Tess Holliday always keeps it real. And after a recent experience with fat-shaming, the 35-year-old model took to Instagram to share what happened, her frustrations and lessons learned.
During the impromptu 14-minute video, posted on Thursday, Holliday admitted she had to consult her therapist, who specializes in eating disorders, after an encounter that left her reeling.
“...Like people were like, ‘oh my God you see how big she is’ and all of this stuff, and then I just think like, ‘What's wrong with you?’ And it's hard because I know I'm fat, right? Like I'm not blind,” she said.
It’s not news to me that I am fat, but it’s rare that I’m fat shamed in public, until the past week. I’ve been shamed at several different points the past week for my size, & yes it affects me, I’m human. But this week I was at my youngest sons school & a little girl in his classroom said to me: “you’re really big” and I replied: “ you’re very observant, I am!” And then she asked me “why are you so fat?” And I said because we are all different, and isn’t it really cool that all of us don’t look the same?“ And all of the kids nodded their heads & smiled. It made me wish that something so simple that four-year-olds can understand, adults choose to lead with hate when we don’t understand or accept something. We need to show each other some extra love right now, and extend that love to yourself. We are living through unprecedented times, and a little bit of love and empathy can go a long way.
A post shared by T E S S H🍒L L I D A Y (@tessholliday) on Oct 15, 2020 at 10:24am PDT
The mother of two went on to describe another instance of what at first seemed like shaming but turned out to be a teaching moment. After a little girl in her son Bowie’s class asked her why she was “so fat,” Holliday described that she “crouched down and I said ‘I am fat you're very observant’...I said ‘well we're all different and we all look different...none of us look the same. Isn't that cool? Because who wants to look like everybody else?’ And literally all of the little kids there...got super excited like ‘yeah we're different.’”
Holliday concluded by criticizing society for creating the narrative that loving herself is promoting obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle. She later reminded fans that her success as a model has not made her immune to taunts.
Fans commended her candid conversation and some shared their own experiences with fat shaming.
“Love how you keep it real. Beautiful inside and out. Would love to meet you one day just to tell you that in person. Very inspirational. Keep doing what you do,” one person wrote.
“I love you and haters are gonna hate you keep shining bright and doing you,” someone else said.
“I am fat too. I get it from a few family members, but not so much in day to day life. I feel like people are suprised when im confident and feel i am beautiful. They only see how i need to lose weight. Yes, i do. But am i happy as i am? Truly,” someone else commented.
Holliday is no stranger to speaking out against body criticism. During a March interview with U.K.’s Sunday Times, she explained that there’s both power in words and seeing peers getting recognition they deserve.
“I’ve been doing this for a decade, and when I first started you didn’t see women like me on the covers of magazines, you didn’t see pop stars like Lizzo dominating stages and winning Grammys,” Holliday told the outlet. “You didn’t see any of that — so, yeah, I’ve been a part of a movement that has changed the social climate for everybody to be more accepting in general. Not only if you’re plus size, but however you choose to live your life and present yourself and your body. Self-love is for everyone and we all need it!”
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