Two Piece Swimsuit, Two Middle Fingers

I love the beach. I spend all summer there and spend the rest of the year pining for summer so I can park myself on the sand again. For most of my life, I’ve lived in the same house in a small coastal town with a beach literally down the road. When the Boyfriend and I move in together, we want to live in eastern Sydney so the Pacific isn’t too far away. I’m emotionally dependent on the ocean. I feel my whole body relax when I smell the sea air and I physically ache for a swim when I’ve gone a while without a dip. My love runs deep.

When I go for a swim, I wear a bikini. I’ve been wearing two piece cossies since I was about 10 years old. I find them more comfortable, it’s quick and easy to change out of my swimmer bottoms right there on the sand when I come out of the water (to avoid getting thrush) and – the Cancer Council will have me hanged for this – I like having an even tan.

I’ve been planning a bikini post for months. I was always going to show my half-naked self on Corpulent to tell everyone that I’m not ashamed of my body (and hopefully encourage you to not be ashamed of yours). I was going to wait until it was a little warmer and I had a bit more of a tan to take some photos and write this post. However, my schedule was pushed ahead by this gem of an article by Natasha Hughes.

Hughes’ article questions suitable beach attire; namely whether “overweight Australian women” should wear bikinis. The article itself is tiny – less than 250 words – but it made me furious. The most bilious section states, “I know there’s going to be two schools of thought on this but I’m with the Fat Should be Camouflaged College. Who wants to be exposed to someone’s rolls? Where is their sense of style, of decency?”

Decency? DECENCY?! How’s this for fucking decency:


The article was published on Tuesday and, 6 days later, Hughes’ spiteful words still make me angry. I hate the sense of entitlement that comes with a question like, “Who wants to be exposed to someone’s rolls?” Hughes’ tone is reflected in many of the comments. According to them, displaying our bodies becomes a vicious action – we are “subjecting”, “inflicting” and “confronting” – because our fat is “disgusting”, “nauseating”, “gross” and my personal favourite “pollution for the eyes”.

I cannot begin to tell you how much I despise the idea that all fatties (and indeed, anyone with bodies outside the beauty ideal) must shield the eyes of the poor, unsuspecting public from the offensiveness of their bodies. Listen and repeat after me: Life is not a beauty pageant. We do not exist to be aesthetically pleasing to the judgemental eyes of strangers.


As Lesley wrote on Fatshionista,

You do not have to be beautiful. It’s not your responsibility to be beautiful, for yourself or for anyone else, not for your family or your partner or your friends or some stranger on the street who finds your face unpleasant.

Similar sentiments were written by Erin on A Dress A Day,

You Don’t Have to Be Pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.


There is a fabulous quote by Anne Morrow Lindbergh that states, “One learns first of all in beach living the art of shedding; how little one can get along with, not how much. Clothes, first. Of course one needs less in the sun. But one needs less anyway, one finds suddenly … One finds one is shedding not only clothes – but vanity.”

That beautifully encapsulates what I love about the beach and what I hate hate hate about Hughes’ article. The beach necessitates freedom but Hughes is trying to apply bullshit sartorial decorum to it. True style and true decency is borne from a comfort in one’s skin and a confidence in the image one is presenting to the world. Fat hate masquerading as bland fashion advice? How terribly passé.


Fancy “inflicting” your flesh on others?

  • By Ro Designs has cute bikinis and monokinis from size 1X (which equates to a US size 18/20) to 6X
  • noXceptions is an Australian online store that stocks a few two piece togs from an Australian size 16 to 40
  • Stacked on etsy has adorable custom retro two pieces
  • Midnight Black has adorable 40s and 50s style bikinis up to a 2X (more styles are available in their Newtown store)
  • Pin Up Girl Clothing also has retro bikinis, but their plus size stock is a bit low. I saw a couple of US size 18s and 20s, as well as a few 14s and 16s in their main range.
  • Big Girls Don’t Cry Anymore stocks bikinis up to an Australian size 20
  • Big Gals Lingerie has bikinis in a number of different styles in sizes 1X (US size 16/18) and 2X (US size 20/22)
  • Love Your Peaches has two pieces from 1X (US size 14/16) to 6X (US size 34/36). However, their website states that their clothing runs large and recommends ordering a size down.
  • Monif C sells saucy high waisted bikinis
  • If you’re on the smaller side of fat,  Asos sells bikinis up to a UK size 18 and Outdoor Girl sells bikinis up to a 2X (US size 18)
  • Smaller fats with smaller boobs: Don’t disregard straight size surf/swimwear shops. I found my bikini in a Rip Curl shop. That said, I found it after looking in many other stores, so if you’re going to hunt for a straight size bikini be prepared for some frustration.

Menfolk, I don’t mean to exclude you. I love seeing a man in a pair of swim briefs so please feel emboldened to “expose” your rolls too. I know that Speedo’s only go up to a 44”/110cm waist, so if anyone knows where to get plus size swimwear for men please leave it in the comments.


207 Responses to “Two Piece Swimsuit, Two Middle Fingers”

  1. 1 cutselvage 4 October, 2010 at 9:56 pm


    I don’t know if I’m brave enough for a bikini yet. But you’re inspiration. TEAM FRANCES. And fuck the haters.

