Jess Swanson, Senior Editor
Jess Swanson, Senior Editor
Mar 2021

Whether she’s striking a fierce pose in an Antelope Valley poppy field or smizing on a Nassau beach, Annette Richmond looks good and she knows it. But the digital nomad noticed that other travel-inspiration accounts would never reshare images of her traveling—or of other plus-size women. So, in 2017, she launched the Instagram account @fatgirlstraveling, which has featured hundreds of women in far-flung places. “A lot of women don’t feel comfortable getting in front of the camera,” Richmond explains. “We want people to know it’s OK to grow into confidence.”

Richmond is a fat activist, working to humanize fat people and promote their dignity and respect. For some, the word “fat” might be considered offensive, but Richmond argues society gives it a negative connotation. Nearly 70 percent of American women are overweight or obese, according to the National Institutes of Health. “It’s a neutral term, a descriptor like ‘blonde’ or ‘short.’ It’s only when fat equals unlovable and undeserving does it become negative.”

On the Fat Girls Traveling Facebook group, ladies share tips and offer support, whether it’s details about a weight restriction on a zip line or words of encouragement after a rude comment on a beach. “Being different and marginalized, especially when you’re in a different country, can [make you] feel really vulnerable,” she says. But that shouldn’t prevent anyone from traveling, Richmond insists. “People are waiting until they fit into that bathing suit or pair of jeans to live their life fully,” she says. “I encourage all people, but especially fat people, to not wait on your weight.”

Follow These Fat Girls Traveling

Credit: @jetsetgypz

@ashleytravelsnstyle at Seven Magic Mountains art installation in Las Vegas

Credit: @gyulmeetsworld

@gyulmeetsworld at Saguaro National Park, Arizona

Credit: @liam_maclean

@codieannie at Cenote Dos Ojos in Tulum, Mexico

Credit: @auaulynn

@auaulynn at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California

Credit: @ashleytravelsnstyle

@ashleytravelsnstyle at Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

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