Plus-size model Tess Holliday claps back at Piers Morgan after he accuses her of 'promoting' obesity
Take a browse through your Instagram feed and you'll likely be affronted with a slew of perfectly retouched gazelles - also known as Instagram "models". In almost all instances, these women not only conform to western ideals of beauty, but they also share the same body type - petite, with curves in all the "right" places, and absolutely no trace of cellulite.
To say that this doesn't exactly champion diversity is, of course, an understatement.
However, in the past few years, we've seen more and more advocates of body positivity on social media - dedicated to showcasing how women can be beautiful at any shape and size. And one such individual is Tess Holliday.
The plus-sized model shot to fame after an impassioned Instagram post on body-shaming went viral, and she has since starred in several high-profile modelling campaigns. Her unfiltered honesty has gained her over 1.5 million followers on Instagram, and the empowering #effyourbeautystandards hashtag that she started back in 2015 continues to attract more followers every day.
Holliday appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan's October 2018 issue, and in her interview, she candidly discussed her struggles with mental health and the process of learning to feel "at home" in her skin. But, of course, internet trolls came out in full force to accuse the model of "promoting" obesity and unhealthy lifestyle choices - including British journalist, Piers Morgan.
The conservative television personality posted an image from Holliday's Cosmopolitan UK campaign to his Instagram page, and captioned it "As Britain battles an ever-worsening obesity crisis, this is the new cover of Cosmo. Apparently we’re supposed to view it as a ‘huge step forward for body positivity.' What a load of old baloney. This cover is just as dangerous & misguided as celebrating size zero models."
Holliday didn't let the matter lie. While she didn't explicitly name Morgan in her response, which she posted to Twitter, it's pretty clear who it's aimed at.
"To everyone saying I’m a burden to the British health care system, I’m American so you don’t have to worry about my fat as*. Worry about what horrible people you are by whining about how me being on the cover of a glossy magazine impacts your small minded life," she asserted.
The mother-of-two also acknowledged all the positive responses she got to her Cosmo cover. "I knew that being on the cover of @cosmopolitanuk was going to make waves, but I wasn’t prepared for it to explode like it did," she later wrote on Instagram. "Thank you for all of the love the past few days... it’s overwhelming in the most beautiful way. I’m doing my best to enjoy this moment & soak it all in- I’m even having a party today to celebrate! (which I never do!) If there’s one thing I’ve noticed the past 3 days, it’s that we still have so long to go, and that people are eager for change & I’m grateful to be part of moving things forward, for everyBODY."
Go on, Tess!