When Annette Richmond posts an envy-inducing travel photo on Instagram, she’s not just looking for likes. The 32-year-old stylist is also hoping to inspire women of all shapes and sizes to get out of their comfort zones, go abroad, and satiate their wanderlust. That’s why Richmond started Fat Girls Traveling, a project that showcases a diverse array of women having an amazing time at Instagram-worthy destinations across the globe—she wanted to increase plus-size visibility in the travel community.
“I rarely see girls that look like me—fat girls—featured [in travel photos],” Richmond said told Mic. “But when I travel, I see fat girls traveling…I know we’re out here.” So she made a #FatGirlsTraveling Instagram hashtag. And a Fat Girls Traveling Instagram account (follow it at @fatgirlstraveling). And a private Fat Girls Traveling Facebook group, where women can discuss their anxieties and support each other. Richmond also writes a blog, From Annette With Love, that chronicles her thoughts on fashion and travel, among other things.
“Society tells fat women we don’t even deserve to leave the house—let alone the country,” Richmond told Refinery29. “Getting on a plane and putting yourself in a position to be judged…can be so paralyzing that many don’t dare leave the comfort zone of their hometown.” So nothing makes Richmond happier than hearing from a Fat Girls Traveling fan who found the courage to take their first trip after finding the hashtag, joining the Facebook group, or reading Richmond’s blog.
What’s next for Fat Girls Traveling? A line of travel merchandise and—hopefully—a retreat, which Richmond hopes to hold next summer. Until then, she’ll be juggling her styling work, her blog, Fat Girls Traveling upkeep, and, of course, her passion for travel. “I’m currently planning my trip to New York for Fashion Week,” Richmond said. “New York is first, then San Francisco. Then I’m off to Asia for a few months—and I plan on bringing Fat Girls Traveling everywhere I go.”
See some photos from the Fat Girls Traveling Instagram account below.
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