If you are someone who is aware of what’s going on social media or on the major mainstream channels, you must have heard or saw Tess Holliday, also known as Tess Munster. The 29-year-old Instagram sensation, who is 5-foot-5 and size 24, became the world largest woman to be signed to a major modeling agency. Tess scored a deal with Milk Model Management’s plus-size division Curves in the UK..
The gorgeous curvy model, born in Laurel, Miss., created the movement #effyourbeautystandards back in 2013 with the mission to show society that being fabulous isn’t limited to the size you wear. Tess is a beautiful and secure woman, her attitude and positive self-acceptance created backlashes — of course — from people who are more interested in worrying about other people’s lives than to find real purpose on their own lost existence.
Tess won’t go away. she is here to stay, she will continue to inspire people, her message is solid, and she is not alone.
Whitney Way Thore is the star of the TV show “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” a nine-part series that premiered last month on TLC. Whitney, who once weighed 100 pounds in college, has PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome, an endocrine disorder), which has caused her to reach the 380-pound mark. The transformation was reason enough to inspire her to fight off depression and to bravely embark on her own mission of self-discovery through dance-music videos.
It all started with a short video of her dancing on YouTube. It went viral overnight; after that, Whitney created her own movement, the No Body Shame Campaign, and the rest is history. Her videos and TV show are helping bring hope while also fighting the stigma that society imposes on full-figured women. Yes, she is big, she is beautiful, but she is no longer miserable about it — she has learned to accept and love herself just like she is. And by fighting the world with her own body and right attitude, she is winning a war against prejudice on her own terms.
What is really fascinating to me is that some people accuse these amazing ladies of promoting obesity while they are only announcing to those who wants to hear that it is perfectly all right to love yourself in any package. Why conform to social rules by trying to correctly fit in a world by transforming your exterior when you are completely happy with who you are? Especially if the most especial relationship you should have is with yourself. And, with the right mind set to start with, these women’s options will also lead to the right balance between happiness and a healthy lifestyle.
I believe that the fashion world’s mainstream mentality is slowly shifting by starting to embrace size diversity. The annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue hit newsstands recently, and for the first time ever, it featured an ad with a plus-size model, the stunning Ashley Graham. SwimSuitsForAll is a plus-size swimsuit brand, and by placing such advertisement on the pages of a magazine that is known for perpetuating the idea of the perfect industry body measurements of women is, for sure, a big step into a brighter and wider future. In the same issue, Sports Illustrated also — for the first time — featured an editorial with the Australian model Robyn Lawley, who doesn’t wear a traditional sample size (she is a size 12). Her presence in the fashion scene is significant, she is a fresh breath of air, one that means the future is headed to embrace women of all proportions.
We are thankful that these brave ladies are really coming strong into the spotlight with their inspiring life stories, doing what model Stella Ellis and burlesque sensational dancer Dirty Martini have been doing for years. Their message is simple and effective: Be proud of who you are, and don’t make apologies about it.