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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Curvy Girl Guide- Brittany Gibbons

If you would have asked me last October, if I would be sitting at the helm of an online magazine that sees upwards of half a million readers a month, I would have laughed at you. Heartily. And, then promptly gone back to eating my chicken lomein.
But today, that’s exactly what we’re doing.
The idea for the Curvy Girl Guide came to me as I was brushing my teeth, already knee deep in an internal screaming match with my body, as is often the case when my jeans are hard to button. I was standing in front of a full length mirror, wondering if wide calf tall boots would look silly on my thick thighed frame.
Why aren’t there any resources for that? Showing me what plus size clothing looks like on real curvy and plus size women? Why wasn’t I seeing women in mainstream fashion magazines whose bodies I could relate to?
This was a growing sentiment of disconnect for me. I wasn’t relating to the women or the stories I was reading in all my favorite glossy women’s magazines, and it turns out, I wasn’t alone.
In October 2010, Marie Claire Magazine ran a story entitled, Should Fatties Get A Room? (Even on TV?). What began as a commentary on the distaste for seeing overweight people on prime time television shows, like Mike & Milly, quickly turned into a hate based diatribe about the gall of overweight people to exist...anywhere. The story went viral. The author, Maura Kelly, was made to apologize. But, the damage was done.
The climate was right.
I went to my business partner, Heather Spohr, with the idea, and we launched Curvy Girl Guide in November 2010. It was an immediate success, serving as ground zero for so many women who struggle with their bodies, their weight, their lives.
What began as a project addressing weight and self image, has turned into a full scale lifestyle magazine for real women. We’re so much more than eating struggles and body hate. From fashion to health, pop culture to sex, we tackle everything, because we are real women, and our lives don’t stop the second we step on a scale.
Curvy Girl Guide just finished serving as the national spokesperson for Lands’ End 2011 Swimsuit Campaign, and spent a week in New York on a five day media blitz promoting National Swimsuit Confidence Week.
Every email I get from a woman or teenage girl who finds their voice in our movement changes my life.
And, that’s more satisfying than all the chicken lomein in the world. (Probably.)

Brittany Gibbons runs Curvy Girl Guide with her partner, Heather Spohr, who authors the award winning blog, The Spohrs are Multiplying. Brittany is a humorist, primarily known for her satirical wit and self deprecation.  She authors the popular humor blog, Barefoot Foodie, in which she overshares bits of her life between phonetically spelled sound effects and excessive ellipses.  She and Heather also founded the groundbreaking social media company, Mouth Media.


  1. The person who wrote this is doing great things for curvy women. However, she needs an editor. The over-use of commas is horrendous.

  2. I'm thinking it's more of an HTML format problem than needing an editor.

  3. Really? Out of all that you focus on commas? I am constantly amazed by people who put grammar before life change! Makes me sad that people are still so petty and critical regardless of the tpic...weight or grammar. I for one am amazed by this woman she has a voice that blows me away...a perspective the world is hungry for...and her comma usage makes me feel like shes. Is one of us...just real..and writes from her heart not her head! I'm an addict to her blog and so happy sheis changing the world one blog at a time!!

  4. Good Grief - Comma's,,,,,,, an issue,,,,, really?! Haha
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! Comma's and all! I can not wait to do check out the Curvy Girl Guide!
    Have a PRETTY day!

  5. To the first Anonymous, commas are fully subjective - there are no hard and fast rules regarding commas, and if you know anything about linguistics and grammar you would know that languages (and the rules of grammar) are constantly changing and evolving.

    Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I can continue onto my real comment ...

    I'm so glad to see you profile Brittany and Curvy Girl Guide here. I've been reading it for a few months now, and I think it's fantastic. It's great to read articles that are targeted towards real women, that aren't all fluff and have a great sense of humor. The writers feel like they could be my real-life friends, and the things they write are the type that my friends and I might confide over drinks at happy hour. I live in a city where everyone (including me) works a lot, people don't have much time for each other, and everyone is a perfectionist. People work 12 hour days, go to the gym and sweat out their frustrations, go home, collapse and then do it all over again. In my city, the women I see on the street are all skinny, tanned and perfectly groomed; I don't see myself reflected in the population here. CGG makes me feel a less isolated, reminding me that there is a real world out there somewhere with other women like me in it.

  6. I'm so glad I found emmenation and the blog section! Brittany, I thoroughly enjoyed this read. I remember the painfully spiteful article on the Marie Claire blog that you referred to, and it's good to see it sparked something positive. I was hoping that the negativity of that article and it's author would would inspire those who strongly disagreed to turn the bitterness into something constructive and supportive. I'm on board, and I wish you well!

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