    • 2 Frances 4 October, 2010 at 10:52 pm

      To do: make and distribute ‘Team Frances’ tshirts…

    • 3 alex 26 May, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      Let’s not forget that the scrutiny of bikini-wearing (or bathing suit wearing at all) is always aimed at people considered ‘female’ by others, while the nonsense is spouted by all genders. Actually, what I have found is that it is usually CIS HETERO WOMEN who do most of the fat-shaming. I once was in a pool in Hawaii with my boyfriend (he’s cis, I’m a trans boy) when I witnessed an ENTIRE COTERIE of women analyzing the bodies of EVERY PERSON THEY PERCEIVED AS FEMALE in the entire vicinity. If they like men so much, why aren’t they looking at guys? Meanwhile, their boyfriends/husbands were watching “the game” from the poolside bar and relishing their distance from their “womenfolk” (not that it didn’t keep them from loudly looking over at my boyfriend and myself and wondering if we were ‘fags’ or if I was just a ‘bitch who wants to be a man’). Okay, for the punchline. At one point, I went to the poolside bar to get myself and my boy yet another alcoholic beverage (we needed one by then). one of the bodyshaming ladies approached my boyfriend and asked him why I was ‘ashamed’ to show my body (again, i’m a trans boy, I wear board shorts and a t shirt because my top surgery scars would invite questions I don’t want to deal with). she said, ‘your girlfriend is really short, which i bet sucks, but she can’t help that, and her body is cute and muscular, like a gymnast! you should tell her that despite the fact that she doesn’t have a model’s body or big titties, she shouldn’t be ashamed of herself! I mean, look at all these whales–they’re wearing bikinis, and your girlfriend is covering herself up because she thinks SHE’S unattractive?” my bf told me he didn’t even know what to address first–the fatphobia, the cisgenderism, the universal evaluation of bodies deemed ‘female’ without regard to the observee’s gender identity, the heightism, the assumption that bodies should be on display if they are read as ‘female’…he felt overwhelmed, and I would have too. he basically told her that 1. I am a boy (“ohmigod I am sooo sorry!!! she, I mean he, just looks so GIRLY!”) 2. there was nothing wrong with being fat, but there WAS something wrong with being a fatphobic ass who spent more time analyzing others’ bodies than having fun swimming, and 3. given their constant talk about men and husbands and boyfriends, (including a comment i didn’t hear about how maybe one fat woman was a lesbian because she ‘couldn’t get a man’) ‘why were they spending more time looking at other women’s bodies than they did men’s? and finally, 4. their menfolk, rather than hanging out with them, were watching a game involving men in tights tackling each other, so maybe they should tell them to check their homophobia. I didn’t hear what he’d told him till later, but I knew something was up when I brought back the drinks and he got out of the pool and told me we had to go. as I left I heard one of the women say, “ohmigod, he totally lied…SHE’s not a BOY. look at HER. she may not have tits but she has a FAT ASS, and she’s practically a midget. that’s a girl for sure.” going to a pool or beach, in my opinion, is always going to involve dealing with assholes if you dare to not be skinny, cis, and of “average or above” height. An additional insight: this cruelty is not only practiced by straight people. My boyfriend knew a bunch of gay guys who would review women’s bodies in swimsuits (even though they had no attraction to them). I myself knew straight men who would do the same thing, and a mutual friend (who just graduated from college) said that her roommate told her that part of their sorority pledging was judging each pledge on her “swimsuit body”. it all makes me sick–gay guys, straight guys, and straight girls all united in misogyny, fatphobia, and cissexism.

      • 4 Frances 26 May, 2013 at 5:03 pm

        Yes, it sucks big time that any body that is ‘other’ (female, gender diverse, fat, with disabilities, non-white etc etc etc) is seen as public property that can be commented upon. I’m so sorry you and your boyfriend had to deal with that.

      • 5 lusciouswords 27 May, 2013 at 1:05 pm

        WOW! Where to start with the crap from those women. Ugh, just too much to attempt to wade through. I’m sorry you and your boyfriend went through that. I’m amazed at how many people are so interested in judging other people’s bodies, determined to find what they consider imperfections. I hope the rest of your vacation was better than that afternoon.

  2. 6 mimbles 4 October, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Frances, I love you. This post is made of awesome. As are you 🙂

  3. 7 Nick Perkins 4 October, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Awesome work. I have issues being seen without a shirt on (unless at home) so I get why some wouldn’t be brave enough for a bikini. As said above, fuck the haters.

    • 8 Frances 4 October, 2010 at 10:51 pm

      I totally understand. That’s why I feel like cheering when I see fat old men wearing speedos/fat old ladies wearing bikinis at the beach. They’re like my heroes.

  4. 9 Erin Marie 4 October, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    You look beautiful!

    I’m still trying to be okay with wearing a one piece without boardies to cover my (previously known as ‘hideous’) thighs, but maybe one day I’ll be brave enough for a bikini.

    Thanks for this post and for affirming all women that beauty is really a social construct.

  5. 11 sleepydumpling 4 October, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Frances, you are a fucking legend!! I love you so much, you amazing, gorgeous, wonderful woman. I am speechless. Yes, ME, SPEECHLESS!! I don’t have words for the awesome.

    Thank you. That’s all I can find.

    Thank you.

  6. 14 Sharon Haywood 4 October, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Standing ovation! Fan-freakin=tastic!

  7. 15 Veronica 4 October, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Love your colorful bikini, you look very good in it (as I knew you would)!
    “[…] but I’m with the Fat Should be Camouflaged College.” What this woman is telling other women is not “your fat should be camouflaged” it’s “you should be camouflaged”, and it makes me so angry I feel like there should be steam coming out of my ears! “Where is their sense of style, of decency?” So my fat makes me *indecent*?!! Aaargh!!!

  8. 17 Natatree 4 October, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Amazing post! You are amazing & totally rock that bikini! I don’t think I’d have the confidence to wear a bikini, I have been eyeing Ro Designs Monokini’s though! Baby steps!

    That article makes me so angry!

  9. 18 Charlotte Cooper 4 October, 2010 at 10:40 pm


    I wear a bikini too.

  10. 21 Alice 4 October, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    You are so awesome and hot it’s actually ridiculous.

    I’m off to ‘subject’ the general public to my fat body in a bikini now!xx

  11. 23 William 4 October, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    I identify with the ladies who have inhibitions about a wearing bikini. We fat guys have even less of a choice for a swim top.


  12. 24 Dan W 4 October, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    You are fucking fab. And who is this Natasha mole?

  13. 25 Caity O'Connor 4 October, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I don’t do the beach (because I am Pale and Burn Easily) but I did notice swimwear at a shop called Big Girls Don’t Cry (Anymore) where I recently bought some bras: they’re mostly big on top rather than big overall, but there are a few pairs of togs that go to size 20 – – no affils, just a customer!

  14. 28 Shiyiya 5 October, 2010 at 12:00 am

    If only I could find 38DD bikini tops that are not hideous and not halter 😦 (Halters put the ENTIRE WEIGHT OF MY BOOBS on the back of my neck. It’s not pleasant.)

  15. 32 Quill 5 October, 2010 at 12:12 am

    Ms. Hughes should go to Monte Carlo. I saw all sorts on the beach there–some topless–including an elderly lady whose wrinkles and sags would make Ms. Hughes faint in horror. No one batted so much as an eyelash–no one cared.

  16. 33 Gisela Ramirez 5 October, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Frances, you have such lovely skin! I’m so jealous!
    Now please sit back because this ones from the heart.

    Only an insecure self loathing bitch would write such an ugly fat-phobic post. I hope the fatties come out in force, topless and in butt exposing thongs, to scare her off the beach… I will be one of them!

  17. 37 April D 5 October, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I think I’m in Internets love with you for this post. Fucking Rock On! And I can’t thank you enough for pointing me to that Etsy shop! I love the glorious models they use and can’t wait to order a bikini to try, even though I still feel nervous about the idea: I will not be visually silenced! Your words make me feel empowered!!! ^.^

  18. 41 Jenna 5 October, 2010 at 1:02 am

    you are a sexy beast!!! woowhooo LOVE it

  19. 42 Elizabeth O'Brien 5 October, 2010 at 2:10 am

    Holy shit. You. Are. Awesome.

  20. 43 Mags 5 October, 2010 at 2:14 am

    You rock. Brilliant post, thank you. You do, in fact, look beautiful in your two-piece, but you’re right — even if you didn’t, everyone could really just get the fuck over it. I just reposted this on Facebook and sent it to some friends. Every woman in the western world needs to read this post!

