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Fluffy GRL returns to St. Louis with pool party and empowerment

Fluffy GRL Movement founder Ebbi Nicole
Trina Williams
Fluffy GRL Movement founder Ebbi Nicole

As a college student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Ebbi Nicole saw the need for a movement supporting women as they faced ceaseless societal criticism for simply existing in bodies that aren’t thin — and after the idea became a smash hit, the Fluffy GRL movement was born.

Now, 10 years after that first “Fluffy GRL summit,” Nicole’s group is throwing another bash to celebrate fluffy everywhere.

“We have so much miseducation about what it looks like to be a woman, or to be feminine, or to be all of these different labels,” Nicole said Monday on St. Louis on the Air. She explained that she arrived at her own label, “fluffy,” because it resonated in a positive way with how she saw her own body.

But as Nicole explained to St. Louis on the Air guest host Jade Harrell, the purpose of the Fluffy GRL movement isn’t just to change how people talk about themselves. Since that first summit on her college campus, Nicole said she’s built the movement to help women break through the stigma and ingrained social messaging around size.

“Telling your stories, sharing your stories, that's something that Fluffy GRL is extremely encouraging and empowering with at each and every one of our events,” Nicole said. “We do talk about taking up space unapologetically. It's not just your physical space of your body. Fluffy is not just the way you look, right? It's a mindset.”

It’s also about overcoming the impact of media messaging that tells women to cover up their bodies or not wear particular fashions because of their size. Nicole organized her group’s first “Curves N' Waves Pool Party” in 2018 as a way to overcome that negative messaging — and the response blew her away. In its second year, more than 100 women attended.

Though delayed last year during the pandemic, the Curves N’ Waves pool party returns on Aug. 6 as the culmination of a two-day “GRL Weekend” in the St. Louis region.

Sponsored in part by Dove, the weekend’s events start at 6 p.m. Aug. 5 with the Candid Convo Kickoff at the Aloft St. Louis Cortex. Then, at 8 p.m. Aug. 6, the Curves N’ Waves Pool Party splashes into the Collinsville Aqua Park.

Nicole promised, “It's going to be an amazing, packed event.”

For more information about the GRL Weekend events, visit the official event website.

Related Event
What: GRL Weekend
When: Aug. 5-6
Where: Aloft St. Louis Cortex (4245 Duncan Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110) and Collinsville Aqua Park (10 Gateway Drive, Collinsville, IL 62234)

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Emily Woodbury, Kayla Drake, Danny Wicentowski and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Danny Wicentowski is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air."