You can’t deny that our current culture has an obsession with a particular body type. It only takes a quick scroll through a few popular brand and influencer Instagram accounts for it to be revealed: toned, tanned and thin, with perky breasts a given and a nicely rounded rear end, nary a hint of cellulite or stretchmarks in sight.
With this societal standard a key determinant of the fashion industry’s offerings, it’s easy for many women to feel disillusioned and ignored in their quest for stylish and sexy pieces. This is where Gabrielle Gregg steps in. Known by most as US blogger extraordinaire and designer Gabi Fresh, Gregg, a self-proclaimed ‘OG fat girl’, is an ambassador for the curvy woman. Body positivity is integral to her ethos and brand, and her passion for creating space for fuller figures in the fashion world is what drives her design projects.
Gregg’s latest creative venture is her collaboration with London-based intimates brand Playful Promises. Gregg has attempted to channel her unique personal style through each piece in the exclusive plus size collection, and this is immediately evident, with the combination of edgy and playful elements like straps and cage details, alongside softer materials like tulle, satin and lace. A sultry black dominates, while hints of wine occasionally peek through for a super seductive touch.
“I love wearing statement pieces that stand out and feel unique, and I tried to create that with each piece in this collection,” says Gregg. “I wanted to create a line of stylish lingerie for plus size women that was sexy and supportive and made them feel beautiful in their skin. As a plus size woman with a 38HH bust, finding stylish, supportive and sexy lingerie options has always been an issue for me. So often people my size are left with boring beige options, and I’m honored to help change that.”
Gregg’s seemingly healthy relationship with her body is indeed enviable, but she assures us it hasn’t always been this way. “I have struggled with my body image just like everyone else. In our culture there’s definitely pressure to look a certain way and maintain a certain weight,” she says.
Finding common ground and a sense of community was key for Gregg in learning to love her body. She ultimately achieved this through creating an online presence in the form of her fashion blog, which she began in 2008. “When I started blogging and sharing my sense of style online, I found a community of other plus size women and learned about body positivity and that changed my life,” says Gregg. “Representation is so important and because I rarely saw women my size that were happy and stylish in mainstream media, finally seeing them on the Internet was definitely a turning point for me.”
With 560,000 Instagram followers and a Facebook page boasting 205,000 likes, Gregg’s influence is undeniable and she acknowledges that she holds an extent of responsibility as an ambassador for body positivity. “It’s amazing to know how many people I reach,” she says. “It still feels surreal that I speak to and inspire so many women around the world.
Obviously, we’re quick to take on Gregg’s advice about body positivity. Her wise words? “Seek out people who reflect you on social media, read books about body positivity, stop talking about diets, stop reading gossip magazines that encourage discourse about women’s bodies as if they should be up for public dissection.”
Wearing sexy lingerie helps too.
Gabi Fresh X Playful Promises is available to shop now, and is available in sizes 36-38B-G and 40-44C-G, with briefs & PJs in sizes: 16-28.