If you are curvy, are you required to be an active participant in the “Curvy Community?” Gabi Gregg, the blogger behind the former Young, Fat & Fabulous site, renamed GabiFresh, doesn’t think so.

She has come under fire for not attending plus-size initiatives like Full-Figured Fashion Week and for not embracing every plus-size designer. Gabi took to her Tumblr to express her thoughts on the issue:

“i went to the first fffweek, posted an honest criticism on my blog, and some people then attacked me for it. at this time i was still relatively unsuccessful and had no income. i still stood my ground and stayed true to my thoughts. i will always continue to support designers and retailers (whether big companies or independent) that make clothing I LIKE AND WOULD WEAR.

[...] i am so sick of other fat girl bloggers apparently calling me elitist and saying i don’t support the “curvy community” because i don’t attend events like fffweek. i did not love most of the designers who showed at fffweek, so i decided not to go and THAT IS OKAY. that is my right. im really happy the event exists. it has its demographic. and it’s not me. we all have enough space to coexist without NEEDING to like the same things.

[...] i started young fat and fabulous because at the time i didn’t know of any resources for young, fashionable fat girls. i love my body, i love fashion, and i encourage all fat girls to do the same. i truly hope that my blog continues to inspire girls to push boundaries as well as show designers and retailers that we are out there and we want MORE options. i just wish people would move past this idea that because we are fat, we must support all things fat-related.

[...] i resent the fact that because im fat, im somehow expected to support these people. i support designs i like. if they’re straight sized, fine, if they’re plus sized, great! i am not required to like everything made for fat girls, and in fact, that goes against THE VERY REASON I STARTED MY BLOG.”

Does Gabi have a point? Do you support designers that cater to your size or race even if you don’t love them? Would you attend a plus-size or black fashion show if you didn’t like the clothing just to support the community?

Read Gabi’s full rant here.

-Channing Hargrove

  • http://www.lovebrownsugar.com LoveBrownSugar

    Gabi absolutely has a point. And I agree with her wholeheartedly. When I first started LoveBrownSugar it wasn’t intended to be a “plus-sized” or “curvy girl” blog at all. I just liked fashion and that was it. Once I started to post outfit pics and people saw that I was curvy, I started to get placed in that category, which I don’t resent at ALL. I love that curvy women feel empowered by my site and my outfits.

    But what people fail to realize is, the same way my blog didn’t explicitly scream “plus size” but I still cater to them, there are amazing designers out there who cater to full-figured shapes but aren’t necessarily “plus-sized”. Nobody should be ostracized for liking one or the other.

    After all, it’s just fashion…geez.

  • http://www.heirloomofstyle.com Nicole

    I absolutely agree with Gabi! I’m an African-American fashion writer and I don’t like all designs by African-American designers. I actually, do not look at race when looking at collections. A good product is a good product and we’re allowed to be discriminate.

    That’s our own God-given right and nowadays, since anyone can start a blog, you too, have a right to whatever you want to do.

    Good for her for sticking to her guns. It’s hard but she didn’t get to where she is by just reporting on any and everything. If it’s not for you, you don’t have to write about it.

  • http://www.plusmodelmag.com Madeline Jones

    I support plus size brands because they WANT to dress me, unlike straight size brands that have no intention on me wearing the clothing. Why would I support a designer or brand who has no interest in the plus size consumer?

    I also don’t believe that we should be putting down brands or designers we ourselves don’t like, because they do fit a demographic of women who like what they make. Maybe they don’t appeal to you not in particular, but we all can’t dress the same. That’s the beauty of fashion…

    Fashion has no age, race or size… but the straight size fashion industry has made it clear and dismisses us, I’m sorry that I have to disagree with you Gabi. I don’t believe in blindly supporting just anyone, but I personally don’t believe in supporting brands who clearly do not want to make clothes to fit me, I’m not cutting slits in my tops to make it fit, I deserve better.

    As for attending events and such, that is your right to attend or not attend, but how would you know what is there to like if you are not there to see it? Styles and designers change every year, and while I personally would not wear half of the clothing on the runway – I know that there are plenty of women who would and that is worth celebrating. Options for the plus size woman is worth supporting and celebrating.

