Body positivity activist and plus size model, Tess Holliday, made big news for her upcoming feature on the cover of Cosmo UK which was released yesterday. It was groundbreaking for several different reasons, like having a plus size model grace the cover, showing more than just a close-up shot of her face, and allowing her to be dressed in a bathing suit rather than covering up her body with unflattering clothes. Readers, fans, and critics alike praised the model for her body positive and accepting message as well as Cosmo UK for supporting it and allowing that message to be spread.
However, one critic has come out, blasting Cosmo UK for their use of Tess Holliday on the cover as well as Holliday’s message of body positivity: Piers Morgan, originally reported by TMZ. He called the cover “dangerous” and “a load of old baloney.”
He commented on Holliday’s Instagram post celebrating the cover, “As Britain battles an ever-worsening obesity crisis, this is the new cover of Cosmo. Apparently we’re supposed to view it as a ‘huge step forward for body positivity.’ What a load of old baloney. This cover is just as dangerous & misguided as celebrating size zero models.”
His comments started an outpouring of support for his sentiments, with his fans attacking Holliday. It is true that Britain is currently undergoing what the country has termed an obesity crisis. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development released a study in 2016, claiming that nearly 27 percent of adults in the United Kingdom were obese, the highest proportion in Western Europe, which was also a 92 percent increase since 1996. Earlier this year, The Sun proclaimed, “Obesity a common problem in the UK that’s estimated to affect around one in every four adults.”
Holliday was quick to respond to Morgan and his followers, saying, “To everyone saying I’m a burden to the British health care system, I’m American so you don’t have to worry about my fat a**. Worry about what horrible people you are by whining about how me being on the cover of a glossy magazine impacts your small minded life.”
Yet what Morgan, his followers, and fellow critics do not take account is that body positivity is about finding happiness in the body that you actually have. Their comments veer into body shaming because Holliday has been open and very clear about the fact that she is happy in her own skin and proud of the body she is in. She also hopes that it helps other people feel better and unashamed of their own bodies by seeing one proudly showcased, as obesity and body positivity issues plague both Britain and the United States.