Tess Holliday, who has been told on numerous occasions that her size-22 frame was not up to model standards, has set a whole new precedent for plus-size models worldwide. She's signed a contract with MiLk Model Management, a major modeling agency.
As a blogger and body positive activist who created the viral hashtag #effyourbeautystandards, Holliday set out to prove that beauty comes in all forms. And all her social media activity has finally paid off. Holliday's modeling contract offers hope that people's standards for beauty might not be as narrow-minded as we might have thought.
She posts photos of herself flaunting her curves in designer clothes — all with body positive captions. Under a recent photo of herself modeling black lingerie, Holliday wrote: "I hope this makes you realize that it's okay to be yourself, even if you happen to exist in a fat body."
To all those who criticize her size, she says that she's very active, has a trainer, works out at least four days a week, swims, hikes, and walks.
"I see a lot of negative comments as well, and I ignore those. I know she's healthy and active," MiLK Model Management's Anna Shillinglaw, who signed Holliday, told the New York Daily News. "We're all built differently."
Since plus-size models are generally between sizes 10 and 18, she's had many years of doubt cast on her by so many people — including her friends and family (apart from her mother). But she's finally made it.
"I'm always still that 13-year-old girl in Mississippi who people told I wasn't good enough. I never could have imagined that I could be here."