    We all see fashion differently, it’s what makes you unique and I appreciate your view, but I wanted to chime in as well, I do believe in the plus size community. Why? It’s the support system we need to one day have equal rights in fashion and socially. Every movement has a support system, and that is what the plus size community is to me.

    Still love your style and wish you the best,
    Maddy

  • melinda

    Of course she has the right to do whatever she wants but I think that it is a bit strange for her to completely write off FFFweek. She could still attend as a way of showing support, I am sure that the collections that are shown each year differ. I find it hard to believe that everything shown would be crap however, having not read her post where she outlines the problems that she had with the first FFFweek that she attended or viewed the collections I can’t really challenge her on these points.

    I think that if there weren’t a stigma attached being plus size I think that fewer people would be find the term to be problematic.

    • Rebecca

      Oh please. So far what I’ve seen about FFFW is Lane Bryant, KMart, and a few independent labels under the Sonsi umbrella, which is Lane Bryant again. I’m sorry, but fashion week to me means high end, not mall stuff. Where are any of the mirade mainstream designers with plus lines? Ralph Lauren? Tommy Hilfliger? Anne Klein? What about some of the more size-agnostic lines like J.Jill or Coldwater Creek? I don’t LIKE the cheap, plastic clothing that Lane Bryant thinks I should wear, and I don’t wear it. I also wouldn’t support it if my blog dealt with fashion. I commend Gabi for taking a stand. Just because it’s plus-sized doesn’t mean it has to be ugly. I’ll pay my OWN way to FFFW (which most of the bloggers didn’t) as soon as the designers that are worth the effort begin to show up.

    • Monique

      @Rebecca I attended FFFWeek and I can tell you that there were many different designers, including retailers like LB, Kmart, and Sonsi. There were also indie designers like Sweetooth Couture, Queen Grace Collection, La Dan’s Closet and more. We know that the big retailers aren’t our only option, but when organizers put out a call for designers and only a few indie designers apply, what are they supposed to do? Not have a runway show? This plus size fashion event is a starting point that no one else has been able to accomplish with such news coverage. Hopefully this event will inspire other indie designers to apply for the future FFFWeek events. As long as we as a plus size fashion community continue to bash these events that are made for us seeking fashion, the more we are hurting ourselves. I applaud all of those who were involved showing me different options for fashion. Whether it’s Kmart or Margaux Kouture, they are clothes designed specifically for the curvy woman.

  • milaxx

    I completely agree with Gabi. It is absolutely her right to choose who she wants to support.
    If I were her would I give FFF fashion week a second chance? Maybe, but I can’t deny her the right to choose not to. We all live busy lives and attending an event that didn’t interest her to make sure her first opinion is well within her right. I also don’t think she is obligated to support alll plus size designers simply because she is plus sized. That’s like me support every African American designer just so they can get more play. It makes no sense to blindly support just be cause we are of the same race. I see plus size fashion as a way of being beautiful regardless of your size, as a way of finding out path in a world not specifically designed for us. Perhaps I am out of the loop, but I fail to see how this suddenly became the responsibility of one young lady.

  • http://www.chellbellz.com Michelle of Chellbellz

    So what was she supposed to do? Go and visit the event, not like the designers and then not be true about her feelings about the event? Aren’t blogs suppose to be about your personal expereince and doing things that you love? If you think blogging is a business then cool, but even then bigger blogs that make money still attend events and blog about things that they enjoy. I don’t get it. It’s not much out there for us, and sometimes these Fashion Week Events are pulled together poorly. I like lane byrant bras, but i still love Gucci. I don’t care if they don’t make clothes in my size, i dont care if they ever do. i love the art of clothing period!

    I dont blame her for selling herself short with this issue. it’s her blog, and if other fat girls don’t like it then work hard to be invited to those events and do report of them yourselves, and let her live.

  • http://www.swa-rai.com Raijean

    Gabi does have a point, while I’ve recently lost weight sometimes the “fat girl” stores didn’t have anything that suited my taste! I don’t like a designer because it’s for plus size women, I like a designer because it fits my style.. Gabi is entitled to her opinion!

