Fighting Fat Shaming — One Blog Post at a Time

Brittany Gibbons Says It’s Time To Stop Obsessing About Weight And Start Liking What You See In The Mirror

By Anne Strainchamps


There is nothing like the pain of self-loathing. I don’t know about you, but personally, I have spent way too much of my life disliking my own body. I can enumerate every imperfection, map every dimple, squish and sag. Most of the women I know can do the same. Fat or thin, young or old, fit or flabby, if we don’t look like we live on yoga and water, we are merciless to ourselves. Yes, we know it’s insane. But we have no idea how to make the inner fat-critic shut up.

Brittany Gibbons does. She’s been called fat for most of her life. She knows what it’s like to have high school classmates moo when you walk down the hall. To cry because you can’t stand your own appearance. To master the art of showering without looking at yourself. To change in the bathroom so your own husband won’t see you naked. But then one day, she looked at her preschool-aged daughter and realized she had to stop.

One day [my daughter] was in a princess dress, twirling around, and she went up to the mirror, put her hand on her stomach and sucked in a little bit. I felt the wind sucked out of my lungs, because I do that move every morning! It’s this “please let me be skinny today,“ situation, where I suck in and press on my stomach. And she was doing that because she’d watched me do it. I thought, I’m ruining her life. I’m giving her a narrative about her body that she doesn’t deserve. And then I thought, I don’t deserve to have it, either.

Today, Brittany Gibbons is a leading advocate for the body acceptance movement. She’s a plus size model, the author of the popular blog, Brittany Herself, curator of the Curvy Girl Guide on Facebook. She became, as she puts it, “the internet’s token fat girl.” She denounced body shaming on news shows and podcasts. She challenged fashion companies to provide realistic models and stylish clothing for fat women. And one other thing. She started taking off her clothes in public.

Courageous Beauty

In her TEDx video, Brittany Gibbons walks onstage in jeans, heels, and a blue blouse, and starts talking. About two minutes in, she casually steps out of her shoes. Three minutes later, while describing the hate mail she gets as a plus size model, she pulls off her blouse. Then her jeans. And … there she is, a nervous, brave, funny and beautiful woman – on stage in front of 600 people, in a size 18 bathing suit.

The audience can’t stop clapping.

If you, like me, have wasted too many hours hating your body but don’t know how to stop, I have a suggestion: watch Brittany Gibbons’ TedX talk. And then watch it again, with your daughter.

Brittany Gibbons on Fat Shaming

Meet the popular blogger who launched a national conversation when she stripped down to her size 18 swimsuit on national television.  Brittany Gibbons is a body image advocate who wants to help women everywhere feel comfortable in their own skin.  Every inch of it. 

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