Tess Holliday (35) was bullied since early childhood for her weight and pale skin, as well as being poor living in a trailer with her disabled mother. She finally quit school at the age of 17.
In 2010 she moved to LA and her career as a model took off in 2011 when she was featured in the A&E series “Heavy”. In 2014 Tess became the first model over size 18 (she is size 22, 5’4″, 280lbs) to take part in an H&M fashion campaign. Additionally, Holliday starred in Elle magazine, Marie Claire, and was featured on the cover of the People.
Tess describes herself as a “body positive activist”. She embraces the word “fat” and advocates that people should be able to eat as much and whatever they want without suffering from social ostracism.
Holliday recently said: “It’s not easy to choose love towards a body that so many find “disgusting”, & sometimes I wonder if that’s why so many of us spend so much time hating ourselves. To radically love yourself is hard work, but my god it’s worth it”.
In late 2014, Holliday began producing a series of T-shirts with the phrase, “Eff Your Beauty Standards”, with some of the proceeds being donated to an organization that helps survivors of domestic violence.