INTERVIEW: ‘Fatkini’ swimsuit designer Gabi Gregg on accepting her body
Metro catches up with “Fatkini” designer Gabi Gregg, who launched a wildly popular swimsuit line for plus-sized women. The GabiFresh.com blogger’s line can be found on swimsuitsforall.com. Gregg dishes on accepting her body, the magic behind her flattering suits and being criticized for not being fat enough.
In school, did you realize you were bigger than everybody else?
Yes and no. I wasn’t teased too much, luckily. It was mostly internal, feeling insecure next to my classmates, if they were thinner than me or had blonde hair. Nobody had to say anything. And I started trying to diet when I was in middle school and high school, and it wasn’t until college that I came to accept myself.
How do the suits… work?
What do you mean by work? [Laughs]
They fit so well. Is it made out of a binding material, with latches or something?
Actually, no. I’ve had people ask about support, of course, but there’s nothing special about the fabric of the suits. It’s normal bathing suit fabric. In terms of the Galaxy suit, what makes it so special is the print — it’s graphic and fun and looks great because it’s so busy that it… I don’t want to say it distracts the eye, because I don’t care about that sort of thing, but that’s what it does. And the high-waisted cut looks great on all women.
Are you OK with the term Fatkini?
Yes. I didn’t use it this year because it went so viral last year, and it was inspiring for many people but took away from it, for others, because they were stuck on the word and got angry and started commenting. It’s a reclamation of the word “fat;” especially in our community, we all get it. When it goes outside the community, people get angry and send emails. But I’m fine with it. At the end of the day, it’s a Fatkini because I’m fat and wearing a bikini. [Laughs]
How much do you weigh now?
I believe I’m around 225.
How tall are you?
Do you get flack for not being ‘fat enough?’ Early on, there were some comments.
I don’t get a lot. Once in a while, like when the bikini pictures come out. It’s funny to see half the people commenting are disgusted by my body and the other half are, like, fat women saying, “She’s shaped so nicely so it doesn’t count! I have fat hanging from my arm that she doesn’t have!” I try to avoid the comments on other sites. Some women wish they could see women bigger than me on a bikini, and I understand that but I can only be myself.