’t make the monk” like myself has to draw the line somewhere.

Pretending I’m Charlize Theron in the movie, “Sweet November,” is not working anymore.

Let’s face it, Charlize wearing a ratty poncho still looks like a million dollars.


I still look like I’m wearing a ratty poncho.

Such is life.

In my defense, the day doesn’t seem to have enough hours.

It seems to pass by at lighting speed and before I know it, I only have a few minutes before Roxy has an accident on the carpet, or the Son starts screaming, “I’m sixty seconds away from gnawing on the legs of the dining room table!”

Is this the time to color coordinate an outfit and select the right accessories?

I don’t think so.

And so, with the intent of taking care of business before I have to witness the Significant Other trying to slice through a frozen pound cake with a butter knife, I’m out the door wearing whatever I threw on in the morning.

Today’s outfit consisted of a pair of pajama pants emblazoned with the word “groovy,” an old T-shirt that once upon a time used to be black but now has taken on a muted shade of gray, and a pair of old Birkenstocks I bought at a thrift shop ten years ago.

Hardly the epitome of groovy.

Tonight, I pondered why it is that some of us abandon our inner fashionista at a remote truck stop, never to be rescued again.

Do we do this because we’ve become too lazy to bother with our appearance?

Or do we do it because the older we get, the more our enlightened state tells us that clothes are not part of our spiritual essence?

Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter what we tell ourselves or how we try to convince ourselves there’s nothing wrong with our schizophrenic wardrobe choices.

The reality is that we should invest time on ourselves.

We deserve to put ourselves first.

Before our spouses, before our grown up “children,” before our furry friends.

It’s important for us to realize that we also matter.

Regardless that we may think that outward appearances aren’t important, the reality is that much of the time, looking good means feeling good.

And so, after much soul searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps it’s time to modify my “monk” mentality.

Because while it may be true that a badly dressed monk is still a monk, wearing a pair of pajama pants that say “groovy,” doesn’t mean I’m looking groovy.

How important is it for you to look nice?

Photo Credit: The Son

Today I’m linking up with Heidi’s Black and White Wednesday.
Black and White Wednesday

Is comparison the thief of joy?

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”– Theodore Roosevelt

When Corinne, from Everyday Gyann, encouraged readers to write a blog post that agreed or disagreed with this quote, I knew immediately which side I was on.

Not that there are any sides, mind you, since you can also take a “middle path” approach.

However, given I’m an all or nothing type woman, I believe comparison robs us of joy.

Before writing this post, I thought about which personal example I could use to back up my argument.

And the example that immediately came to mind was fashion magazines.

Yep. Fashion magazines.

When I was younger, I was addicted to magazines like Vogue, Elle, and Marie Clare.

These were the fashion bibles I consulted whenever I needed to know what to wear, how to look, and what to buy.

Like a starving castaway who’s stumbled upon a bunch of bananas, I gorged on the information these magazines provided; believing I was more beautiful, savvy, and trendy for following their recommendations.

Yet fashion magazines didn’t just rule my life, they ruled the lives of all my friends as well.

Every afternoon, we would get together to discuss the latest trends and styles.

Coffee cup in hand, we would pass judgement and snicker at anyone who passed in front of us wearing what we deemed to be out of style.

I would come home after these sessions to make lists of what I needed to wear, what make up I had to use, and even what I needed to eat, to look just like the models in the magazines.

The comparisons started off small.

“I could never pull off that look.”
“If only I had her ass.”
“If only I was that thin.”
“If only I had her hair.”

Before I knew it, I was convinced I could never measure up to the women featured on the glossy pages.

My self esteem plummeted.

My self confidence abandoned me and before long, I was suffering from a mild case of depression.

However, this didn’t stop me from browsing through the pages of Glamour, searching for ways to make my waist smaller, my hair shinier, or my lips fuller.

My friends felt the same sense of inadequacy at not being able to measure up to the long-legged models who resembled Barbie.

One afternoon, nana saw me lying listless on my bed; crying because I didn’t have a particular model’s long blonde hair.

“Bella, what’s wrong?”

“Nana, I’m not beautiful and that makes me sad.”

“Who told you that you’re not beautiful?”

“No one. I just know.”

Just then, nana spotted a magazine peeking out from under my bed.

“Have you been comparing yourself to the women in these magazines?”

“I’ll never be as beautiful as them.”

“You silly girl. You do yourself a disservice when you compare yourself to others. You are who you are for a reason. There is no else like you. You are unique. Enough said. Now go get cleaned up.”

As soon as I got up from the bed, nana picked up the pile of magazines and deposited them in the trash.

It was the last time I looked at a fashion magazine while nana was alive.

Fast forward I don’t know how many years and fashion magazines still have the same effect on me.

The minute I start looking at the leggy models with the perfect hair, I revert to making comparisons and before long, the joy has been sucked out of my day.

The other day I came across an online article that stated,  “A 1995 study found that three minutes spent looking at models in a fashion magazine caused 70% of women to feel depressed, guilty, and ashamed.

Could these feelings be attributed to women comparing themselves to the air brushed models that grace the covers of these magazines but have been Photoshopped to within an inch of their lives?

I believe the answer is yes.

In comparing ourselves to women whose appearance has been modified by software, we are setting ourselves up to feel inadequate; frustrated by our inability to resemble such perfection.

I think it’s time we stop comparing ourselves to others and start appreciating our own beauty, talent, and uniqueness.

In the words of nana, “there’s no one like you,” and that alone should make us feel extraordinary.

Do you find comparison robs you of joy?

Today I’m linking up to the Comparison Blog Hop on Dangerous Linda and Everyday Gyaan.