One of our favorite ladies on the internet is Gabi Fresh (disclosure: we both write for Rookie, which is how we officially met in person). When she dropped this video on us, my love for her was sealed for all of eternity. My heart? It bumps Gabi Fangirl Glitter.
Her full blog post outlines why she decided to make the video, but here’s a killer excerpt:
As a fat woman of color, I’m often treated differently than my thin, white peers. By brands, by fellow bloggers, by the media… I get passed over for things I’m more than qualified for. I get stares and cold shoulders at fashion events. I hear whispers. I get hate mail and trolling comments from people who call me disgusting and say I shouldn’t be allowed in public. Like Bey, I usually just brush these people off, and I never give them power by addressing them here or anywhere else. But it gets tiring, and sometimes I’m really tempted to drop the lady-like thing and just kind of…go off. So when I heard Beyonce telling her haters to Bow Down in the song ***Flawless, I immediately fell in love.
I actually sat down and asked Gabi some questions about the video as soon as I saw it. Here’s our short Q&A:
FIRST of all, how did you even coordinate this video in secret? Like, you’re all always never in the same place! How did this even happen?
I knew as soon as we had the idea solidified that i wanted to keep it a secret. Of course, I was partly inspired by Beyonce’s decision to keep her entire album a secret until it was released, and I knew it was a sort of big deal in the plus size community for the three of us to get together and do something like this. Tess and I both live in the LA area, and Nadia flew in for a few days for the shoot. I just made the girls promise a million times not to tell ANYONE, because I really wanted that ‘wow’ factor that Bey had the night she released her album. The shoot itself took about 12 hours, but it took about a month after that to finish the editing process with our Director/editor Brazil Siquiera.
This is your first producer moment right? I know you’ve been in campaigns before but this time you’re doing much more — styling, producing, etc. What was that jump like?
Yeah! I’ve styled shoots before but this was a bigger undertaking. It was a huge adrenaline rush, actually. I’ve always been really interested in production and set design, and I’m also a control freak, so I was happy to sort of take charge on this. I called in all the samples, found a shoot location through airbnb, found a director whose work I liked, and sat in painstakingly long edit sessions telling him exactly what I wanted. I really did love it, but it was definitely more work than I anticipated when I first came up with the idea. That being said, it was a really cool experience and I hope to go on to do more production work in the future (hopefully in movies)! I actually prefer to be behind the camera.
Finally: what are ways people can help support this #everyBodyisflawless campaign, and how do you stay so positive in response to body policing?
People can support the campaign by sharing the video and even using the hashtag when they post selfies! I want women of all shapes and sizes to know that they are OKAY. I want to reframe the way we think about bodies and stop calling things like fat, cellulite, and stretch marks “flaws”.