For decades, our culture has forced us into thinking that you must be thin before you step foot on the sand in anything but a one-piece. It’s an unspoken rule. Big girls don’t wear bikinis. For many plus-size women this sad notion has taken all of the fun out of shopping for swimwear. As hard as we try, it is a struggle to feel sexy in the flirty skirted suits, modest full coverage and concealing miracle suits. So, what is a plus-size girl to do when she is sick of accompanying her size two friends to the beach in a frumpy wallpaper-patterned one-piece and has just about had it with the “beach-ready body” stereotypes? The answer is simple. Don’t let others dictate what you wear. As daring as it may seem, rock a bikini!

Most plus-size girls would rather go to war then wear a bikini, but designers are now making it easy to dive into a two-piece. No matter what the shape or size is, every body type is a “bikini body” but it is all about finding the right bikini for your body. The plus-size community is slowly but surely embracing this idea and has affectionately renamed the bikini a “fatkini.” A fatkini is essentially a bikini that was designed specifically with a full figured girl in mind. The fatkini is catching on quick, not only as a new trend but also as an opportunity for plus-size girls to embrace their curves and reveal a suppressed confidence.

This summer, shameful bodies are breaking out of their shells. There is a new babe on the beach and a different kind of diva chilling pool side. She is fearless, striking and designers are targeting that girl. Award winning contemporary plus-size designer Monif Clarke of Monif C. hit the mark with her “Sao Paulo” High-Waisted Plus Size Bikini. Monif encouraged her customers to splurge on one of her two-piece swimsuits in an interview. “There are beautiful plus-size women going on vacations with their husbands and girlfriends, going on cruises, and more,” Clarke said. She continued, “It makes me feel great that these women can go out in a swimsuit without a big bulky t-shirt on and still feel comfortable.”

You can make anything look good if you feel good in it and when you feel good about yourself it doesn’t matter what others think. “I can’t tell you how freeing it is to just have fun without worrying about what other people think, said plus-size fashion blogger, Gabi Gregg. Gregg has been an influential leader in the fatkini movement.

In her Fatkini 2012 post on, she wore a black and white stripe vintage-inspired bikini from Simplybe and compliments poured in on her blog for days. Some of her readers even called her inspiring. So inspiring, Gregg recently appeared on The Today Show to talk about the new fatkini phenomenon. Although her confidence was applauded, in the same breath she was criticized for promoting obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. Gregg quickly fired back explaining that she measures her health by her happiness and not by the numbers on the scale. She encouraged a healthy lifestyle by eating correctly and staying active but can’t stress enough how important it is to “be happy in the bodies we have right now.”

In a recent SHAPE magazine survey, a whopping 82 percent of women feel pressured to shape up and slim down for bikini season. 60 percent actually diet for the warm summer season. Why not live in the moment and celebrate our bodies for once. It is so refreshing to see that most designers and clothing companies are expanding their designing minds and creating their very own versions of the fatkini. Lane Bryant, Torrid and Everything But Water are on the list of places you can find the right bikini for your body type. Once you have found the perfect two-piece to suit your body, transform that every day bikini into a golden mome

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  1. I’m down for fatkinis mainly b’cuz I like full figured women. But although I’m into them I am always thrown off, looking away in slight distaste, when I see a big girl in a bikini. I don’t fully understand but I figure it’s still a major taboo. But that is the case for any woman outside the “woman” ideal, which is white, no muscle defition but toned, brown hair, brown eyes. Again, I love all shapes but we’ll, I mean our culture, will never get over its hate for perceived overweightness

  2. “In a recent SHAPE magazine survey, a whopping 82 percent of women feel pressured to shape up and slim down for bikini season.”
    I am a part of that 82% and I don’t think that’s such a bad thing…at least not for me. I have slacked off on exercise and healthy eating habits for the last 2 months. The summer season is just the motivation I need to clock in more hours at the gym and be mindful of what I’m eating. Our motivations may differ but within reason there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good or drop a few pounds.

    • @Tia: @Tia:

      There is a difference between wanting to get more active/healthy for summer and not doing anything because you don’t have a “bikini body.”

      The biggest problem is, so many people focus on getting bikini ready, that once that time is over, they drop all of the healthy habits for the rest of the year.

      The point is, focus on improving your healthy: no matter what the scale says or where it ends up. And don’t put life on pause because of the number on the scale or your shirt.

  3. The most popular workout/fitness dvd company is called BeachBody. It’s not rocket science. It’s profitable to sell fear of rejection

  4. I love that their is a move towards letting women of all shapes and sizes bask in the summer-wear glory. More power to us right! ; D

  5. The question I’d love to see answered is, why must people wear bikinis?

  6. I do love this but the thing that still bothers me about these photos is how airbrushed they are, when you see a slim woman she generally looks okay because of lack of cellulite etc. which these women probably have, its this wobbly factor I think that makes women so scared of wearing bikinis in public, well it is for me anyway, I’m only 19 and am a UK size 10 but have terrible cellulite, so would never wear a swimsuit let alone a bikini in public!
    Kudos to the designer for creating beautiful and fashionable swimwear for larger women, I just wish the images were more realistic.

  7. This seems like a really awesome idea. But I don’t like wearing anything with the name fat in it. So CURVINI would be a much better name. I’m a size 10 and I’ve never been able to wear a bikini before so this would make me feel so confident and sexy to wear.

  8. I had this thought when I was on a cruise earlier this month. Im pregnant, but swore to wear a bikini on my cruises I didn’t want to be guilted into wearing a one piece. So as I sat out on the lido deck people watching, I saw women of all shapes and sizes: some in bikini’s many in one pieces. As I went to pee numerous times because the baby likes dancing in my bladder I thought to myself, all women should wear a bikini…its a hell of a lot easier to pee in a bikini than it is in a one piece. One piece-urination is primitive and barbaric. And I wished that big women wore them more. Disregard everyone else and enjoy that sun and wind on your skin. Pee with freedom and in partial nudity…not full! Who cares? Small, in shape women have the wiggles too. Be free and have fun!!! I sure did. And I’m an 8/10 normally and in pregnancy with cellulite, back fat, and jiggly arms. =0)

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