  21. 47 Jessica 5 October, 2010 at 2:33 am

    I am beside myself with love and adoration for you my darling Frances….absolutely BEAMING ❤ ❤ You radiate with spunk and effervesence in such an inspiring way!! I love you to the ends of the Earth!!! xoxoxox

    Also for those wanting a bikini but may need it custom sized or what have you, I once bought a one piece and just sliced it and sewed up the edges!!

    go forth and be radiant everyone!!!!

  22. 48 Jessica Benjamin 5 October, 2010 at 2:34 am

    Rock on!

  23. 49 Lauren 5 October, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Nothing to add except YOU’RE SO GREAT AND I LOVE YOU.

  24. 51 Still Redheaded 5 October, 2010 at 3:20 am

    THANK YOU! In the US it’s freakin’ impossible to find 2 piece bathing suits in a 2x, except for tankinis.

    I sea kayak in the San Francisco bay. You need to wear a wetsuit (because the water is so cold)…and a bikini is SO much more comfortable under a wetsuit. And after a long paddle, you don’t want to have to take your one piece suit all the way off in a public bathroom when you need to pee.

    I found carries a great variety of swimsuit tops and bottoms that you can buy separately (critical if you’re a pear, like me) in plus sizes. The bikini top I got from them had underwire and actually held up my DDs!

    I wear my bikini and don’t give a crap about who gives me ‘that look’. And, even worse to some people, I’m 52 years old.

    A couple of other resources

    • 52 Frances 5 October, 2010 at 9:25 am

      “I wear my bikini and don’t give a crap about who gives me ‘that look’. And, even worse to some people, I’m 52 years old.” – You’re my hero! It makes me so happy when I see someone sticking it to the beauty ideal. There’s a brilliant old lady at my favourite beach who wears a string bikini; I want to give her a standing ovation every time I see her.

  25. 53 Lauriekay 5 October, 2010 at 4:11 am

    Frances, can you please read my Tumblr post? I had an epiphany this past month, and you were part of it. 🙂

    Thank you!

  26. 56 Tami Fuson 5 October, 2010 at 4:25 am

    I am Happy that you posted so many pictures, because I don’t see anything unappealing about you. You look like a Beautiful, Healthy Woman to me. Love from the USA…Tami

  27. 57 Pam 5 October, 2010 at 4:28 am

    I’m officially in love with you and your attitude.

  28. 58 Eli 5 October, 2010 at 4:47 am

    That “article” made me so angry. And the few comments I read seemed to agree with the “author” and I started to get pissed all over again.

    It makes me so angry that these assholes think they have some sort of fundamental right to not see fat people.

    As if seeing fat people walking around enjoying life, not wearing hair shirts and self-flagellating, will send them into the vapors on their portable fainting couch.

    If seeing happy fat people in bikinis at the beach offends someone, I posit that they need a new life, a new world-view, and a new soul, because the ones they’re working with are beyond sad.

  29. 59 Nicole 5 October, 2010 at 5:44 am

    ASOS now have a range called Curve for even more voluptious ladies. Love what you’re doing & keep up the fight

  30. 60 blissing 5 October, 2010 at 5:52 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. I remember seeing a woman at least a size US22 on the beach in a two-piece, and thinking, “You know what? The ocean belongs to all of us!” We have the right to swim in it, and wear whatever we want in it and near it. [first post here, hello!]

  31. 62 Lillian 5 October, 2010 at 6:15 am

    I live in New England so it’s too cold to swim around here unless you belong to a pool and I don’t. I haven’t wore a bikini for years. You rock. You don’t have rolls. You look absolutely gorgeous in that bikini. You have lovely flesh.

  32. 63 Dominique 5 October, 2010 at 7:43 am

    YOU ROCK and you are very sexy in your bikini. I have to get a new one (since my boob reduction, my old one is now too big) and was looking for a triangle style. 🙂 and the fat-hating natasha should just learn to live and let live instead of spilling ink on such a useless topic. EVERYBODY can wear ANYTHING. Do I made myself clear? 😀

  33. 64 Vitamin K 5 October, 2010 at 8:08 am

    You look amazing!

    I don’t have the confidence to even wear a one piece without boardies because a) I have a huge amount of cellulite on my butt and thighs and b) I am SO white that my cellulite isn’t lessened by a nice tan.

    I’ve got a long way to go till I’ll be wearing bikinis in public!

  34. 66 heather 5 October, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Awesome, just awesome and you’re gorgeous, how could anyone think any differently?

  35. 67 Elle 5 October, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I LOVE THESE PHOTOS. I only hope that one day I will have the courage to wear a bikini as proudly as you do. 🙂

    Baby steps, though – your blog gave me the courage to start wearing brightly coloured tights and skirts so short you can see where my thighs rub together and to let my belly stick out as it is wont to do, and I finally realised that I look FABULOUS in these clothes I never would have worn six months ago. And for that, I thank you. 🙂

    • 68 Frances 5 October, 2010 at 10:05 am

      Baby steps are the key – 12 months ago I refused to wear anything tight across my stomach and 12 months before that my work wardrobe was drab drab drab. In a couple of weeks, I’ll be wearing a spandex dress out in public.

      Your journey is brilliant, Elle. I bet you look beyond fabulous.

  36. 69 Shae 5 October, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Before I discovered FA my goal was to “get back” into a size 14 bikini. Fuck that now, I’ll just buy one in my size.

    Thanks for posting, the links, your blog! This stuff makes a difference to people.

  37. 70 Toni Brockliss 5 October, 2010 at 10:22 am

    You look fantastic and gorgeous.
    So proud of you and your post. You go girl.

  38. 71 rhondaroo 5 October, 2010 at 10:46 am

    You and your swimsuit look great. Everyone who wants to wear tiny swimsuits has the right to no matter what they look like. No one has the obligation to look good (whatever that means) in a swimsuit or any other clothing. You are an activist! Yay!

  39. 72 Hidi 5 October, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Go Frances!!! Yeah for you! I love it. Bikins are NOT only for people on the smaller end. You have great skin by the way. 🙂

  40. 73 Mulberry 5 October, 2010 at 11:12 am

    There is something drastically wrong with the universe in which some people consider you “too fat”. You look fine to me! I also wish I had smooth clear skin like yours.

  41. 75 Kate 5 October, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Yessssssssssss I love this SO MUCH. I haven’t had a two piece since I was just a teenager (when I was surprised by lots of ‘well, good for YOU’ comments. Why was it even an issue?) but I am DETERMINED to buy a two piece this year. I love love love the beach, and I am all about trying to get away with less. With being able to experience it as closely as possible, without fabric or vanity between me and the summer.

    Thanks for the links! And I ADORE that last photo of you.

