Blogger Brittany Gibbons Says It’s Time To Stop Calling Plus Size Women Who Wear Bikinis “Brave”


When diversity is seen as something extraordinary and out of the norm, that’s when you know we still haven’t done a good enough job changing our attitudes toward the variation of bodies that exist outside the elitist and narrow fashion and advertising realms.

At a Human Rights Campaign gala in March, TV queen Shonda Rhimes gave a speech damning the way diversity is often touted in society today. Although she is counted as the person who has pretty much single-handedly changed the face of prime time television with shows like ‘Scandal’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ portraying race, sexuality and careers in a way that networks have been too scared to before, she doesn’t think she is diversifying TV at all. She says she is normalizing it.

And we wholeheartedly agree! Why should diversity be seen as the exception to the rule when in the real world it is the norm? There is a definite gap between the media and the real world but thankfully we are hearing some powerful voices breakthrough like never before.


One of those voices is blogger Brittany Gibbons who is also a model, mom, body image advocate, TED Talk speaker and best selling author. Her book ‘Fat Girl Walking‘ is a series of essays and personal stories from a woman who wants to inspire other women to love their own bodies and share how she came to that conclusion herself.

In 2011 she gave a TEDx Talk about what she has learned on her body image journey so far. During the 8 minute speech, she stripped off her clothes until she was left standing in her underwear, making a bold statement of her confidence in herself.


While a statement of confidence is importance, Brittany as a plus size blogger standing in her underwear in front of a large crowd should not be considered “brave”, but the subtle subconscious messaging we have been taught from advertising and media tell us we SHOULD look at this act as brave or shocking.

But if she were a size 0 Victoria’s Secret model, would anyone bat an eyelid?

At the end of her talk she gives the reason why she decided to strip down in front of her crowd.

“If I can inspire you enough…that you can get up in the morning and hate your body less than you did the day before, it was worth every second,” she said.

And yes it is about inspiring other women to love their bodies in the same way, but it is also about teaching the rest of the world that a size 22 woman, or a size 14 woman, or a size 8 woman in her underwear is just as normal a size 0.


As an example of how we need brands and advertising to recognize their important role in this “normalizing” movement is the recent plus size clothing campaign for Target. Many media websites were describing the Target Loves Every Body campaign with words like “bold” “awesome” and “inspiring”.

The campaign featured a group of fashion and body image bloggers sporting a range of bathing suits, as if this is something new. Wake up Target, it’s time to catch up to the rest of the world. Yes we’re glad you are embracing “every body”, but why did it take this long (since every body type has been roaming the earth for eons)?


In a video with Yahoo Beauty, Brittany explains how she feels about being held up as a beacon of hope for all the poor plus size women around the world who have never been allowed to wear a bikini with confidence.

“It bums me out a lot that the act of putting on a bathing suit, because of my body, is a brave act. I mean I’ll do it because it’s important for me to get my body out there to help other people out there feel normal,” she says in the video below.

She goes on to say that she previously never had anyone to look to to make herself feel like who she was and what she looked like was “normal” so she knows how powerful it is to have an increased representation of diverse bodies.

And it’s not just about normalizing plus size women’s bodies, it’s also putting into perspective the absurd notion that wearing appropriate beach attire is considered something to hail as an act worthy of talking about.

“It’s funny to me that that’s a brave act. There are many brave acts happening in this world and I don’t know that putting on a bikini on is one of them,” she concludes.

For a blogger who has her own show, half a million monthly readers on her blog, and has infiltrated mainstream conscious with her powerful words about body confidence, it’s for us all to stand together in agreement that all bodies are good bodies, not matter what shape, age or color, and move past the stage where we are still figuring out whether we can give ourselves permission to have confidence in the way we are or how we change.

2 thoughts on “Blogger Brittany Gibbons Says It’s Time To Stop Calling Plus Size Women Who Wear Bikinis “Brave”

Leave a Reply