How a Blog Post Sparked a Retail Movement

That’s thickly beautifullllll

Longreads

Once in a while, a single post can spark a movement. In the summer of 2011, Gabi Gregg, who writes the blog GabiFresh, went on a quest to find a bikini; at the time, bikinis were hard to find in large sizes. When she found one, she posted a picture of herself in it, calling it a “fatkini.” (Gregg says that she got the word and the idea from a Tumblr user.) The picture, and a follow-up article for the Web site xoJane, the next summer, went viral, prompting a wave of copycat posts. Plus-size women took bikini pictures and tagged them #fatkini. Gregg ended up on the “Today” show, and the retail landscape changed. Gregg told me, “Out of nowhere, all these plus-size brands were suddenly making bikinis.”

The fatkini movement—and plus-size fashion in general—has occasionally sparked a backlash. “Being really visible when you’re a plus-size woman is not…

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