    • 76 Frances 5 October, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      “With being able to experience it as closely as possible, without fabric or vanity between me and the summer.” – That’s lovely.

      The beach is strange because it’s not where you go to look pretty, but everyone ends up looking beautiful. We get matted hair, sand in our swimmer bottoms, occasional rashes from marine stingers, sunburn, dried salt on our skin… but we’re in the sun and we’re happy and we’re beaming from physical exertion. God, I love the beach SO MUCH.

  42. 77 Deanne 5 October, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Fantastic post! I try to just wear what I want and not care about “fat girls shouldn’t wear that”. But I haven’t been able to work up the courage for a bikini yet, as much as I love them. I usually wear a “tankini”, where the top covers my belly.
    However after reading this and seeing how fabulous you look in your beach wear, I think I might want to wear a bikini too! 🙂

  43. 78 Bri 5 October, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Ah sweet Frances, you never fail to ROCK MY WORLD but today you have rocked it right off the rails.

  44. 79 Barbara 5 October, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Frances, You are awesome! And so gorgeous. That first photo is so expressive -“I’ll give you fucking decency”. I agree with Sleepydumpling – you are a legend.

  45. 80 Tina 6 October, 2010 at 7:06 am

    “Life is not a beauty pageant. We do not exist to be aesthetically pleasing to the judgemental eyes of strangers.”


    • 81 Christina 10 October, 2010 at 5:01 pm

      what tina said! thank you, thank you, thank you. What i need is the courage to take my ‘bingo wings’ (which is what you get when you drop from 115kg to 80 kg – funny how the diet pushers never mention them) out dancing in a sleeveless top, and that quote may be the spur for me to do it!

  46. 82 Liztastik 6 October, 2010 at 10:57 am

    You’re gorgeous.


  47. 83 Jasmine 6 October, 2010 at 11:34 am

    If she’s really going to start going all Beach Fascist and whinge about unattractive bodies on the beach, why stop at just rolls? What about stretch marks? What about hairy guys and pale bodies or old people with sagging skin? I for one would be mortally offended to find Paris Hilton sunning herself on my beach!

    Meanwhile you look fabulous in your bikini, I’m giving very serious thought to grabbing myself one now!

  48. 84 FashionGirl. 7 October, 2010 at 7:06 am

    I’m 120 pounds and 5’9, and I love to wear bikinis. However, I have no problem with seeing others, who may be slightly larger than myself, wear their bikinis too. I think that article by Natahsa Hughes is ridiculous. She says “Where is their sense of style, of decency?”, but fails to realize that a person’s sense of style is personal, and style is simply an expression of who you are, whether you are short, tall, thin or fat, you are allowed to wear what you want, without, as you put it, having to “please to the judgemental eyes of strangers”.

    I admire your blog, and your pictures, you look fantastic.

  49. 86 Deborah 7 October, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    your body is perfect. you are such an inspiration!!

  50. 87 JustBekky 7 October, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I love you. And am SO FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING FUUUUCCCKKKKK *ahem* ‘scuse me MAD about not only the article, but the COMMENTS!

    I’m gonna flesh-up here: I’m not fat. I mean, I’m a little bit fat, but maybe not worthy of the word, ‘fat’. But can I please be an honorary fattie? I love you all so damn much, I feel like you’re my sisters. I am SO SICK of anyone who doesn’t fit the stupid stereotype being treated like a plague upon society.

    I spend my childhood being teased for being short, tubby, pale, redheaded… all sorts of bullshit that shouldn’t matter. And I always felt something was fundamentally wrong with how people treat one another.

    I may not have been the fat kid, but I was the ‘midget’ standing next to the fat kid, screaming her lungs out at anyone who dared to give them shit.

    You’re all bloody awesome. VIVA LA FAT REVOLUTION!

  51. 89 Shannon 7 October, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Wow. Wow-wow-wow-wow-wow. That’s all I can say. This entire post has changed my entire outlook on life, and I’d like to thank you, F. I’ve never come to the realization that beauty isn’t something I owe anybody. I’ve never, ever been told that, never so much as thought that, BUT IT’S SO TRUE.

    I’m pimping this out on my FB. Thanks for the revelation.

    -Shan, Fridays on ProjectLifesize (youtube)

    • 90 Frances 8 October, 2010 at 12:39 am

      Thank you and you’re welcome, Shan.

      I know what you mean – Lesley’s post on Fatshionista was the first time it had ever entered my mind. It hit me for six the first time I read it and I needed to reread a few times before I really understood what she was trying to say. Beauty is placed on such a pedestal in our society that it’s a mindfuck to realise it’s not that important.

  52. 91 Trina L 10 October, 2010 at 3:11 am has some FANTASTIC 50’s style bathingsuits! You are SO Smoking hot!

  53. 93 Kelly 10 October, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    This post is full of so much Win! And thank you for the pictures. They are all fabulous.

  54. 94 Carol Haddy 12 October, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Well said. You go girl and thankyou so much for making me feel a little more comfortable in my own skin. For the record I think you are gorgeous 🙂

  55. 95 Pamcakes 12 October, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I am quite slim, but I also have a lot – A LOT – of cellulite on my thighs, both on the back and the front, that I simply cannot shift. My arse, too. Forget bikinis; I can’t even wear *shorts*.
    Thanks for reminding me that that’s okay, and that I can wear whatever the Hell I like. 🙂


  56. 96 Hazel 12 October, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    You’re a star Frances! You’ve inspired me, my bikini is coming out of the closet next time I go to the beach!

  57. 97 Daantaat 12 October, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I love your body! It’s beautiful and curvy and strong and firm. You remind me of exactly how I looked in my twenties. Twenty years later I’m starting to finally love my body and I don’t look anything like I did twenty years ago. Kids, dieting, stress, aging, and just life in general have all changed my body. But my body is strong and resilient. I’m loving my big, strong weight-lifter legs and powerful shoulders. I’m making friends with my jiggly belly that carried a baby for almost ten months. The scars and stretch marks remind me of how much I hated my body before I had those scars and stretch marks and how far I’ve come in learning to accept and love the body I have now. I even bought myself two very cute two-piece swimsuits for my winter vacation to Thailand. They’re tankinis, but still, it’s as close to a real swimsuit as I’ve come since I was 25.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration and helping me to feel good about myself again. You are amazing. I love your blog and I think you do such a great service to the size acceptance movement.

  58. 98 Lindsey 12 October, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I know this isn’t at all why you posted this pics, but you are damn hot! Easier said than done, but don’t listen to that hater.

  59. 99 Reena 13 October, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Truly admirable 🙂 Thank you.

  60. 100 Grey 14 October, 2010 at 4:39 am

    You look beautiful in your two-piece!!! I am a mother of three, and pale and pasty with the best of them, but I decided this year that I would not hide myself any more. You’re right, the beach DOES exude freedom, and I don’t intend to spend my time there fretting over how other people are physically assaulted by my stretchmarks or cellulite.

