Tess Holliday: Fat is the new Fab!

09 Feb 2018 | Angelique Reyes

Tess Holliday is definitely the biggest source of inspiration for every woman who wishes to overcome body image issues.

Like a true boss she is, Tess founded ‘Eff your Beauty standards’ movement on Instagram. She is also a published author of ‘The Not So Subtle Art of Being a Fat Girl: Loving the Skin You're In’ where she talks about her powerful personal story and offers inspiration and tips for everyone struggling with their body image.

Despite being a successful plus size model today, Tess had her share of body image issues when she was a young teenager.

On Tuesday, she shared the story of her struggle when she participated in a Teen Beauty pageant while she lived in Mississippi. On her official Instagram account, Tess recalled the day she participated in the pageant where she was a subject of ridicule among the audience.

Let us take a look at the strong message she shared with her 1.5 million followers on Instagram –



The photo on the left was taken when I was in my first (& only beauty pageant) when I was 13 years old. Growing up in Mississippi, pageants were life & all of the “pretty” girls did them, & my god how badly I wanted to feel beautiful & fit in. My mom searched everywhere to find a dress to fit me, & this was the only one in town that fit. The rest of the girls competing were showing much more skin, they were all dolled up & I remember the pit in my stomach of feeling so unloveable & unworthy because to me, I didn’t look like them. When it was my turn of stage, they asked what my hobby was & I said “collecting tweety bird” & the audience laughed. I held my tears back as I walked off stage. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t win that night, but man, did I end up winning in life... I wish someone could have shown that sad, lonely 13 yr old kid the photo on the right of her future: shooting a fashion campaign in Paris, wearing a gown that not only fits me, but allows me to no longer hide. As I write this, I’m packing my bags for #NYFW, & I have moments where so still feel like that little girl, sad, & overwhelmed by how hard the world can be to those of us who have never quite fit in. If you are reading this, please know you aren’t alone. Please know it gets better, & that the #glowup is real. Life is so weird, but things always have a way of working out. ????#effyourbeautystandards #thenotsosubtleartofbeingafatgirl

A post shared by Tess?? (@tessholliday) on


Tess’ story makes everyone question how the pageant industry functioned in her time. Nevertheless, the industry is progressing towards better environment for the participants where body shaming or fat shaming is not tolerated. a