Plus-Size Model Tess Holliday Poses In Underwear, Opens Up About Past Fears Of Showing Off Her Body

Tess Holiday poses at a fashion event.
Rachel Luna / Getty Images

Tess Holliday is flaunting her stuff in underwear for a racy new ad series, but the plus-size model said she wasn’t always so open about showing off her body.

The 34-year-old is the face of a new ad campaign for Isle of Paradise, a color-correcting self-tanner. As the Daily Mail noted, Holliday posed with a number of other body-positive models for the campaign that encouraged people to feel great about themselves just the way they are.

Holliday had already shared a preview of the campaign on Instagram earlier this week and has opened up about how she used to feel under pressure to “get a tan” because people thought it would help her look slimmer.

“From that point on, I just felt like being tan wasn’t for girls like me. This shoot was the first time I’ve ever had a spray tan and tbh, I loved it,” she said, via the Daily Mail. “My skin was glowing, my teeth were whiter…. and of course I still look fat, but I’m a baby lil fat bronze goddess.”

As the Daily Mail also noted, Tess Holliday is among a number of models with similar outlooks on body positivity, including Style Me Sunday blogger Natalie Lee and makeup fanatic Joseph Lycett Barnes. The campaign included a number of solo shots of Holliday and others with the group together sporting their bronzed skin.

The campaign has already gotten a big reaction, including many who praised Holliday in her Instagram post for her willingness to show off her body.

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Just some Monday thoughts & things I’ve been thinking about that I wanted to share: ???? Being authentic is always better than trying to be someone you’re not. ????No one loves themselves 24/7, it’s okay to have highs & lows, that’s normal. ???? The more successful you become, the more critics and that’s ok. Change will always be met with resistance. ????Nothing is ever what it seems on social media, you only see the bits that folks choose to share. ???? Don’t compare yourself, you’re on a different path that’s just yours. Embrace that. ????If you’re feeling sad, reach out to someone and see if you can be of service to them. It will help you both more than you realize. ???? It’s okay to ask for help, and it’s okay to receive help. ???? Taco Bell is the *only* fast food. Fight me. Love you all, tell me what’s some wisdom that you’ve learned lately? Any???? moments for you? Also drop your Taco Bell order if you can’t think of anything ????????????‍♀️ #effyourbeautystandards

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Tess Holliday has been among the most open models when it comes to accepting people of all body types, though it has come with some controversy among critics who believe she is promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. But Holliday has remained committed to combating some of the industry’s unrealistic standards for models. In a recent Instagram post, Holliday opened up about her own insecurities and said she was once too afraid to wear a bikini.

“Being seen in public somewhere that I couldn’t hide my fat body in a cardigan was my worst nightmare,” she wrote.

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Tess shared a picture of herself swimming with her 3-year-old son, Bowie, while wearing a bikini and saying she no longer is afraid to show off her body.

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Bowie will never know what it’s like to have a mom who doesn’t love her body. ???? Mind-blowing huh? I’ve been thinking about this because it’s summer and literally every activity is outside/in the heat, and we have the added pressure of people using toxic diet culture language like “beach bodies”. I’ve been a Mom for thirteen years, and early on with my oldest son, there were countless moments I missed out on. Why? Because I was too afraid to put a bathing suit on. Being seen in public somewhere that I couldn’t hide my fat body in a cardigan was my worst nightmare. I don’t have any photos of me & Rylee at the beach or playing in the pool because I didn’t own a bathing suit from the ages of 13-24. Even though it took me longer than I wished, I have amazing memories like this with Bowie and made up for lost time with my oldest too. Don’t let fear keep you from enjoying your life, you deserve beautiful experiences, and beautiful photographs to remember them by! #effyourbeautystandards #beachbody

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The full set of images from Tess Holliday and others featured in the Isle of Paradise campaign can be seen in The Daily Mail.