Adventure and body positivity come together in one powerful statement with Fat Girls Travelling, an Instagram account set up to celebrate globe-trotters fed up with the one-dimensional dialogue around mainstream holiday images.
California-based founder Annette Richmond, 32, set up the account after becoming frustrated with the lack of larger women in promotions and literature associated with travel.
“I rarely see girls that look like me — fat girls — featured on [major travel profiles]. But when I travel I see fat girls traveling,” the entrepreneur and stylist (pictured above and first photo, below) tells New York-based website Mic.
“I’m out here traveling and I’m seeing the world — I know we’re out here. But I feel like these bigger profiles or companies don’t feature curvy or fat girls.”
Annette’s Instagram mission started when she began posting travel snaps of herself under the hashtag #FatGirlsTraveling.
The move quickly captured the attention of fellow travel lovers on the social platform, and before long Annette was encouraging other women with bigger bodies to get in front of the camera and share photos of their own adventures around the world.
At the same time, she set up a private Facebook group where her followers can exchange advice and support over the anxieties they face when travelling – whether that’s concerns over what to where on the beach, or feeling self-conscious on a plane.
“One constant in the group is members posting about being anxious and nervous about flying,” Annette notes. “Sometimes it’s their first flight ever. Other times it’s their first long-haul flight. The bottom line is no one wants to make others feel uncomfortable. Living in a bigger body means you might have to take up more space.”
“I want this to be a community where we can talk about our issues and about the things we’re going through while traveling, in our daily lives, in our relationships, even just to vent,” she adds. “It’s for women to have a shoulder to lean on and for women who are experiencing the same thing to feel less alone.”
Annette has faced some opposition from those who question her use of the term “fat” – but it’s a very deliberate move by her to reclaim its negative connotation. “I wanted to take the stigma out of the word,” she explains.
“So many of these women go on these beautiful vacations and all they’ll take is these landscape photos because they don’t feel confident enough to get in front of the camera,” Annette says.
“I feel like once we have more representation and more women that look like us getting in front of the camera and getting attention for that, then more people will feel comfortable doing it.”