#Fatkini hashtag inspires body positivity -- and heated debate
By CHELSEA HUANG
#Fatkini is the newest hashtag to gain major traction on social media and aims to inspire women to share images of their 'real bodies' in bikinis, according to The Independent.
The word "fatkini" is attributed to fashion blogger Gabi Gregg, who coined the term in a 2012 blog post in hopes of encouraging readers to "take the plunge."
"I truly encourage you guys to get to the beach (or a pool) this summer – don't let body shame keep you from having a good time," she wrote.
The trend has become increasingly popular in the past few weeks, as scores of full-figured women post images of themselves in their bikinis. Much of the response has been positive -- Buzzfeed hailed the participating women for their "bold and beautiful" statements. But the movement has also stirred up a debate about health.
Many have taken to social media to criticize the trend for glamorizing obesity.
The concept of #Fatkini is beautiful, but just b/c someone accepts their body doesn't mean they're healthy! Obesity is an American epidemic!- Pepi Rodriguez (@PepiRod) August 10, 2014
Yes. Let's promote a culture of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease because "real women", "self-esteem", and "PC culture". Yay! #Fatkini- LilMissCrazyAsshole (@LilMissRightie) August 10, 2014
Wouldn't the best way to love your body not include being morbidly obese and being high risk for diabetes and other diseases? #fatkini- Princess Chelsea (@chelsea_elisa) August 10, 2014
Despite the negativity, women continue to participate in the #fatkini movement in the name of body acceptance.
"I can't tell you how freeing it is to just have fun without worrying about what other people think," Gregg wrote.
Summer Bikini Trends
Obesity Rate in America
How to Prevent Diabetes
Most Popular Hashtags on Social Media