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Video: Bikini-wearing plus-size blogger: ‘I love my body’

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    >> and bikinis often intimidate women self conscious about body image . wearing a bikini can be considered daring. should that be the case? one 25-year-old plus size fashion blogger says, no. and her bikini body image has gone viral. she posted a picture of herself in a bikini on vacation and was amazed by the outpouring of positive feedback . her blog has encouraged other full figured women to post their photos for what she calls fat girls in bikinis. it is featured online. the response is overwhelming. both positive and some negative people out there. gabby greg is here we me. good morning.

    >> you're way too covered up.

    >> i know. i was getting dressed. i don't think you should wear this today.

    >> you look good in those pictures.

    >> thank you so much.

    >> what were you hoping to accomplish. i understand this is your second time posting?

    >> yes, this is my second time posting in bikini. this time i really wanted to do it again and make it even bigger. i pitched the idea to have a gallery of all plus sized women wearing bikinis.

    >> you call it fatkini gallery. 31 full figured girls in swimwear.

    >> i think it's about empowering women . so often the media all we see is thin women in bikinis. i want to challenge that and say they're not the only ones, not that i have anything against them. i think all women are beautiful. i think we should see all types of bodies in swimwear.

    >> were you surprised by how many other women want the to show what they were working with on your site?

    >> yes and no. luckily i'm in a community online. so many of them have been posting themselves in bikinis. i wanted to gather them together and have it published in one place so people all over the world can see it.

    >> where do you get the confidence? i just told you, i'm not showing any of my body in a bikini. where did you get this confidence?

    >> i don't really know. i have a really supportive family and supportive network of friends. i was a little self conscious in high school . once i got past college, i grew into my own. i love my body. we should reject the fashion rules about what we are and what we are not allowed to wear.

    >> beyond the fashion rules, as mentioned, you have some people throughout who have been critical saying that promoting obesity.

    >> i'm not promoting obesity or a healthy lifestyle.

    >> i think people should be aware of what they're putting in their bodies and be more active. the truth is be happy with your bodies we have right now. it is the goal to lose weight or are you happy where you are?

    >> we have those who will say it's a part of how healthy you are. we know that obesity. we know it can cause other issues.

    >> i'm really trying my best to make sure i'm getting, you know, the best --

    >> i just think the main thing is to really judge how you feel and what you're putting into your body.

    >> okay, what about those who say your body is not flabby enough. you have curves and you look fantastic in swimwear.

    >> it's interesting. i think those pictures, i mean luckily i would wear --

    >> i was wearing high waisted bikinis.

    >> that is easy for you.

    >> so you found the right swimwear to flatter your figure.

    >> i did. but what i wanted to accomplish with the gallery and what i was showing, it's not just me. you could see the rolls and see the flaws. and that's why i wanted to kind of bring it together and say, no, it's not just me wearing a bikini. that doesn't mean you're not practicing healthy habits.

    >> all right. you look fantastic. so do the other ladies. we'll see what kind of response you get.

    >> thank you so much.

    >> it's a great pleasure. up

By
TODAY contributor
updated 5/30/2012 12:30:18 PM ET 2012-05-30T16:30:18

When plus-size fashion blogger Gabi Gregg posted a photo online of herself in a bikini — and called for other curvy girls to do the same — she was applauded for her bravery and confidence, but also slammed by critics for “promoting an unhealthy weight.”

Gregg, 25, says she’s not a poster girl for obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle. “I’m all for health,” she told TODAY’s Tamron Hall. “I think people should be really aware of what they’re putting in their bodies and try to get more active. The truth is, we have to live in our bodies and be happy with the bodies we have right now, regardless of where we are in our journey to health.”

Gregg, a size 18, called out to the online community of xojane.com for images of full-figured ladies in their bikinis. The call-out resulted in an online gallery of 31 women of all shapes and sizes rocking their two-piece "fatkinis".

The fashion blogger had the idea for the gallery after posting a bikini photo of herself on her own blog last summer. This year, she wanted to go bigger and show more people that all women, regardless of weight or size, can be happy heading to the beach.

She encouraged her readers to embrace what they have. “Don't let body shame keep you from having a good time!” She wrote.

Plus-size model is 'shocked' at being retouched

Gregg, who is from Detroit but lives in New York City, says her gallery is about empowering women by offering different images of body types. “So often in the media all we see are thin women in bikinis,” she told TODAY.

“I love my body,” she said. “I think we should kind of reject these fashion rules about what we are and about what we are not allowed to wear.”

American Apparel's plus-size contest winner is minus prizes

Gregg is quick to point out that her health is not determined by her size, an assertion that has been criticized for its lack of acknowledgment that weight is a part of one’s health, and that obesity can cause serious health issues, like diabetes and high blood pressure.

“My measure for health is how good I feel,” Gregg said. “The main thing is to judge how you feel and what you’re putting into your body, how active you are and not based on a number on a scale.”

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Photos: Big is beautiful

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  1. Curves ahead

    Who says thin dominates the fashion industry? The “Size Issue” of V magazine features stunning plus-size models — like Crystal Renn — in sexy boysuits and barely-there outfits. (Solve Sundsbo / V magazine) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. More to love

    The "Size Issue" intends to showcase high-fashion outfits on voluptuous bodies — a combination rarely found in women's magazines. (Solve Sundsbo / V magazine) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Twice the fun

    The models in V magazine appear in everything from bustiers and bodysuits to nothing but their own skin. (Solve Sundsbo / V magazine) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Thigh-high

    After shooting the models for V, photographer Solve Sundsbo said, "I loved the opportunity to show that you can be beautiful and sexy outside the narrow interpretations that normally define us." (Solve Sundsbo / V magazine) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Bold moves

    Model Tara Lynn wears a tight top by Armani Jeans.

    Fellow plus-size model Crystal Renn, whose dimensions are 36-31-41, also participated in the spread. "I'd like to see everyone take on the attitude that there are women of all different shapes and sizes as 'the beauty ideal,' and that it's not one type or another," Renn said. "There are women who are naturally a size 2 — you can't forget them, and that's discrimination the other way." (Solve Sundsbo / V magazine) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Good jeans

    Models Tara Lynn, Candice Huffine, Michelle Olson and Marquita Pring strike poses in contemporary denim outfits. (Solve Sundsbo / V magazine) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Full fashion

    Model Michelle Olson wears a corset and briefs by Dolce & Gabbana.

    V magazine hopes their photo spread will prove big is bigger than ever: "These bombshells of plus-size are proving that there's plenty of room in the fashion world for women who look like ... women." (Solve Sundsbo / V magazine) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Fits all sizes

    V magazine creative director Stephen Gan says he was inspired by actress Gabourey Sidibe — who weighs nearly 250 pounds — after seeing her in the "Precious" trailer.

    The magazine features Sidibe and size zero actress Dakota Fanning on its two contrasting covers. More from V magazine

    More from V magazine (V magazine) Back to slideshow navigation
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