May 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM ET
There’s this idea that plus-sized women should blend into the background and wear clothes that don’t call attention to their shape. Nowhere is that truer than on the beach.
According to 26-year-old Gabi Gregg, a blogger-turned-designer who proudly flaunts her size 18 frame, bathing suits for larger women tend to be hideous matronly pieces with skirts that scream, “You better be covering up that big booty.”
Tired of shrinking into the sand with suits that are far more embarrassing than any rolls they’re supposed to hide, Gregg—in partnership with the swimsuit company Swimsuits for All— has launched a mini collection of bold, stylish statement pieces for plus-sized beachgoers.
Last year, Gregg gained attention when she encouraged other ample women to broadcast their curves on the site xoJane. She asked them to send in selfies wearing what she calls “fatkinis,” and compiled a gallery titled, “31 Hot Sexy Fat Girls in Skimpy Swimwear.” The slideshow went viral. Gregg had been posting similar photos of herself to her blog for years, and has received overwhelming support for being a role model to body-conscious overweight women.
The capsule line, which launches May 15, features four retro bikinis and cover-ups, which she describes to Today as, “very young and fresh and bright.” Those accustomed to wearing bust-to-bottom black may feel a bit out of their element in the on-trend neon, peekaboo cutouts or purple milky-way print that define the line.
Overweight women are taught from an early age that they’re supposed to cover up, because they don’t like themselves, Gregg tells Today. She hopes her attention-grabbing suits will give plus-sized women confidence to unabashedly frolic in the sand and surf — no ghastly suit or head-to-toe cover-up required.
The suits will be available in sizes 10-24 for $68 on swimsuitsforall.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.