    • Cherry

      Gabby does have a point. What does she has to owe to these people? She was one of the first blogs that I discovered and saved on my bookmark because she waved the excuse of fuller sized women wearing sup-par clothing, such as K-mart. If it doesn’t pertains to their taste, then they shouldn’t endorse it! It’s just like being African American: if I don’t take a penchant to Jay-z or celebrate Kwanza, then that’s me! Just because you’re of that certain demographic, doesn’t mean that you should be gung-ho forever. For example, walking into Lane Bryant is a bout of depression because I’m 19-I don’t want to look that mature. Maybe of they didn’t have lack of style, then I would support fat fashion. One of the reasons I’m losing weight, not that style is the problem.

  • http://www.franticdreams.com Franceta

    Of course she has a point! When I started Frantic Dreams, it wasn’t a fat girl blog. Hell, it wasn’t even a FASHION blog. I started it to write about that time in my life and thought doing that, I started posting outfits because of the people like Gabi who inspired me to look for alternatives to shops like LB. Showing me that I don’t need to dress how the world wants to see me, but to dress for myself, and myself ONLY.

    I also find that when larger girls start blogs, they sort of just get sucked into the “fatshion” community. Though this sounds harsh, no one really ASKS to be a part of it, thought it is pretty amazing sometimes, the community deems you fit (as sad as that sounds.)

    I clearly love fashion, and I intend on making my life revolve around it. I will be designing and when I do, I fear that things like this would happen. People will attack me for not catering to them. When that time comes, i will have to take it with a grain of salt. I mean, if I created something that people didn’t like, who am I to get angry for them not liking it?

    Like Christina ( LoveBrownSugar ) said, it’s just fashion, and the great thing about fashion is that you only need to like what YOU like. If Gabi doesn’t want to attend FFFWeek for any reason, she has the right to not go, and not have to answer to a single sole in this universe.

  • http://biggbaddwolf.blogspot.com TheNotoriousZAG

    I can’t believe this is an issue.
    I don’t agree with anyone.
    What I do think is blogging is about sharing your personal experiences, and not about putting anyone on a pedestal, nor about bashing anyone about the decisions they make.
    I hate to sound like a complete jacka** but this catty stuff is the same reason I decided to leave another type of blogging community. Everyone is expected to take a side, when sometimes its just not that serious, and one may not give a flying rat’s a** about what anyone else thinks. And that’s fine, but really… Now, while I understand it is human nature to take sides, it is also human nature to have an opinion, and quite frankly, people are doing this “lets take sides” thing way too far. Who cares what anyone else supports, if you support it, then that’s fine. If you don’t that’s fine too. If you want to see better designs at FFFW, then by all means: the media is out there, there are a million ways to contact your favorite stores and designers. Design something yourself for that matter. But for goodness sakes, just stop the bickering and the back and forth. And stop d*ck riding. We all love Gabi, but not everything she says is the final word. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and I’m really starting to not like the cattiness of this whole fashion blogging thing.

  • Wendy

    I agree with Gabi 100%!

  • http://www.TheCurvySpot.com Kimberly McCarter

    I think it is a double edged sword. While she doesn’t have to “support” the plus size community, Gabi should remember it was the plus size community that has supported her and help her win her position at MTV. A position that was based on viewer response and votes. A position that was earned by her supporting the plus size community and it supporting her during contest for her PLUS SIZE runway show on the Brooklyn Bridge. I think people feel cheated and slighted, since her becoming the MTV twitter jockey, her activities in the plus size community have decreased tremendously and I completely under the pressures of having a full time job. I worked full time and attended college; I work full time and blog. However, to be in your dream position and in your dream city, where so much goes on in the plus size community and to barely have attended plus size events… many can and will feel slighted.

    Kim

  • http://www.curvesandchaos.com Monique

    I attended FFFWeek as a fashion lover, blogger, and a “fat girl.” I am inspired by ALL kinds of fashion, straight sized or plus sized. But, the matter of the fact is, the high fashion designers don’t make clothes for me. Those at FFFWeek do make clothes for me and I appreciate that. Not only was this event empowering and encouraging for curvy women, but it allowed us to have our moment in fashion. A moment that the straight size world would never give us. Because as much as I love Gucci, Dolce Gabbana, or Chanel, I’m still a fat girl in their eyes. I can only use their fashion as inspiration and that’s about it.

