A few months ago, Tess Holiday announced her second pregnancy. Although the plus-size model is expecting her child in June, haters and body-shamers have been at it when she most recently made an Instagram post, showing her pregnant self nearly nude under white sheets. The photo, as part of a photo shoot for The Telegraph, has had nearly 30,000 likes, according to People’s Magazine and Today. This is only one out of many struggles she has faced throughout her career as a plus-size beauty in a thin-captivated world.
At 5’ 5” and 280 pounds, she is the first model of her size in the fashion industry. Her success however had not started easily. The domestic violence of home caused her family to move from Mississippi all the way to California. She was bullied relentlessly in school to the point of dropping out. Her father reigned with verbal abuse, constantly lowering her self-esteem. However, her mother had always supported her dream of becoming a model, making her dream possible with local photographers in Mississippi to do photoshoots. She still faced struggles however, when her first modeling audition in Atlanta at age 15 ended with her being told she was “too short and big” to model.
The dream lingered for a while. After years of moving from Mississippi to Seattle, life lead her to post pictures of herself on Model Mayhem, a portfolio website for models and photographers. However, it wasn’t until she moved to Los Angles that she found the confidence she needed to continue forth with her dream. The Model Mayhem site came in handy a year later when she was discovered by her first official gig as the face of the A&E show Heavy. She found her fame there and signed a contact with MiLK Model Management, a major U.K.-based agency, after they found her on Instagram.
So now, after establishing herself as a supermodel, she still faces hate. Comments on a video she posted two years ago on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAOC76pb0os) continue to spout hateful comments such as how she’s a “fat pig”, how she had to “eat models to become one” and that she’s “repulsive”. Yes, people that spout that vile nonsense exist. However, the majority of the comments are bright, endearing, and filled with love for the body-positive representative that she is. She tells those haters to “eff off”, creating a social campaign called #effyourbeautystandards to help bring body positivity to the world.
People will always have their beauty preferences, but that doesn’t mean people should dictate that as though their perception of what’s attractive is the only way people can be accepted. According to her, she is perfectly happy with how she looks. Her goal as a model is to be a representative for others with low self-confidence and insecurities about how they look. Her message is that everyone is beautiful no matter their size. She’s saying that if you feel beautiful, that’s all that matters. So, when it comes to that photo she posted of her pregnancy, let’s stop with the childish hate and start bringing acceptance into the fashion industry.