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.