    I will say that are many out there, that are where they are because of their blog, web site, or career’s emphasis on being curvy and love of plus size fashion. So, I can see how their faithful readers would feel a little betrayed, especially when these people use it to their benefit only. To those who feel betrayed, move on to someone who is faithful or create your own space. Unfortunately, we aren’t all perfect and yes we have our own opinions. That’s what so amazing about being a blogger.

  • ok wait

    gabi mentioned on twitter that no one even said that they we’re mad she wasnt there. she said it just seemed that way. so this drama is really over nothing. http://twitter.com/#!/gabifresh/status/83375484964044801

    • Valeisha

      umm did you read the comment below? clearly people are upset about her not attending.

      and even if they weren’t, the conversation about plus size bloggers feeling that they HAVE to support all plus-size designers is a valid one. and it’s far from “drama.” next.

  • http://www.cidstylefile.com Cid

    I am usually not one to ever get into these debates or really comment over such topics or blogs. But I have my opnion just like Gabi does. Yes, Gabi has all the right not to support plus size desinger, events or other blogs. But hey lets all go back about a year when Miss GabiFresh was in this little MTV twitter competition. Hmm as I recall she was all up on twitter rallying the entire plus size community to support and vote for her. Why? Because she is fat/plus size fashion blogger. Oh yeah so we all had to vote & suppor her! Well seems like many did and got her the win. I recall certain retailers, brands and wesbites publically showing their support and telling their twtiter/facebook follower to vote for Gabi. Many of those retailers and brands the same ones Gabi has publically dismissed as not her style or fashionable enough to her standards! I recall tons of bloggers showing their support on their blogs for Gabi, some of those same blogger she dimisses as “not fashionable”. Oh how quickly she forgets who got her where she is. Seems like Miss Gabi Fresh forgot how WITH OUT the support of all those people in the plus size community she was able to get her “dream job” WIN! You see its not about not liking a style, design or brand because they are plus size. I agree just beacuse you are FAT & plus size you don’t have to love everything that comes from the desinger or retailers. It’s about supporting the community as a whole, its about showing support for those brands that have shown to embrace the plus size fashion movement. As a influencer of plus size fashion/blogging Gabi is doing a disservice to us all. Although she does not classify her self as a plus size blogger, other do. How many other bloggers idolizer her and “love” her style & prasie her. When she doesn’t seem to embrace most of the plus size blogging community. I think its mostly immaturity on her part, she young and still has that “I want to be cool” mentality. But this being the good old USA where we are all have freedom of speech to say and think what we want. She has her right and opinion as do I and all other people in the plus size fashion community. My issue is how many plus size brands and retailers still insist on going after Gabi to gain her stamp of approval and access all the followers and readers of her blog. Well wake up she doesn’t and will not support those brands and retailers. So come on over to US who do like your clothing, desings and styles and give us a chance. She is not “Thee” plus size blogger after all! ;)
    Just my opinion, so don’t hate!!

    • Valeisha

      i understand your point of view. but know that plus-size brands are still going to pursue her even if she says she doesn’t like them simply because of her audience and reach. pr people/brands are not retaliatory or defensive the way people can be. at the end of the day, they want money and exposure period. they’re never going to stop pursuing her for that.

  • http://www.cremeandco.com/ Creme & Co Office Wear

    This is an interesting one, got me thinking.

    If it’s support in terms of purchasing. I wouldn’t support a designer just because they cater to my demographic if I don’t like their designs. I wouldn’t buy anything just because it fits. Makes sense, right? Why do we shop and buy clothes? Because we need to wear them? I believe it has gone beyond that basic need. Ladies shop and keep ourselves up to date with fashion news because we want to look good!

    If it’s support in terms of my time and presence, I would. And I would try to give my 2 cents worth, if possible.

    • Cid

      No one is asking Gabi or any other bloggers or person to wear and financially support any designer or brand they don’t love. Its totally about like you said by your mere presence and voice. The plus size fashion events I have attended have been about showcasing that woman who are plus size can be fashionable and we to can be considered stylish. The brands & retailers want to hear our feedback that is why they are having such blogger type events. Merely saying a store, brand or designer is not your style therefor you won’t support them isn’t doing anyone any favors. But I guess some people only show love & support to those who give them free clothes!

