Plus-size model Tess Holliday, formerly Tess Munster, has never listened to what society says a person “should” look like. She’s always been told that she is overweight and could never make it as a model because she’s also too short. Now, she continues with her motto of #EffYourBeautyStandards and has signed with a mainstream agency.
Not only has she been featured in Vogue Italia, but she has done work for a number of fashion designers, per the New York Daily News. This week, she not only signed with MiLK Model Management, but she became the largest plus-size model to sign with a mainstream agency.
“I feel like it’s breaking ground. This is a milestone. I never could have imagined that I could be here.”
The 29-year-old model, who lives in Los Angeles, was added to the Curves section of MiLK — their plus-size division.
Not only is it her overall size that bursts through the standards of how a model “should” look, but her height as well. She stands just 5-feet-5 and is a size 22, which is the absolute largest model at MiLK.
The average plus-size agency model stands at five-feet-eight or taller and is in between a size eight to 16 U.S. Anna Shillinglaw, the owner and designer of MiLK Model Management, spoke from her office in London on Holliday.
“I think we’re the only agency with a model of her size. She is by far the largest model I have in the (Curves) division.”
BuzzFeed reports that Tess Holliday traveled to Atlanta as a teen and went to a casting session, but she was turned away. She was told that she was too heavyset and far too short to ever succeed in the world of modeling.
Holliday works out with a trainer at least four days a week, and she doesn’t let her size take over her life. She knows that people are going to rain on her parade, but she won’t let them dampen her spirits and ambition.
“Everybody deserves to be happy, but for some reason the fact that I happen to be plus-size and happy seems to bother people. It’s odd really.”
Bullying caused her to leave school at the age of 17, and she still receives many negative comments per day. Holliday says she knows not everyone understand her goals to be a model, but “it’s all about loving your body regardless of your size and chasing your dreams.”
Her Facebook page, Tess Munster-Plus Model, has over 630,000 likes and keeps growing all the time.
It was in 2011 that she got her first modeling break, as she was cast as the face of the A&E show Heavy. Since then, she’s modeled for a lot of clothing brands and has been featured around the world.
Sometimes, it’s still too hard to believe… even for her.
“It doesn’t feel like it’s me. Every time I have a big thing happen in my career, it’s an out of body experience. I’m always still that 13-year-old girl in Mississippi who people told I wasn’t good enough. I never could have imagined that I could be here.”
Tess Holliday, the former Tess Munster, is not going to let the standards of society get her down or shatter her dreams. She is a plus-size model and now has the honor of working for the MiLK agency, and they have the honor of working with her.
[Images via Instagram]