Body image hero Brittany Gibbons gives us her formula for self-love

In 2011, Brittany Gibbons — mom, wife, Curvy Girl Guide founder, and the brilliant blogger behind Brittany, Herself — rocked nothing but a swimsuit on national television in order to empower women everywhere to love their bodies. It was an incredible moment, and it obviously worked: That day alone, hundreds of women nationwide reached out to her to share swimsuit pictures of their own.

Gibbons later turned the experience into a TED Talk, called “What I Learned About Life While Standing in the Middle of Times Square in My Bathing Suit,” where she proceeded to strip on stage to further prove her point that all women and all bodies are beautiful. (To date, the video has been watched over 97,000 times.) And now, Gibbons has written a memoir, using her life story to do what she does best: Make us laugh and feel like we’re not alone in the journey to self-love.

Fat Girl Walking is a hilarious account of Gibbons’ life from her teenage years through marriage and motherhood; but just because it’s funny by no means implies that it’s light-hearted fluff. The book is a beautifully honest look at self-image, anxiety, and learning to love every inch of yourself — inside and out.

“I really want women to read this book and see themselves in it; all women of all sizes,” Gibbons told Hello Giggles. “Self-esteem and body-hate isn’t limited to plus-size women, and we really need to band together as a gender to tackle this issue for ourselves and all the strong girls behind us. I hope Fat Girl Walking does that in spades, and with lots of hilarious laugh out loud moments.”

We think she totally succeeded. And because Gibbons is our self-love idol and filled with infinite wisdom, we decided to ask her for some tips on self-confidence, dealing with Internet trolls, and more. Here’s just some of the incredible advice she gave us.

On learning to love yourself:

“The best thing I ever did for myself was to learn to tell my head to shut up! No more tearing myself down in the mirror, and no more shaking off compliments. I faced my reflection each morning forcing myself to see only the parts of me I loved, even when it felt fake and cheesy. The weird part is, eventually, the good parts were all I saw!”

On why size shouldn’t matter:

“Nothing would change about my life if I looked any different. Making friends, falling in love, becoming a writer, none of that would have changed or been effected by a smaller jean size.”

On the power of self-love:

“My self-love has made me fearless. I have lived decades afraid to do so many things because I didn’t want to look like the fat girl, it’s like I’m playing catch-up with my life! I model, I appear on television shows, I speak on stages. . . if this is the life of a fat girl, I’ll take it!”

On running a successful blog:

“Write what you are passionate about for the long haul. Something you love so much you are willing to power through the moments when nobody reads or the times when someone tears you down. It only takes one person connecting with you to change your life; until then, keep your head down and write, write, write.”

On how to deal with online harassment:

“I try and remember three things. 1. It takes a lot of effort to hate somebody on the Internet, so I like to think that spewing their own self-hate at me is a form of therapy for them — and thankfully, I’m strong enough to take it. 2. The only person entitled to your self narrative is YOU. No one else gets to write that for you, and certainly not some troll on the Internet with bad grammar. And 3. Paying attention to the handful of mean comments and trolls is disrespectful to the millions of others who love and support me. I won’t take time away from thanking and appreciating them in favor of the meanies any more.”

On the perfect leather pants:

“Leather pants are tricky, one wrong move and it’s Night At The Roxbury. I would love a distressed pair that doesn’t swish too much when my thighs rub together. The perfect mix would be a little bit ’90s Kate Moss with a denim shirt pumping gas and Rebel Wilson sexy party girl. The hunt continues!”

Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It is available now, and can be purchased here.

(Images courtesy of Brittany Gibbons.)

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