  61. 101 Mary Spila 14 October, 2010 at 4:56 am

    You have made my day!

    If I looked as good as you do, I would wear one too. You aren’t fat, you look wonderful.

    • 102 Frances 14 October, 2010 at 8:16 am

      I am fat and I look wonderful. They’re not mutually exclusive.

      “If I looked as good as you do, I would wear one too.” – That spectacularly misses the point of my post. There’s no beauty limit on clothing.

  62. 103 Eva Schweber 14 October, 2010 at 9:17 am

    When I started reading the post (before I got to any pictures) your description of yourself made me imagine a woman much larger than yourself. But instead I found a woman with a body that is well shaped for a bikini. My own personal criteria for choosing whether or not to wear something is whether I think it is flattering (not slenderizing) or not. Some of us (read: me) have oddly placed lumps that bikinis just don’t flatter. But, I would absolutely defend any person’s right to wear the clothing they choose to wear, whether I personally find it flattering or not.

    • 104 Frances 14 October, 2010 at 12:04 pm

      My body is well suited to this bikini. After wearing a bikini for almost 15 years, I know what styles are best on me – no string bikinis, no low rise and preferably a halter top. When I grew out of my last bikini, it took many shopping trips to many different stores before I found this one. I know I have my youth, small-fatness and Asian genes on my side, but I cannot waltz into any store and buy the first bikini I try on.

      But rest assured that when I’m old, wrinkly and saggy I will still be “exposing” my half-naked body at the beach.

  63. 108 jamie 14 October, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Seriously, I am lost for how to put this any way other than “F*ck YEAH!!” in agreement.

    I have stuggled with body image since I was a young teen. From size 8 to size 20, it hasn’t mattered. I still struggle to be comfortable in my skin. I’m mostly winning at this stage!

    Thankyou for sharing an inspiring and affirming article. Well put and Congratulations!

    Enjoy the beach, I’ll be out enjoying one of ours again soon too…. (in whatever swimwear is the most comfy)

  64. 109 Chris Richards 14 October, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you for writing this. Please don’t ever stop being awesome.

  65. 111 Simone Cooper 14 October, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Because you are bold and comfortable and fierce, you look GREAT!

    Beautiful blog post; beautiful you.

    I will share this!



  66. 112 dan pritts 14 October, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    you’re awesome girl.

  67. 114 Ogre 14 October, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    You are correct, and completely beside your point you are gorgeous. The fact that I find you om-nom-nommy should never be read as an invalidation fo your point, which is 100% valid.

  68. 115 Fruti 15 October, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Love this article and I love rolls. My 300# wife loves her body almost as much as I do. She has several bikinis – pink with with polka dots, animal print, red and white. I prefer covering my butch body with guy trunks or board shorts and a rash guard shirt. She gets the bikinis from Love Your Peaches online and the owner had modified her large sizes to make them fit even better since the wife is a repeat customer.

  69. 117 Cappy 15 October, 2010 at 1:26 am

    I think everyone should send Ms. Natasha Hughes pictures of themselves in their swimsuits or bikinis, middle fingers extended.

    Does anyone have her email address? 😀

  70. 118 Geekoid 15 October, 2010 at 1:40 am

    I hate seeing fat people in bikinis. Their rolls, and flab disgust me. And that’s MY problem. I would never dream of telling anyone else what to wear based on that. I also know a society where anyone, regardless of size, can wear whatever they want is a better society.
    I work hard to raise my children not to have this instinctive disgust, hopefully they will be better then me.

  71. 119 Jak 15 October, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I know this is 10 days after you posted this, but I had to comment as well.

    I’ve struggled so long with feeling like I’m an okay person just as I am. I haven’t worn a bikini since I was 8, and haven’t worn shorts for 5 years now. I live in an area where it gets extremely warm in the summer and have gotten many comments on wearing jeans. It’s like no matter what I do I can’t please anybody. Maybe that’s the point–I can’t please anybody else no matter how hard I try. Maybe I should just please me.

    I love the water, I love the way it feels caressing my body from top to toe. I had forgotten what it felt like to have the water touch my stomach, my thighs, my back and feet and hands all at the same time until I wore a tankini that wasn’t a tight fit and just floated around me. When I finally get the money I’m going to buy a monokini, or cut-out, to be able to feel it for real again. Why should I cover myself up for the happiness of others?

  72. 120 sarah 15 October, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    i think you have a beautiful body

  73. 121 Kate 15 October, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    It’s too damn cold here in the UK to even contemplate a bikini now, but enjoyed your post and so utterly bored of narcissistic women telling everyone else that they don’t fit in and should stay at home. F them and their evident mental turmoil.

  74. 122 Kristy 16 October, 2010 at 12:45 am

    This is awesome!!! Thank you for posting this!! I am a very large woman and I am not ashamed of it at all! If they don’t like it don’t look!!!

  75. 123 Madam Ruppy 16 October, 2010 at 12:50 am

    You are awesome! I personally prefer a one piece but have no problem with anyone who wants a bikini. You are beautiful!

  76. 124 Amanda 16 October, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Thank you for your post.

  77. 126 Rachel Coleman Finch 16 October, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks for a lovely and inspiring post, and in particular the two quotes “Life is not a beauty parade” and “Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”. (Yes I know the second was someone else, but I read it here)

    I’m an overweight woman and it’s taken me decades to recover the childlike happiness of being active in my body, no matter its size. Your post, especially with the gorgeous photos, is a powerful inspiration to stay that way, and to wear what I want, not what I think other people will judge me for.

    Thank you!

  78. 127 Angie 16 October, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    This is the first I’ve seen of your blog. And I love you.

    Thank you!

  79. 129 Ian Osmond 16 October, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    You definitely have a body that works for a bikini.

    Specifically, it’s a body that is part of a person who wants to wear a bikini.

    Also, you’re gorgeous in those photos. But that’s separate from the issue of bikini-wearing.

  80. 130 Deirdre 17 October, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Hi! I’ve found your blog through and I wanna thank you for it because I’m a fat girl too and we all need to see that we’re not guilty for any kind of sin involved with our bodies.

    My mom used to say when I was a teenager, “you gotta wear a suimswuit, you’re far too fat to look good in a bikini. Don’t even try them on!”. And in the end, the thing is that I look really better in a bikini than in a full swimsuit.

    I’m gonna follow your blog from now on and I’m starting one myself to spread the word for beautiful fat people in Spanish. For an alternate beauty.

    Keep it up!!!

