As decades pass, Mount Holyoke has always remained dedicated to its mission of empowering women to go out and enact change in the world — making it more inclusive, accepting and equal. This is exactly what Gabi Gregg ’08 has done. In the twelve years since her graduation, Gabi has built a social media empire revolving around size-inclusivity and self-love.
Growing up, Gabi struggled with her body image. As a fashion enthusiast, she felt that the only way she could feel confident wearing sexier clothing would be by losing weight. It was during her time at Mount Holyoke that she grew empowered to embrace the beauty of bodies like hers. “In college, I was introduced to niche body positivity and fashion forums online where plus-size women shared their daily outfits and connected over shared experiences,” Gabi wrote in a personal essay for People magazine. “Living in a larger body definitely affects how society treats you, and finally connecting with others who understood that experience was not only validating, but also healing.”
After graduation Gabi started a blog, Young, Fat, and Fabulous, where she wrote about the struggles of plus-size women. This had not always been her goal: at Mount Holyoke, she studied International Relations and was planning a career in political journalism. Her plans changed when she was introduced to the blogging platform, LiveJournal, and realized that it was a good opportunity to have an online voice about the things she cared most about. “This was over 10 years ago,” she said in an interview with Fashionista magazine. “At the time, there weren't really visible communities of women coming together to talk about fashion who were over a size 12.”
A lot has changed since then for Gabi. She’s graced the cover of Black Enterprise and Ebony magazines, been quoted in the New York Times, appeared on Good Morning America and, in 2010, won a national, online contest to become MTV’s first “TJ” — Twitter jockey — a post that came with a $100,000 contract. Today, she has amassed a huge social media following, with nearly 750,000 followers on Instagram, where she posts under the username @gabifresh. Her role as a style influencer has led to collaborations with Playful Promises and Swimsuits4All to create her own plus-size lingerie and swimwear lines. She has become a key voice in the size-inclusivity movement.
Our history is defined by trailblazers who challenge the status quo. As a vocal advocate and leader for progressive change, Gabi Gregg is a vibrant part of our incredible Mount Holyoke community that elevates and inspires, broadens perspectives and shapes the future. Because the march — for inclusion, representation, progress — goes on.
- PAPER People: Gabi Fresh (August 27, 2019)
- Power Diary: Gabi Gregg gets her power from being authentically herself (August 7, 2019)
- In her own words: blogger Gabi Gregg on accepting that 'thinness shouldn't be my primary obsession' (September 17, 2018)
- How Gabi Gregg went from posting on LiveJournal to becoming a top personal style blogger (February 23, 2017)