Tess Holiday is a size 22 and a model. Although society may not think being big is acceptable, Tess knows she is beautiful and has no desire to change her body, which is why she doesn’t do diets.
“I don’t do diets,” she said. “Diets don’t work.”
Holiday has had huge success in the modeling industry despite being plus-size. However, with her success comes the scrutiny that she is advocating for women to be unhealthy.
“[People] would always mention my success, but then it would always be followed by, ‘Well she’s unhealthy’ – which I’m not,” the 30-year-old model told Yahoo! Style.
“[It’s] like saying because someone is a darker skin tone or because someone is gay, that they’re glorifying that lifestyle – that’s who you are,” she said. “Obviously someone doesn’t wake up fat. I know that I am fat, but people completely miss the point of me trying to educate women and show them that it’s ok to be who you are and love yourself and still live your life and not be miserable.”
Holiday recently publicly called out the lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret for body shaming the women who do not fit in their standard size clothing.
“They are perpetuating […] what’s wrong with America and with society in general – [the idea] that you have to look a certain way, like a Victoria’s Secret Angel, to feel beautiful and be sexy.”
Earlier this year, Tess Holiday, who has one million followers on Instagram, started a social media movement using the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards in an effort to have women realize that they can be beautiful at any size, and they don’t have to conform to society’s “norm.”
When Holiday started the movement, she wrote: “I’m no longer going to feel ashamed of my body and hide it, it’s time [sic] flaunt my curves! #effyourbeautystandards.”
A few days later, #EffYourBeautyStandards has over 495,000 posts on Instagram. As of today, the hashtag has been used over one million times on the social media site.
“I’m thrilled—it’s really humbling to see so many women support me and what I’m doing,” Holliday told Yahoo Beauty in May. “I know other women relate to where I’ve been and the feelings of not quite being good enough. I hope through all of this that they realize they are good enough and beautiful no matter what size color or shape they are.”
Check out some of the posts below.
— Crystal Rain (@crystalrain418) December 8, 2015
— Thot 1 (@hvyleybennett) December 8, 2015
— Bigger Ballerina (@biggerballerina) December 8, 2015
Holiday, who is tired of women being forced to be a small size to wear certain brands, is currently working on her own plus-size clothing line, and it’s not going to be a copy of the typical plus-size lines.
“I wanted to do something that was edgy and sexy but then give some options for people who don’t want to wear the same tired floral, leopard, cat-print stuff,” she said. “There have been the most atrocious prints on plus-size garments that would never be on straight sizes.”
— adriana coronado (@twerkasourusx) July 27, 2015
“I want to see diversity in fashion. I want to see more people that look like the women and men I come across in the street,” Tess told the Huffington Post. “I don’t have any styling rules — for me, it’s all about wearing what makes you feel good. If that means wearing a Halloween costume, whatever. If that means wearing a chic dress, then cool… So many stores cut off at size 16. There needs to be more sizes.”
[Photo via Instagram/Tess Holiday]