Cosmopolitan’s U.K. October issue — available this Friday — features on its cover a provocative photo of tattooed model and body positivity/fat acceptance activist Tess Holliday.
She is a morbidly obese woman who is no stranger to the fashion world, as The Daily Wire reported.
Holliday took to Twitter to express her feelings about the cover on Wednesday, noting that it would have changed her life had she seen a body like hers on the cover of a women’s magazine when she was a young girl.
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 💕
Issue hits stands 8/31! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 pic.twitter.com/sBYWY7nEwZ
— Tess Holliday 🥀 (@Tess_Holliday) August 29, 2018
“Phew, I’m literally a COSMO GIRL!!” she also wrote. “Can’t believe I’m saying that!”
Responses to Holliday, even before the appearance of this Cosmo cover, have been all over the map.
While some people laud her bravery and her commitment to promoting fat acceptance, other people have expressed concerns that glorifying obesity carries the same risk as glorifying overly thin models.
Those who support the fat acceptance movement claim that being obese is not necessarily unhealthy (they’re clearly not doctors or nurses) — and they say it is not possible to accurately gauge a person’s health merely by looking at the physical body or at the numbers on a scale.
Expressions of concern, particularly those targeting Holliday’s health, have been met with a very cold reception.
Such expressions have been cast as “abusive,” in fact, by multiple celebrities, social media users, and media outlets.
Those expressing such concerns have been mercilessly shamed for it, including Piers Morgan, who had this response to the announcement of Holliday’s appearance on the Cosmo cover.
Holliday responded on Twitter to those expressing concern.
She referred to them as “horrible people” who are leading “small-minded” lives.
She also mentioned that she was an American, and that as such, people needn’t worry about her being a “burden to the British health care system.”
In the interview it did with her, the Cosmo article gushes, “Tess Holliday is everything the fashion industry needs. She doesn’t conform to the (metaphorically and literally) narrow standard of beauty that’s been set by society, she’s a role model for others who have felt excluded in this way, and she’s downright honest.”
The 33-year-old is reportedly 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs about 280 pounds, and wears a size 22.
That’s according to Entertainment Tonight’s reporting a few years ago.
She has also said in the past, “I was angry and sad that people kept saying, ‘You’re too fat to wear that!'”
The Tess Holliday thing has always been weird. They take a woman most men find unattractive, agree that she's a "super model" for PR purposes and so many people just go along with it like it's real. I don't blame her for taking advantage of the situation, but it's pure PR… https://t.co/OjDQU7RCp8
— John Hawkins (@johnhawkinsrwn) August 30, 2018
@Tess_Holliday bout to have me walking into all my auditions today in a green bathing suit!!!! SNATCH OUR EDGES SIS! I AM ON THE 405 SCREAMMINNGGGG RIGHT NOW. If I saw this kind of Representation when I was 13 I would be untouchable! Keep paving the way Ms. Tess! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 pic.twitter.com/zfK91r90TN
— Danielle Pinnock (@bodycourage) August 29, 2018
He’s right. She is just as bad a role model as a skeletal 5 stone person is. Being that obese is extremely dangerous and will kill her.
— Fliss Bradbury (@FlissBradbury) August 30, 2018
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.