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#Fatkini: The 'big girl' takeover

Plus-size women are defying stereotypes & posting pictures of themselves with the hashtag #Fatkini.

Plus-size women are defying stereotypes & posting pictures of themselves with the hashtag #Fatkini. Picture: @karlalanexxx via Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - This week women from across the world, who label themselves as 'big girls', took to social media by posting pictures in bathing suits with the hashtag #Fatkini.

Fatkini, which has received mixed reactions on Twitter, encourages women to show off their real bodies in bikinis and shed body image woes instead of weight.

Women are being raped/beheaded in Iraq, stupid US women are lamenting "skinny privilege". You self-absorbed women are the worst. #Fatkini

How can someone liking themselves elicit so much anger in others? #Fatkini

Women shouldn't be categorized for being over size! So as one of them i'm here to support them. #Fatkini #Fatkini pic.twitter.com/LWw9F21SD3

So proud of everyone bearing themselves to the world. You're fat but you're also beautiful #fatkini pic.twitter.com/u4sIxoWRZ9

"Ew stop being fat and liking yourself" they say as they post another gym/beach selfie and give themselves praise #Fatkini

Showing my surgery scars in a triangle tankini #fatkini #RockIt I think I look cute http://t.co/0U5QqVWPly

The hashtag was started by American plus-size blogger Gabi Gregg, who goes by the Twitter handle, @GabiFresh.

She designs a line of bathing costumes for voluptuous women.

However, some not so supportive members of the public have also taken social to media to slam the #Fatkini movement by sending messages of discouragement to women taking part.

Some in particular even go as far as to say the #Fatkini hashtag glorifies obesity and looks down upon people who are health conscious or skinny.

This #Fatkini trend is not cool. If #SkinnyKini was a thing, everyone would whinge into their walnut whips. Just be healthy.

Wouldn't the best way to love your body not include being morbidly obese and being high risk for diabetes and other diseases? #fatkini

Oh good lord, #fatkini is a thing. Like we needed another reason for the world to hate Americans.

I accept you are a human whose fatness is not a defining characteristic of their worth to the species. But you should not wear a #fatkini.

"Promoting unhealthy lifestyle and glorifying obesity" yeah, that's definitely the message that's being sent #eyeroll #Fatkini

But most participants appear unfazed, posting more images of themselves 'appreciating', 'loving' and 'embracing' their body image.

With summer fast approaching and many heading to the gym to shed some winter weight, many plus-size women face tremendous pressure to conform.

But as South Africa celebrates Women's Month, the #Fatkini is a tribute to those who've shed the stereotype instead of the pounds and embrace being larger than life.

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