    A big huge from Spain,


  81. 133 Jared 19 October, 2010 at 8:51 am

    First time reader, but I gotta say”

    Sweetheart, you have the best kind of bikini body: non-skinny. That first pic of you… it may be corny but I’d be hitting on you in a heartbeat. Or at least thinking about it. 😉

  82. 134 Beth Burnett 21 October, 2010 at 9:58 am

    You are beautiful! Where I live, you wouldn’t even be considered a plus-size woman and no one would think twice about your bikini. I, on the other hand, have finally, for the first time in my adult life, gotten to wearing a plain old bathing suit instead of giant board shorts and a big t-shirt. I think I would have to really work up to the bikini thing. 🙂

  83. 136 Julia 21 October, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Yeah! Thanks so much for posting this. Right on!

  84. 137 Abi 21 October, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Congratulations! Your confidence is great, I just wish more curvy girls could feel better about wearing a bikini in public! Thanks for the inspiration, this post definitely makes me feel better about my self! Haha PS you might want to checkout this months issue of Cosmopolitan Australia, they include a great range of bikini’s on model’s of varying sizes, as well as naked images of women size 18-20 😉

  85. 138 snaffler 23 October, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Frances, I reckon you look gorgeous in your bikini. Who is this Natasha lady anyway? And why do people CARE what other people are wearing/not wearing SO MUCH? Why does it offend them, like personally? Nasty piece of work, she is.

    You rock!

  86. 139 Judith 28 October, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    You are gorgeous.Yeah!

  87. 140 Lisa 28 October, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Love the bikini. Especially love the first photo! You look fabulous. I’m a beach dweller too, and you’ve given me the courage to expose my stretch-marked squishy postpartum self however I like the next time I hit the sand.

  88. 141 Elita @ Blacktating 28 October, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Just found your blog. You look pretty smoking hot to me!

  89. 142 dohiyimama 29 October, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Completely agree with all points made.

    Btw, you are beautiful. I wish I had the confidence to wear a bikini… I’m not that brave yet. :/

    • 143 Frances 29 October, 2010 at 9:43 am

      It’s just what I’ve always done. It may take a bit of time, but you can have the confidence to wear a two piece… you’ll surprise yourself with how brave you can be.

  90. 144 Custom Cranium 29 October, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Euro topless beaches and Euro beaches in general don’t give much of a shit about anything, and that’s refreshing. I suck in occasionally, but usually go with a two piece to show off my ink, and i’ll be damned if anyone has ever said anything about my lumps (the ones I don’t like). Maybe it’s having more ink than a biker, maybe it’s walking with the confidence to wear a two piece and showy ink. I don’t care anymore, I’m just happy that at 34 I’ve got enough muscle and strength under it all to keep myself healthy.

  91. 145 Free 29 October, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Ohmigosh you are beautiful. Thankyou for this as its so true, why do we have to fit an image for others?
    I am angry at the attitude of most. Unfortunately I am dealing with being self conscious especially after having several pregnancies. I have never worn a bikini so doubt I ever will. I find it hard enough wearing shorts or a skirt.

  92. 146 herby 29 October, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Don’t listen to anyone! Wear all the bikinis you like. If us men (even those of us who are hairy chested and don’t have six-packs) can wear boardshorts without a shirt then women can wear bikinis.

    Besides – sorry, but you don’t look too fat – you look just normal to me.

  93. 148 Nalin 29 October, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Omigod I love you. Thankyou for this post. You are helping people love themselves, which is one of the best things you can do for the planet. I have a sister like Hughes. It’s sad. I think I’ll send her this link!

  94. 149 Lorz 30 October, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I love that you’ve put it out there. Power to you!

    “What others think of you is really none of your business.”

    Great quote to remember!

  95. 150 Kristie 30 October, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Great article. This week in Australia people were up in arms because “Budgie Smugglers” were “back in fashion” and that our eyes should not be subjected to that particular look.

    If someone wants to wear a bikini, speedos, one piece, boardies, mankini, tank top… good for them! it’s no one elses business what they wear!

    • 151 Frances 31 October, 2010 at 9:24 pm

      Oh, really? I’m an Aussie too and it seems that the ‘horrors of budgie smugglers’ story is trotted out every year just before summer. The Boyfriend wears budgie smugglers and I love him all the more for it!

  96. 152 Nat 30 October, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    What can I say except brilliant post and you look lovely in your bikini.

    I was always told I couldnt wear a bikini as I have big thighs. I prefer to wear them now. It helps that hubby keeps telling me how good I look in them, even after my bub! Now it’s sinking in and I believe that I look good.

  97. 153 Al_Pal 30 October, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Hurrah, great post! You are gorgeous, and I thank you for contributing to body acceptance.
    I’m fairly close to you in size & only own bikinis. Some are boyshorts, to keep sun from damaging a surgical scar on my hip, or to not worry about the back riding up…
    I’m lucky to be fairly young, and have fairly nice & semi-tan skin, but I plan on continuing to enjoy these styles well into old age.
    Viva la bikini! Long live body acceptance!

  98. 154 kimba 30 October, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    This is brilliant.

    I’d like to join in the middle finger chorus and say a big “up yours” to people who have a problem with women who choose to keep their body hair wearing bikinis.

    Thanks 🙂

    • 155 Frances 31 October, 2010 at 9:26 pm

      Amen to that. I’ve recently decided, after 14 years of shaving, to let my leg hair grow. I still get self-conscious about it from time to time, but oh man is it liberating.

  99. 156 Kris2040 31 October, 2010 at 12:17 am

    I’ve worn two pieces ever since I was working as a swimming teacher about 10 years ago – wearing a rashie over a one piece with no bra to speak of was heinous – too hot and the no bra thing sucked. When my one piece died, I found some speedo sport bikinis on sale, and have never looked back. The only time I’ve worn one pieces since has been for uniform swimmers for swimming clubs or water polo. And then I wear a bikini top as a bra.

    Sports bikinis are fantastic as they’re usually made of the respective brands resistant material, so they’re pretty strong, and they hold your boobs in.

    One of my friends is pregnant and is getting kudos for deciding she’s going to wear a bikini this summer – she’s little but preggo, and apparently some hilarious joker made beached whale comments when she was preggo with her last one.

  100. 157 Tempest Starr 31 October, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Hi there *waves* first time reading your blog, and what an awesome introduction to it!.
    You look fantastic in that bikini, and everything in your blog is just so perfect and spot on.

    Sadly I’m one of the women that Ms Hughes really gets to. I do camoflauge myself. I hate going to the beach because i am SO big (145kgs thereabouts) and have very odd proportions. It’s very difficult for me to find swimsuits (thanks for the links). I have never in my life worn a bikini. My mum bought me one once when I was about 11 or 12 I think. I tried it on, and then made her take it back. I’ve never looked at one since.

    Articles like Hughes’ don’t make me angry, they make me sad. They break my heart and the reinforce all the awful messages I was fed as a child. Instead of getting defiant I want to hide.

    I hope one day, hopefully before I’m 50, I can actaully go to the beach and just enjoy myself. Not worry and cringe and try to hide from everyone else.

