Plus-size model Tess Holliday posts nude picture to discuss gender equality
It is now arguably more common to see body-positive models on Instagram than the archetypal, stick thin models that we are used to seeing strut the catwalks at high profile fashion shows. Because of the rise of the social media platform, it would be safe to say that body-positivity is up there with the most rapidly-growing movements online and Tess Holliday is one of the models leading it.
The Mississippi-born model has made headlines for regularly speaking up about issues concerning body acceptance, motherhood, and feminism. Whether it's her solidarity with the #MeToo campaign or her use of Instagram to battle fat-shaming, Holliday has been vocal on all issues that she deems as important.
At 5-foot 3 and a size 22, Holliday doesn't fit the stereotypical mold of a 'model', but with over 1.5 million followers and a host of different commercial deals, she isn't doing too badly for herself. She claims that she was denied entry into the world of modeling at the age of 15 "because of [her] height and my weight." But, not being one to lie down without a fight, Holliday says that the experience "just made [her] push harder." Speaking about her reasoning behind her message, Holliday said:
"For so long advertising hasn’t been inclusive when it comes to plus sizes which is crazy to me. Hair and makeup are things used by everyone—it doesn’t make any sense."
"It’s great to see size 14’s on the runway and it’s a big change, but the majority of women in the U.S. are a 16—where is the representation for them? For a long time I kind of said that it was not something I wanted to do.
"I understand that I’m short, big, and tattooed, but after doing a couple of runway shows [last] year, my outlook changed—it was exhilarating."
In 2013, Holliday created the hashtag #effyourbeautystandard online and it quickly went viral. The hashtag was created to encourage women of all sizes to reject the regressive beauty ideals in society and pushed the model into the spotlight. However, despite her relative fame and work with major fashion houses such as H&M, Holliday has stayed loyal to her message and took to Instagram to repost a photo that her husband took of her, along with a powerful message.
The nude shot was captioned by her husband and read: "Women deserve respect, whether they are completely naked or covered head to toe. I’m too sick to march, so I worked on this photo we shot a few weeks ago to post today. No alterations to her body or bare face have been made."
The message comes in the wake of the second annual Women's March, which brought hundreds of thousands of women to the streets in order to protest against sexual harassment and the discrimination of women in society.
Holliday was one of the founders of the movement and has been pushing her message for a long time now and empowering women everywhere along the way.