Tess Holliday fine with plus size label
Tess Holliday insists no one has ever "lost sleep" about being called plus size, so can't understand why people bemoan the term.
The US model is a size 22 - something she is loud and proud about given she's worked for the likes of Vogue Italia and Benefit Cosmetics. She has no problem with being called a 'plus size model' because that is exactly what she is, and she believes that term can actually be a positive thing for women the world over. Some campaigners view the term as derogatory, but Tess argues it should be viewed as inclusive and helpful.
"It's never been used as hurtful, it's something that's basically just for women to kind of find where they want to shop, I guess," she told Paper magazine. "I do think it's very important, especially for young women who are kind of coming into their bodies, and older women who are becoming more OK with their bodies, to have terms for being bigger. When they look online, or look in magazines, they see that label, or see that term, they feel like they're not alone. They have something to identify with. I'm really a firm believer in calling it what it is. And I don't really see anyone losing sleep over the fact that they're called plus-size."
That's not to say Tess has never experienced discrimination because of her size. She absolutely has, but as her career has grown she's realised she's in a position to challenge people's mindsets. What really angers the 30-year-old star is when people suggest she is unhealthy just because of her size.
"I think that some of the biggest surprises I've had early on, actually to this day, are all the misconceptions about my body and my health. There are so many people who think that being a plus-size model, that there's something wrong with it, or that I must be unhealthy or that I'm promoting an unhealthy lifestyle," she said. "And at first it was very hard, and I blamed it on myself, and then I thought...my health is none of their business, I'm modelling for this clothing company, so why are people dissecting my body and telling me that I can't wear some things? That I can't look a certain way because of my body?"
This led Tess to try to change people's views, but she soon realised she was fighting a losing battle. What has been much more effective is realising being in the public eye makes her a role model for other plus size ladies, so that is what she's decided to focus on instead.