    Baby Steps…

  101. 158 Franbob 31 October, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I love that you mention nobody owes anybody to be ‘beautiful’ or ‘pretty’, but at the same time, I hope you know exactly how gorgeous you are! You totally rock that bikini. I have no doubt that most people on a beach would think that, regardless of what a grinch behind a computer, who must have some kind of complex to write this way, thinks.

    I never did learn as much about the human body and how beautiful it is in all it’s forms, as I did when I visited a naturist beach. It’s empowering to see so many people embracing themselves (figuratively!) exactly as they are in such a positive community. I only went a couple of times years ago, but the impressions have endured. Bodies of all types are glorious. And real. And valuable.

  102. 159 Tracey Bryan 31 October, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Bless you, bless you, bless you, Frances. I found this post via its reproduction on my friend Jo’s blog,

    I particularly love that you’re not hating on skinny people; it seems to me ridiculous to be advocating that people embrace larger people, whilst simultaneously making unkind remarks about those who are smaller.

    I can’t wait for the day where people of all sizes, colours, heights, races, political leanings, religions, gender identities, sexualities, ages… etc are valued for the fact that they are human beings with real feelings. Bring it on!

  103. 161 chester 31 October, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    It’s not just ‘fatties’ that get disrespected.
    I am now a pensioner, but I’m a big, fit, heavily muscled guy, and I’ve been seriously into contact sports all my life, and have numerous scars all over to show for it. I’ve also become increasingly hairy, and I’ve heard some pretty disgusted reactions from women, which I find quite surprising and hurtful. If a guy dissed me, I could deal with him, but I have always liked and respected women of all shapes and sizes, and would never dream of insulting or hurting a woman under any circumstances whatsoever.
    If someone’s doing you no harm, whatever they choose to do or how they look or choose to live is not your business.
    It’s all down to respect.

    • 162 Frances 31 October, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      Oh Chester, that’s horrible! (If it makes you feel any better, I know many women – and men, come to that – who are all for the big hairy men.) No, I’m well aware that disrespect is not only directed towards the fatties. It seems like anyone ‘too’ is fair game: too fat, too thin, too hairy, too saggy, too old, too visibly disabled, too scarred… It’s absurd and unnecessary. You got it in one – we all deserve to be treated with respect.

  104. 163 Kate 31 October, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    You are now my hero! I would be proud to have a body like that to put into a bikini – people come in all different shapes and sizes, which should all be embraced. The most attractive thing in any person is their comfort and confidence in their own skin, not their dress size or style of bathers they choose to wear.

  105. 164 Davinia 1 November, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    You are my hero and I love you!

  106. 165 Rebecca 2 November, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    WOW this is the first time I’ve come across your blog but can I just say YOU ROCK! I absolutely love love love this post. And you look gorgeous in your bikini 🙂

    I think one of the saddest things about that article is the fact that the author obviously didn’t stop for one second to consider the impact of her words on ALL women not just “overweight” ones…because let’s face it we all have insecurities about our bodies so the overriding message we all get from something like this is “There is something about your body which is not good enough and should be hidden” and we immediately start looking for it.

    The reason I say this is that even though I was not part of her intended “target” in writing the article (I get it from the other end of the stick; the “why don’t you eat something” end…fuck you I eat plenty enough thanks)…I still read it and started immediately thinking of all the things that are supposedly “wrong” with my body in a bikini – all the things about my body which I’m sure this woman would also find abbhorent. Small boobs? The horror! Pale skin? Oh no! Ugly feet? Someone arrest this bitch for visual pollution!!!!

    Sorry for the rant but the article really touched a nerve and you, my dear, are SO SO SO right and should be applauded loudy for it!! Love it!!!

    • 166 Frances 3 November, 2010 at 9:22 am

      Never apologise for ranting!

      I completely agree. That’s the thing with fatphobia – it makes fat people feel terrible, while thinner people start wondering what’s wrong with them and are anxious about gaining any weight. It harms us all.

  107. 167 Julia 7 November, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    The Big Girls Don’t Cry site made me laugh – “Oh yes, we’re proudly selling specifically to larger sizes, but our front page model is a size 4.”

    I personally wouldn’t wear a bikini (I’m a lot bigger than you are, and I’d feel uncomfortable) but I agree that just because you’re female doesn’t mean you owe it to the world to conform to its standard of beauty.

    The other thing is this – they (the people who use words like ‘obscene’ and ‘disgusting’ and ‘inflict’) are never, ever going to be satisfied. If you stop wearing a bikini, they’ll talk about how gross your thighs are in a one-piece. If you take to wearing boardshorts and a tank top, they will still call you names, laugh at you and take photos of you to put on EBaums World.

    To quote Winston Churchill, Appeasement is feeding the dragon hoping he will eat you last. Fuck it, wear what you want and tell the goddamned dragon to go to hell.

  108. 168 obsidiantears83 8 November, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I think you are my new hero! Brilliant blog entry! I am off to look at those links. I’ll still wear boardshorts, but I may actually shed the shirt!

  109. 170 Gen 10 November, 2010 at 3:55 am

    I avoid the mainstream media in general and this sensationalist Natasha Hughes article is exemplary of why. I found her megalomaniacal commentary so lacking in objectivity that I wondered if it was even for real. Her words faded into insignificance as I went on to read the quote by Erin from A Dress A Day… how electrifying, energising and touching those words are. It’s my body to do with as I please and I’ll wear a fucking bikini if I fucking well want to. ❤ u Frances 😀

  110. 171 Marie-Christine 11 November, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    You’re adorable, and oh so right… I’d much rather look at you on the beach than at Ms Sourpuss, thank you very much.

  111. 172 Bree 13 November, 2010 at 7:44 am

    You are amazing and love this blog.

  112. 173 the british one 13 November, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I can see many a post here complimenting this post so I’m just going to keep it short and say that I agree – Thankyou for being braver than I am and posting this up! Though you have inspired me to be a little braver now 🙂

    • 174 Denise Kennedy 15 November, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      This definitely helps alot of us women – please keep it going. Maybe set up a website somewhere…maybe yahoo.

  113. 175 Patricia 24 November, 2010 at 5:39 am

    BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are GORGEOUS in your cut rainbow bikini girl!!! If there were no fatties, who would my husband love?? He LOVE my rolls, who I am…he finds me SEXY! And since meeting him, I FEEL sexy!! I will be passing this blog on to anyone who will read! Thanks for standing up for loving yourself and being yourself. People like Hughes are sheep…sheep to television and beauty mags, etc. let them waste their lives caking makeup on and stressing out about their clothing…because no matter how ‘pretty’ or ‘thin’ they are, they will never have a happy life…because they’re too busy trying to be something else to please everyone else!

