Earlier this year, models Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge, and Chrissy Teigen went topless for the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. But when four plus-size models, including supermodel Robyn Lawley, did a tongue-in-cheek re-creation of the photo, it wasn't a satire – it was a way to show how women of all sizes can be sexy and confident in swimwear.
The shoot was organized by Swimsuits for All, a company that makes swimwear for plus-size women, and was part of a free calendar that the firm created. The printable online calendar features the four models in various swimsuits and includes notable dates, fun facts, and activity ideas. For Gabi Gregg, 27, who blogs under the name Gabi Fresh, being part of Swimsuits for All's Sexy at Every Curve campaign was a way to help women realize that they don't have to look a certain way to wear a swimsuit or have a good time at the beach. The Los Angeles-based style blogger even created her own bikini for the brand, a bright neon suit with zigzags that she wears in the campaign's official video.
"It was great to be on set with such positive women who love their bodies, and that was what really made the campaign," she tells Yahoo Shine. "Swimwear is hard for a lot of women, but I hope that this campaign helps them realize they don't have to lose weight to go to the beach or feel good or comfortable participating in life."
Gregg's blog, which she launched in 2008, started out as a way for her to share shopping tips with other plus-size women. But now that more and more brands are offering stylish plus-size clothing, Gregg has expanded her blog to be more generally about personal style. Her style icons include Solange Knowles, Kelly Osbourne, and Beth Ditto, frontwoman for band Gossip and Karl Lagerfeld muse.
But encouraging body positivity is about more than simply featuring plus-size models in ad campaigns. Gregg points out that the Sexy at Every Curve campaign shows a diverse group of body sizes and shapes. "Three perfect models who happen to be size 10 doesn't make a great campaign," she says. "We had a range."
For Swimsuits for All, which uses the slogan "Our favorite curve is your smile," the best brand ambassador is a happy customer. The company asks women to submit photos of themselves in their favorite Swimsuits For All bathing suits, which it features on the company blog or Instagram account. Women from around the country have been sending in pics of themselves styling their swimwear, accessorizing with cute sunglasses, headscarves, jewelry, and other fun accessories. And that's one of the messages behind the Sexy at Every Curve campaign – anybody can wear a swimsuit, but it takes someone unique to have style.