1. Meet Tess Holliday, a size 22 model who is the first of her size and height to be signed to a major agency.
3. At 5-foot-5, Holliday, real name Tess Munster, doesn’t fit into the mold of traditional plus-size models, who might typically be a few inches taller and be between sizes 8 and 16.
“I think we’re the only agency with a model of her size. She is by far the largest model I have in the [Curves] division,” said Anna Shillinglaw, the owner and director of MiLk Model Management, the agency that signed Holliday after seeing her on Instagram, to the Daily News.
5. After traveling to Atlanta for a casting session as a teen, Holliday was told she was too short and too heavyset to ever succeed as a model.
7. Holliday, who works out with a trainer four days a week, said that people try particularly hard to bring her down because of her body type.
“Everybody deserves to be happy, but for some reason the fact that I happen to be plus-size and happy seems to bother people,” she said. “It’s odd really.”
9. Relentless bullying as a child forced Holliday, who was born in Mississippi, to leave school at 17. Today, she told the Huffington Post she still receives up to hundreds of negative comments a day.
“I understand not everyone understands what I’m about. But to me it’s such a simple concept. It’s all about loving your body regardless of your size and chasing your dreams,” she said.
“Spending my entire vacation in a bikini Not giving a fuck #effyourbeautystandards”
15. And thanks in part to her insistence that every body is a beautiful body, #EffYourBeautyStandards has taken off online.
“Pretty for a big girl… Nah, I’m just pretty. #effyourbeautystandards”
“So thick that everyone else in the room is so uncomfortable. #me #plussize #effyourbeautystandards”
23. Despite her success and inspiring hordes of women, Holliday said she’s still amazed by everything she’s accomplished.
“It doesn’t feel like it’s me. Every time I have a big thing happen in my career, it’s an out of body experience,” she said. “I’m always still that 13-year-old girl in Mississippi who people told I wasn’t good enough. I never could have imagined that I could be here.”
25. But the blogger and body-positive activist wants women to love themselves no matter what, telling them:
Surround yourself with positive, like-minded people who support you. It’s crucial to your happiness and well-being. Never compare yourself to others and celebrate what makes you, YOU.
“Does it bother you that a fat body like mine exists in the world? That this body makes me money, brings my partner (& myself) joy & for some of you, is your “worst case scenario”? Heaven forbid. Fuck what you’ve heard about me. I’m not going anywhere #tessmunster #tessholliday #effyourbeautystandards”
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