Tess Holliday isn’t the first model to grace the cover of Cosmopolitan UK, but her new photo is bringing something much more exciting than just a pretty picture to the world of magazines. While other plus sized models have appeared on magazine covers, Holliday is one of the first to do it while in a bathing suit. Finally, progress.
Sharing the cover on her Twitter feed on Wednesday, Holliday explained in one sentence why her latest photoshoot is so important. “If I saw a body like mine on this magazine when I was a young girl, it would have changed my life,” tweeted Holliday.
Phew, I’m literally a COSMO GIRL!! Can’t believe I’m saying that! 😭😭 Thank you @cosmopolitanuk & @farrahstorr 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 & hope this does that for some of y’all 💕 Issue hits stands 8/31! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 Photo by the incredible @wattsupphoto #effyourbeautystandards
In the latest issue of the magazine, Holliday talks about her struggle with depression and starting the hashtag #effyourbeautystandards in response to negative comments posted about her body online. “I created [the campaign] out of frustration,” Holliday told Cosmo. “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— 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.”
Holliday has amassed a huge following of 1.6 million Instagram followers thanks to her always honest approach to discussing body issues. A body positive activist, Holliday released her first book The Not So Subtle Art of Being A Fat Girl: Loving The Skin You’re In in 2017.
Only hours after posting the cover online, the response to Holliday’s Cosmo image is already inspiring people around the world.
— Rebecca Scritchfield (she/her) (@ScritchfieldRD) August 29, 2018
I think this is the actual first time I’ve seen the full body of a fat woman on a magazine cover AND IT IS GOOD https://t.co/dyGyuh7aAS
— Lauren Strapagiel 🦇 (@laurenstrapa) August 29, 2018
For some reason I burst into tears when I saw this. Maybe because I used to pore through women’s magazines at a teen for HOURS of misery, imagining how much happier I’d be if I looked like them. I just pray this means my daughters won’t waste so many formative minutes. https://t.co/pUoSjQaKFF
— Sasha Brown-Worsham (@sashabrownworsh) August 29, 2018
Trying to figure out how different my life and self-image would be if I had grown up seeing women of all sizes represented like this. pic.twitter.com/rvN13dba74
— Sarah Hannon (@hannonksarah) August 29, 2018
Congratulations! Real women come in all sizes. I’ve been a 6, 8, 10, 12 throughout my life. Kudos for inspiring other women 👍❣
— JenDan31 (@jenDanser31) August 30, 2018
Even will all the support Holliday’s cover is receiving, there are still detractors. Most notably, English TV host Piers Morgan, who called Holliday’s cover “a load of old baloney” on his Instagram. Saying that Holliday represents an ‘unhealthy body size,’ Morgan said “This cover is just as dangerous and misguided as celebrating size zero models.”
We would like to point Morgan to the bottom right hand corner of Holliday’s Cosmo cover, where she instructs what her haters can do. If that’s not clear enough, the always outspoken model has also defended herself in 140 characters or less.
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 ass. 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.
— Tess Holliday 🥀 (@Tess_Holliday) August 30, 2018