Model Behavior

Tess Holliday's Cosmopolitan UK Cover Inspires Fans To Love The Skin They're In

"If I saw a body like mine on this magazine when I was a young girl, it would have changed my life."

As a plus-size supermodel, Tess Holliday regularly defies the standards that implicitly guide the beauty industry. But now, as the latest cover girl to grace Cosmopolitan UK, Holliday and her fans are applauding the publication for embracing body diversity.

"Phew, I'm literally a COSMO GIRL!! Can't believe I'm saying that!" Holliday wrote alongside her sneak peek of the Cosmo UK issue scheduled to hit stands on August 31. "Thank you @CosmopolitanUK for this incredible opportunity. If I saw a body like mine on this magazine when I was a young girl, it would have changed my life."

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Holliday's fans, of course, were quick to praise the publication for bucking the trend and making a plus-size model its cover girl. As many noted, seeing someone of Holliday's body type being celebrated on the cover of a popular magazine would've helped them learn to love themselves growing up. While many of said fans have dealt with their own body acceptance and body image issues in the past, Holliday's success marks a positive shift in the way plus-size individuals are represented in mainstream media.

As an undeniable influence in the body positivity movement, Holliday created the #effyourbeautystandards campaign on Instagram in an effort to subvert traditional beauty standards and encourage women of various body types to embrace who they are and show off their curves. The hashtag has since been used more than 3.2 million times.

"I created [the campaign] out of frustration," she told Cosmopolitan UK. "I was angry and sad that people kept commenting on my pictures saying, 'You're too fat to wear that!' or 'Cover up! No one wants to see that!' And then one night I was lying in bed and thought, 'F*ck that!' So I posted an image with four photographs of myself wearing things that fat women are often told we 'can't wear', and encouraged others to do the same."

And, while detractors continue to flood Holliday's Twitter replies with calls for the media to "stop promoting obesity," Holliday has already made her peace with those who refuse to accept her body as one that's both healthy and active.

"In the beginning I used to say, 'I'm healthy, my cholesterol's fine, I don't have high blood pressure, I don't have diabetes," Holliday told SELF in June. "By telling people that you see a doctor, and telling people that you're healthy, it's perpetuating the abuse against bigger bodies and the mindset that we owe it to people to be healthy. The reality is I don't owe you shit and I don't have to prove that I'm healthy or not, because it is nobody's business."

"I just refuse to go down that road, and to feel like I need to prove my health and my worth to people that don't care," she added. "There's a famous quote, I don't know who said it but I use it all the time: 'Never waste your time explaining yourself to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.'"

Like Holliday, practice self-love, above all else, and everything will inevitably fall into place.

Cover image via Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

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