Tess Holliday: Here's everything about the plus-size Cosmo model who shut down Piers Morgan like a boss
Piers Morgan feels Tess's Cosmopoliton cover 'glorifies obesity,' one of the major problems in the UK. Tess retorted she's from the US so they should shut up.
Social media, publications, and several other outlets have been buzzing with the news of British talk show host Piers Morgan being shut down by Tess Holliday, for apparent fat shaming. It all started with Morgan having an issue with the latest Cosmopolitan cover, featuring Tess on it. The 33-year-old poses in a green swimsuit on the October issue of Cosmo and looks absolutely stunning in her ever so vivacious avatar, where she embraces her plus size with grace and pride. But Morgan's issue with the cover is that Tess - who is a UK size 20 - is 'glorifying obesity.'
The sensitivity of fat shaming is not lost upon anybody, especially in today's climate. So after Cosmo earned heavy praises for featuring a plus size model on their cover, and after people labeled the photoshoot groundbreaking, Morgan really seemed to strike a nerve with his comments. Taking to Instagram, 'The Good Morning' host shared a photo of the cover 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."
And while a lot of people seemed to agree with Morgan, Tess isn't one to sit back and watch people take a dig at everything she stands for. Tweeting about the extremely uncalled for remarks, she wrote: "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."
At the same time, Cosmo editor-in-chief Farrah Storr defended the cover, tweeting: "Some people’s stories and strength of spirit are too important to ignore. Tess Holliday’s story is about so much more than her body. Please read it, pass it onto women you know and realise that the secret to surviving in a tough world is by being even tougher."
And we have to admit - it takes guts to stick up for one's beliefs so publicly when a famous TV personality decides to take a dig at your physical appearance. That too very publicly, of course. So who is this phenomenal woman Tess Holliday?
The mother of two is a 33-year-old plus size model. Based in Los Angeles, she was formerly known as Tess Munster. Her journey has been that of hardships and several tragic crises trying to bring her spirits down, but it was her mother who supported her and believed in her - encouraging her to take up modeling.
At the age of 15, when she was a US size 16 (18/20 in UK), Tess had auditioned at a casting call for plus models in Atlanta, Georgia. She was 5 feet 3 inches then and was told she would be lucky to land any print advertisements or catalog work because she was too short and big. Fast forward to 2013, and Tess had received enough credits to her name to have actively started the "Eff Your Body Standards" movement.
It was around the time she signed her first modeling contract and one of the first things she did was start a movement promoting self-love. Tess told The Huffington Post why she started the hashtag. “I got tired of being told what I could and couldn’t wear by the media and how I should cover my body because of my size,” she said. “So I decided ‘eff that,’ I will wear what I want!”
She recently revealed that she has been married to photographer Nick Holliday for the last three years. The two share a son, Bowie, 2, and are also raising Tess' 11-year-old son, Rylee, from a previous relationship. Having struggled with postpartum depression, Tess combated it by beginning to write a book which came out in August of 2017, making her a published writer too.
In 2015, Tess had also become the largest plus-sized model of her size and height to be signed by a mainstream modeling agency. After moving to LA with Rylee, back in 2010, she was cast on A&E show ‘Heavy’ and soon after, her social media presence began growing. In the next four years, she went on to be featured in blogs and publications like Vogue Italia and Nylon magazine. Even London-based modeling agency Milk Model Management signed Holliday to their plus-size division, Curves.
Speaking about it, Tess told USA Today: “It’s something that I’ve wanted my whole life. To even think that it’s happened, it feels like an out-of-body experience. I found out about plus-size modeling when I was 15, and I went to an audition in Atlanta. They told me that I was too short and I was too big, and I would never model. But I’m very hardheaded! I was getting shoved into lockers. I was being called names. Modeling really helped my confidence because I started seeing myself in a different light like, ‘Wow, I’m actually pretty.'”
As for her latest feature on the cover of Cosmo, Tess couldnt be any less excited. Posting about it on Instagram, she wrote:"Phew, I’m literally a COSMO GIRL!! Can’t believe I’m saying that! 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."
And why this was such a monumental feat for her you ask? Speaking to Victoria Derbyshire about the moment she was asked to appear on the cover, Tess said: "I broke into tears. A magazine like that has never put someone like me onto the cover before."