Social media personality Tess Holliday (Tess Munster), who describes herself as a ‘body positive activist’ is famous for her pin-up style photos and fir her Instagram movement called #effyourbeautystandards – and recently, Tess (who is a size 22 US at 5’4”) became the largest plus-size model to be signed by a modeling agency (MiLK).
Here are a few quotes from Tess:
On beauty diversity:
‘I think if someone doesn’t look at an image and feel something, you haven’t done your job. Whether it’s a negative or positive, it should evoke something in them. That’s what I’ve always done with my work, I want to challenge society’s perception of “beauty” and what’s acceptable in our industry and the world. There is no one way to be a woman, or to be beautiful. We all deserve a place.’
On becoming a model at her size:
I went to a casting when I was 15 but I was told I was too short and too big. I was a US size 16 (UK 18/20) and I’m 5ft 4in. It was a little discouraging – I stopped trying to pursue modelling and it was only when I retrained as a makeup artist, working at fashion shows, that I started getting interested again. The truth is, I didn’t want to do anything else. I was never tempted to lose weight. Everyone around me was on Weight Watchers, but it never appealed to me. I have never been one for changing yourself to make someone happy. Everyone said I had a pretty face, so it seemed possible. I just didn’t know there was such a thing as a plus-size model. It was only when I saw a picture of Mia Tyler [one of the first plus-size models in the 1990s] that I realized I could. I am lucky that I have a supportive family, partner and friends. That I got signed? Well, the reaction has been overwhelming.
On being heavily criticized:
I got a lot of comments on Twitter, Instagram, even some letters. Some people were excited, some people called me fat and said I was too big to be a model. I spent a long time fielding through the reactions. Ultimately, in my eyes, my being signed is changing an industry that needed to be changed.
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