For anyone (myself not included) who thought that Plus Size models and the world of #Fatshion were going to be a mere trend, or a rare glimmer in a sea of sameness – the first month of this new year has proved just the opposite! A new wave is upon us, and I’m beyond thrilled to be one of the many grateful womyn to share the news of the latest and greatest burst of the socially normalized bubble: Tess Holliday (formerly Munster); brazen body positive activist, blogger, and plus size model has become the very first model in the world of her size, 22, and height, 5’5”, to be signed to a major agency (MiLK Model Agency, London)! I for one, cannot express my excitement and inspiration in mere words, so dear readers, you will have to just imagine me jumping and dancing around my Oakland apartment whooping it up in pure elation. Fuck YES! This is revolutionary, this is the sweet stuff that our complex lives are made of: radical change is not just upon us, it is happening to/for/within us right now!
Body Positivity is a gorgeously growing enterprise that is here to stay! I, like many other fatty babes, have been waiting for these revolutionary breakthroughs almost my entire life – or as far back as I can remember playing with barbies, complete with unrealistic waistlines and dysmorphic body dreams attached to their labels! It’s true that by now we know that Barbie can’t be translated into real-life proportions, she wouldn’t even be able to function, yet the ghost of her persona has been haunting us in the form of one photoshopped celebrity and super model to the next…that is until the recent resurgence of self-love and body celebration that is upon us.
Tess Holliday has been a brilliant beacon on the Body Positive Activist social media scene for quite sometime – notably being the creative mastermind behind the #effyourbeautystandards campaign, which has truly selfied and hashtagged it’s way into a major movement (last I just checked with 497,345 posts and growing exponentially)! I first discovered her images this way through instagram; and it was, and is, a truly therapeutic experience to see a body similar to mine being so unapologetically bold and powerfully sexy. I not only loved seeing her photos, but was very taken by their simultaneous message of self-love, fuck-haters! Tess has talked about coming from a small town and being bullied for her size, an experience I can relate to, but sometimes as ironic as it may seem, cities give you room to breathe and just be yourself.
In the spirit of being part of a media outlet that believes in proudly wearing your voice in all forms, I wanted to share one of my favorite photos from the @tessholliday instagram account. Wearing her #fatkini, it was taken spontaneously during a hike and I felt that Tess exuded such raw goddess beauty in this form that it was both breathtaking and awe-inspiring! I, personally, have found many of the articles that have been released, to still be somewhat offensive, taking either a tone of shock at her beauty and size, or trying to legitimize her fatness somehow by overemphasizing how much she exercises and how healthy she is. I, also, believe in sharing these amazing aspects of her being and challenging how fat people are viewed in relation to althleticism, but I want to expressly say that her body needs no legitimizing (nor does any womyn’s) ; it is gorgeous in its own right (as is every womyn’s)! Thank you for being you, Tess Holliday. (To the haters: Fuck Your Beauty Standards!)