    • http://www.cremeandco.com/ Creme & Co Office Wear

      Hmm I’m not sure exactly which brand(s) is involved but sometimes certain plus-sized brands just take normal-sized designs and size up to make “plus-sized” clothes, even though it’s not flattering. Plus-sized clothes require certain design(s) and cutting in order to really flatter the ladies they’re fit for. Those that are meant to be very tight fitting are not going to be flattering.

  • http://missmoonsmusings.blogspot.com Miss Moon

    I’m Blogger, who happens to be full-figured and I must admit, I would’ve love to attend the FFF Week events for Bloggers… but my applications were not accepted. I assumed it was because I do not have the following that many other bloggers have. Which is cool, there is always next year or the year after that (fingers crossed). If the FFF community wants more support from Bloggers perhaps they should embrace new and upcoming Bloggers, (instead of the most popular ones) who would appreciate the opportunity and acknowledgement. I know I would!

    That being said, I think that Gabi had every right not to attend this year’s FFF Week if she wasn’t really overjoyed at the designer’s showing. Isn’t the point of attending a fashion show to get excited about the design and the upcoming trends? And wouldn’t being a fan of a designer enhance that excitement?

  • http://www.hooplatoyourbrain.blogspot.com Cynthia

    The way I see it is, Gabi is happy to be a voice for the plus size community. It’s gotten her far, and at the same time, because of her, she’s encouraged others to be voices as well while also giving girls that are plus sized a sense of self.

    Now, with that said, regardless if she used this fact to help her win her MTV TJ competition, she’s simply saying she didn’t attend because she wasn’t feeling it. It was her preference. She never said she doesn’t support plus size, she’s just saying you don’t have to like everything that is plus sized just because you ARE plus sized.

    I mean, I for one, CANNOT STAND Torrid. I hate their clothes. Cheap material for very high prices. Lane Bryant and Avenue make me feel like I’m shopping for my mother sometimes, and a lot of plus size clothing that IS top notch is too expensive.

    There are tons of fatshion bloggers who, seriously, dress terribly or in a way that’s not appealing. But do I have to put them on my blogroll because they’re plus sized? No.

    It truly is about what you like and don’t like! Just cuz you’re down for the message doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything that comes with it. Some things just aren’t gonna catch your appeal. But if there is something that does, best believe you will support it fully.

    • Cherry

      Amen to that sister! Fashion for the bigger women these days mirror those of seniority. I suggest Dorothy Perkins and ASOS! Very trendy.

  • http://www.kittybradshaw.com/ Kitty Bradshaw

    WOW, well I can relate to the whole getting attacked behind FFW. I stopped covering the event (or rather they Black Listed me) because I wasn’t happy with my experience. The treatment that I received was extremely unprofessional. Looking back, I think that they thought that since they gave me an invitation, I was automatically supposed to be at their mercy and provide positive press. When I blogged about my honest experience, one of the producers of the event came to my site and tried to “come for me”. Then to add insult to injury, she sent one of her flunkies to my site, who then tried to dismiss me as not being real media. I am not sure if the same producers are still behind FFW, but it left such a regrettable taste in my mouth. Read the comments here: http://kittybradshaw.com/full-figured-fashion-week-day-1/

    One thing the experience taught me was to continue to be professional, and not allow people to limit, dismiss, or become disrespectful towards me because they don’t take my profession seriously. My website pays 100% of my bills. Blogging is an industry, and I am a franchisee. I am accomplishing what most journalist are still dreaming of. The only cause I am obligated to is that of Blogger’s Rights!

    Now, addressing the other end of this conversation….

    As a Black Female Blogger in general… people often want to pigeon hole me into being a Celebrity Gossip Blogger, Plus Size Blogger, Urban Blogger, Music Blogger, etc…. everything but what I actually cover. Don’t get me started on the tons of “Black Only” companies who try and guilt trip me into promoting their brand because we share the same ethnicity. My site promotes diversity! On my site I cover New York lifestyle, and I am very successful at it. Designers invite me to sit 2nd and 3rd row (sometimes standing room lolll) at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (a big accomplishment for a Blogger). At the end of the day, I want people to come to my site, and accept what my brand has to offer.

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