What is the Fatkini movement?
Body image acceptance or exploitation?
The Fatkini movement, which emerged from XoJane blogger Gabi Fresh, celebrates plus-sized women in bikinis. As of 2013, many designs of plus-sized swimwear have been selling out, creating an intense demand for this clothing.
According to news reports, Gabi Fresh is a 25 year old who wants to promote a positive body image. She posted a request for other size 18 women to send their pictures and got 31 women to send their images back. Overall, the movement is mostly positive but there are quite a few people who have commented negatively, either because they believe that Ms. Fresh actually has the proper body shape for a bikini, or that there are people who would not look good at all in a bikini if they are of a certain size. Given the plus-size women tend to buy just as much (or more) beachwear and lingerie as the rest of the general public, there may be a pent-up demand for bikinis that flatter the full-figured figure. As it is, the fatkini movement is most likely in its infancy, since only 31 submissions to a blog is pretty paltry, so there should soon be a sub-genre of internet blog types featuring galleries of larger women wearing bikinis in various poses and locations.
Like any movement or popular event, precautions should be undertaken. For instance, bikinis create more skin surface area that can be susceptible to UV rays and sunburn, so proper suntan lotion or sunscreen is recommended. When rocking the fatkini, a tanned appearance may be preferable to white flesh, so a visit to a spray tan booth or tanning salon may be in order, but make sure you don't bring your kid like the tanning mom. Note that people, as a rule, can be cruel about your appearance no matter how big you are, so be sure not to take any criticism personally unless you devote your time to improving yourself or devising a devious form of revenge.
At any rate, the opposite of the fatkini movement would be the anorexia movement, where people are wearing a size -2 and not showing any meat on their bones at all. Considering that there is already a strong "fat stigma" in the world, it is nice to have an alternative point of view.
Notes and Special Information
As the summer of 2013 has progressed, commentators have noted a sharp rise in the number of bikini styles available for full-figured women. This is surprising given that a lot of swimwear is designed and manufactured up to a year in advance in factories around the globe, and then shipped in containers to retailers. Thankfully, the US-based garment industry has been able to move quickly on plus-size bikinis and swimwear, so women are able to get out on the beach before the end of the season. The summer of 2014 is expected to be even bigger for the fatkini craze, given that many more styles and sizes, as well as contoured suits, will be in stock everywhere. This means that there will be cheap swimwear options available that can't be found today.