  114. 176 Megmeg 24 November, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Recently this summer I went to Germany. I went to a lake with my host sister, and we saw plenty of corpulent men in Speedos (some of which, I admit, scared me, but that was mainly due to the mental images of grandfathers in Speedos. I am an American, see me wince) and many fat women in swimsuits. We saw one particularly heavy woman in a very bold swimsuit, and my host sister said to me, “I admire her. Many women are ashamed to be heavy, but she doesn’t care. I like that, and I wish I could be that brave.” To me, that is what you are. Brave.

    Best of luck at the beach, and kick sand in the haters’ ice cream.

  115. 177 Stacey SYmons 2 December, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    I am living in Indonesia, where anyone that isnt and extra small is incessantly taunted about how “fat” they are. It gets pretty overwhelming. A friend of mine just sent me this link, and I have to say that it cheered me up no end. I wish I was brave enough to do what you have done! You are an inspiration to me and a much needed breath of fresh air in what feels like a place full of haters.

    • 178 Frances 3 December, 2010 at 10:57 am

      That’s awful, Stacey. I know there’s really overt fat discrimination in south east Asia and I am so sorry you’ve had to put up with it. My mum (who is Indonesian) still has some weird ideas about fat; on the one hand, she says that my body doesn’t matter and she’s happy if I’m happy, but every so often she makes a remark about my belly.

      Where abouts in Indonesia are you from? My mum is Ambonese but lived in Palembang. I haven’t been there in years and my Indonesian is terrible; all I can say is ‘gosok gigi’ and ‘cuci tangan’ (and ‘tetek’ ;)).

      Fat acceptance is still very new in Asia, but I do know of a couple of fat acceptance blogs based there:
      The Plump Pinay, based in the Philippines:
      An Exercise in Trivial Pursuits, based in Singapore:

  116. 179 Regina Louis 6 December, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    There is nothing wrong with a beautiful woman with a gorgeous natural body. I love to see people proud to be beautifull. At least she doesn’t have cellulite on her thighs.

  117. 181 anonymous 8 January, 2011 at 5:14 am

    you’re an inspiration to me. im younger and needed confidence, if only we could all feel this way i always use to cover up as well until people told me they dont care what i look like just care about who i am. anyone who doesnt like it can turn away because im happy the way i am.

  118. 182 Hayley Blease 30 January, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    rock on…. seriously rock on! You are awesome, and so beautiful. I have body image issues, and I am skinny. I have them due to stretch marks I received from having my children. I put on a bikini today for the first time in over 2 years. I wore it to accept the fact this is my body. I wore it to put those two fingers in the air and say stuff anyone that believes I should not wear a bikini because I have lines down the side of my tummy. We all have the right to feel beautiful within our own skin, be it skinny or fat. Who is to judge on what the “perfect” body is, and who is “allowed” to wear a bikini or not.

    Thank you! x

    • 183 Frances 30 January, 2011 at 11:50 pm

      *applause* You’re a star, Hayley!

      I’m going to do a post on stretch marks too, because I’ve been emailed by so many women telling me that those little lines hold them back from so much.

  119. 184 lady_cicatrice 16 February, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    The fact that you are a proud and happy woman is the very reason you look so great in all your outfits (not just the bikini). You stand up straight, smile with confidence and show off your personal style. You take care to pick clothes that suit you, not slavishly following fashion or ‘what’s in the shops’. You have done what more of us need to do – create a caring circle, not a vicious one. We wear what suits us and makes us happy, which in turn makes us happy with how we look in it!
    If we don’t feel right in a bikini then we shouldn’t wear it, but by no means should a person avoid clothes they love because it might make someone else uncomfortable.
    You and all the other posters here are very special people making a huge difference to the world -making it safer, better and more fun for future strong, wonderful women!


  120. 186 Liza 28 March, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I would love to have the confidence to wear a bikini, but I’m not quite there yet. I’m at tankini, with a nice low cut neckline (boobies!) and not panicking if it creeps up and shows a few inches of tummy. Next step is rolling it up when I’m laying out. Then maybe I can graduate to bikini. Baby steps!

    Weird, because I’m totally like “fuck you if you don’t like it” in the rest of my wardrobe. I guess bikinis are the fat acceptance final frontier.

  121. 187 Ari 14 April, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I think you are amazing. This is amazing and you look great. Thanks very much for being confident and speaking about it.

  122. 188 Jennier 20 May, 2011 at 7:18 am

    “Life is not a beauty pageant. We do not exist to be aesthetically pleasing to the judgemental eyes of strangers”

    thank you . you are exactly right. i get so tired of hearing from coworkers nasty comments about strangers fashion or bodies. my coworkers are so shallow its unbelievable. im 5’8″ and 220 lbs. and they will make a comment about someone right in front of me, when that person is like half my size, they will say “man that person is so fat!~” with a disgusting tone.

    i’m a person too! i have feelings too. just because i struggle with binge eating and dont enjoy working out, just because my ‘weakness’ is visible to the eye, well, those people are total a-holes and if their attitude was visible as, say, a growth on their face, then their whole face would be covered with the growth. i dont know if i’m making any sense. i guess i’m saying, why are people so mean to think it necessary to have an opinion or even comment on how what someones thighs look like or whate theyre wearing. cant they just keep their mouth shut.

    we need more people like you who are fabulous and look great and feel good about yourself- you are inspiring to people like me who, while intelligent and capable and better at her job than pretty much anyone else at the job, still feel like a sack of crap most of the day because of my weight and the comments and criticisms i get from people.

    so thank you. you inspire me.

  123. 189 Jeremy 8 November, 2011 at 3:43 am

    Rock on! Show those ladies how to live without shame of your body!

  124. 190 Jamie 11 November, 2011 at 10:29 am

    A good response to Hughe’s article might also be, who wants to see skinny bodies in two piece bikinis?

    • 191 Frances 11 November, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      No, actually that’s a really terrible response. This sentence (and the other sentences that I deleted) spectacularly miss the point. Can you not see that you being offended by skinny bodies is no better than Hughes being offended by fat bodies? You don’t elevate one population group by putting down another.

      Commentary like this harms us all. Cut it out.

  125. 192 GeorgiaPeach 7 March, 2012 at 3:07 am

    This just made my day. I’ve recently come to college and gained a significant amount of weight. I was so stressed about going to the beach during spring break and when I tried on my bathing suit, I just felt too big. I googled “how big is too big for a bikini” but this article came up first. I’m so glad it did. Everyone who doesnt like my SUPER CUTE bikini that I WILL be rocking can deal with it!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  126. 194 Gary 9 June, 2013 at 12:31 am

    You look great,My wife had major issues about being seen on the beach in any kind of swim suit…after 3 kids at 38 years old,she had no self esteem about her body and how she looked…I love her and tell her every day how great she looks to me…I give her complements on how good she looks.
    My motto on the beach is…” if you don’t like don’t look”.. That’s for those who think the perfect body is the only body..They are so wrong.

  127. 195 ana 14 July, 2013 at 7:12 am

    You are my hero!

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