I want to love everything about the fatkini -- GabiFresh's line of swimwear in collaboration with swimsuitsforall. Those gorgeous bold prints! The fact that they are perfectly suited for women size 10 to 24. And how they were designed by the super-cool Gabi Gregg, the blogger who created the term "fatkini" when she encouraged women in all shapes and sizes to send her photos of themselves in bathing suits. She published them to send the message that women don't have to be a certain size to look amazing in swimwear.
All of that is fantastic. But let's take a moment and think of the term "fatkini." Then let's look at this word I'm going to throw out there ... "skinnykini."
Feels icky? Okay. Okay. Am I being too sensitive, maybe?
I grew up being sensitive to it because my mother is what most would call skinny. Though to her, skinny is offensive. It makes her feel like something is wrong with her when in fact she's just naturally thin. I also think about skinny jeans and how so many take issue to my favorite style of denim just because it has the word skinny in it. It just means the jeans are fitted all the way down to the ankle -- no flare, no boot cut, no bell bottom ... skinny. You don't have to be skinny to wear them.
Then we also have the term "mom jeans," which is -- generally speaking -- an insult to moms more than it is the actual jeans. Insert eye-roll.
So the fatkini. It's kind of like how we like to take the word bitch and use it in a way that lets us have power over the word. Are we all cool with it though? Is fatkini offensive? Would a size 24 girl say, "I can't wait to buy a fatkini"? Maybe they would. It's owning the word. That's power. And if a bikini can make a woman feel good, then that's one of the best bikinis ever because I think every woman no matter what size she is feels some sort of self-consciousness in a bikini. Damn you, swimsuit season!
The idea behind GabiFresh's line certainly isn't offensive. The bikinis are all convertible so you can wear them halter style or strapless. The bottoms can be folded up to be high-waisted (mom jeans style if you will) or folded down to be more revealing. Prices range from $49 to $99. Gabi says that her line services the market because there really aren't a lot of cute styles of bathing suits for plus-size women.
Moshe Laniado, president and CEO of swimsuitsforall, says of the collaboration with GabiFresh:
Gabi’s ‘fatkini’ stories shed light on the misconceptions about women, body image, and swimwear. The idea that all women can look amazing in a great swimsuit is what swimsuitsforall is about. Gabi’s story tore down old notions that sexy swimsuits are only for Sports Illustrated models.
True. True. True! But what's also true is we are a nation so obsessed with weight and overly concerned with calling people fat or skinny. Maybe we are too hung up on labels as well. A bikini is a bikini is a bikini.
What do you think of the fatkini? Love or hate the name?
Image via Lydia Hudgens for GabiFresh