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Cranbrook alumnus Gabi Gregg first earned acclaim for her popular fashion blog, "Young, Fat and Fabulous." Now she's becoming famous as the first MTV-Twitter Jockey (TJ).
"It's just now starting to sink in, and I realize that I work for MTV," Gregg said. "It felt very surreal." Gregg earned this unique position after being selected by MTV as a result of her interactive, online activity. "They selected 18 people who are active online and asked if we'd like to be involved in the competition," she said. "There were online challenges and it was about a six week processes."
Gregg made the top five after earning the popular vote through Facebook, and went to New York for the final competition. Ultimately, she took the title as MTV-TJ. One of her first official duties was acting as a correspondent at the Video Music Awards (VMAs) in Los Angeles.
"The VMAs are a huge deal for MTV," she said. Gregg was involved in the pre-show and Twitter tracked to report what people were talking about in terms of the show. "I tweeted what was going on backstage and, in between, I did celebrity interviews," she said. "My favorite was Bruno Mars. I just love him. And, I got to interview Travie McCoy. I've had a crush on him for so long."
The established fashion blogger attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, where she studied International Relations, but felt her calling was to be involved in fashion and social networking.
"I wanted to do fashion journalism, but felt it was too late," Gregg said. "I started looking for jobs in journalism after college and couldn't find any, probably because I had no experience." Not ready to give in and accept a job she wasn't enthusiastic about, Gregg started "Young, Fat and Fabulous," reaching out to young women who want to feel confident at any size.
"There was nothing out there for plus-sizes," she said. "I wanted to create something to show women they could be young, fashionable and plus-size." To Gregg's surprise, she reaches a broader spectrum than she anticipated. "I get emails from 10-year-olds and 60-year-olds."
Through a slow process, Gregg has personally gained a positive body image, and hopes to spread that confidence to other women. "It's very sad. I think that (women) get so many messages from so many places," she said. "It's this constant bombardment that if you're fat, you're ugly, and if you're thin, you're beautiful. It's affecting their self-esteem and how they judge others."
While Gregg is now a midtown Manhattan resident, she remembers her years at Cranbrook fondly. "It was one of the best times of my life," she said. "I want to send my kids there, and I still consider it home in a way." ...continued on page 2