Her blunt username and attention grabbing red locks made her account immediately captivating.
Who was this full figured girl, with a tremendous amount of confidence?
And better yet, is it okay for her to be self-proclaimed “fat” and proud?
During an age focused on kale smoothies and detox cleanses, political correctness (making sure to speak in a way without a hint of racism, sexism, or even sizeism), and Michelle Obama’s Disney Channel publicity stunt focused on healthy eating in schools, it can become difficult to consider the acceptance of obesity as an option.
Sami, as @_fatandfabulous is known to family and friends, does not appear upset about her larger size at all. Smiling in most selfies and sporting killer eyebrows, Sami looks like a typical 20 year old, a young woman.
She was making a political statement with her account submissions though, unlike many of her peers, by embracing her appearance through photos and words. Without necessarily intending to, Sami gained an audience, interested in her alternative mindset. Rather than condemning women for being overweight, she says “Yes, I am. So what?”
*****A BIG GIRL WHO DOESN’T HATE HERSELF FOR NOT MEETING SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS? PREPOSTEROUS.*****
Only a few years ago when the “look” every teen strived to have was bleach blonde hair, Abercrombie graphic tees, and a Vera Bradley purse, a select few went away from the pack and dressed in their own style. Those unconventional girls seemed entirely different too!
Sami is doing the same thing, except the unflattering Abercrombie graphic tees have been replaced with “regular” women’s sizes in a plus size girl world and this girl is trendsetting like no other.
Sami breaks the mold by demanding respect and refusing to succumb to social pressures. She is her own person, she is proud of her appearance, despite what others have told her. I particularly enjoyed a post Sami put up on May 14th, because I felt it was representative of her attitude towards “fatness” as a whole:
Making posts with motivating captions, not encouraging the loss of weight, but rather urging her faithful followers to enjoy their bodies is completely different from the “thinsporation” accounts frequently reaching instagram’s popular page.
How many pointless conversations about striving for a thigh gap have you heard or read about this year? I found a pinterest quote this past week that I don’t think could be more appropriate:
Another photo from May 8th on Sami’s profile also caught my eye, affirming my inclination to describe Sami as confident. In this particular image she was wearing a “fatkini”.
(I mean no offense to Sami or other plus size bikini wearers by using the term “fatkini”, believe it or not the well endowed women in the blogging community are responsible for coining this term themselves. Certain stores even categorize plus size 2 piece swim wear at fatkinis. Sami also used the #fatkini hashtag on her image.)
Sami told her followers or “fellow fat babes” as she commonly addressed them, to “show your bodies with the pride that you’re a temple no one can tear down” on the caption of this photo.
My mind was racing back and forth, confused.
I wanted to give Sami a hug, after years of burying the bikini is a drawer, ashamed to wear it in public because of my figure with a little more to love, I was so impressed by her.
Size is so controversial though, I also saw the opposite side of what she was saying/doing.
If we promote the acceptance of overweight girls, like Sami, we run the risk of promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.
If we do not accept Sami and women that are a size 14 (the average size of our American female population) or larger, then we damage their self esteem, run the risk of discrimination and unnecessary hatred, and ultimately hate crimes.
Movies and books always seem to have a fat girl in the story. She is an outsider, not admitted to the “in” crowd. Her mistreatment is the reason so many bigger girls want to lose weight, not to be healthy, but to be accepted.
I do not feel Sami is discouraging healthy behavior, but rather is reminding us all -fat, skinny, average, purple, pink or green- that our value should not be determined by others. Do not look to society around you for approval.
Reflecting on the discovery of Sami’s profile, I realize how supportive I am of her carefree attitude and the positive reinforcement she is providing for those that follow her, but I am also aware of the possible negative consequence.
What began as a post that I thought would focus on whether fatkinis should be a trend or not, developed into a political debate about societal expectations on size all together. Take what you will from this rant, if nothing else maybe Sami’s posts will provide us all with a little inspiration/insight this swimsuit season.
Voice your opinion, do you support Sami’s efforts? Do you like the trend of fatkinis? Is plus size acceptance in the fashion industry promoting obesity?
UPDATE: 10 days later, I purchased my very own fatkini. I published this post on May 31st to play devil’s advocate, but I personally embrace this trend whole heartedly. I never felt so confident in swimwear until I purchased my high waisted set from Aerie. See the photo on instagram here.