Plus size model Tess Holliday opens up about the reality of doing nude shoots
Society continues to herald oft unattainable beauty standards, and not only is it difficult not to feel the pressure to conform to these ideals, but they're also stringent - allowing very little room for alternative conceptions of what is desirable.
One plus size model and activist, however, has made it her life's work to showcase women's bodies - in all of their different shapes and sizes.
Tess Holliday shot to fame after an impassioned Instagram post on body positivity went viral, and she has since starred in several high-profile modelling campaigns, with the likes of Benefit Cosmetics and Vogue Italia. Her unfiltered honesty has gained her over 1.5 million followers on Instagram, and the empowering #effyourbeautystandards hashtag that she started back in 2015 continues to attract more fans everyday.
Now, the 33-year-old has just walked the runway at plus size e-tailer, 11 Honoré's first ever NYFW show on Wednesday.
Body positivity advocate, Tess Holliday, really stunned during 11 Honoré's NYFW show yesterday, and afterwards she opened up to the New York Post about the experience.
“I have to turn it on, either that or I’ll nervous-vomit everywhere," the model told the publication. "It’s all fake!"
One thing that is not fake, however, is her love of posing in the nude. "It’s really liberating to do nude shoots because I can only imagine what it’s like for women or young folks when they’re scrolling through Instagram and they see a body that looks like mine, and they realize that I look like them," Holliday asserted.
“For me, it’s not sexual, it’s just me existing and being able to say, ‘f*ck you, I belong.’ Things are changing and it’s nice for me to be able to say, this is my body, I love it. Look, If I could be naked right now, I 100 percent would."
The mother-of-two has not always been so confident in her body, however.
In a recent Instagram post Holliday detailed the trauma she felt when competing in her first and only beauty pageant at the age of 13.
She posted a photo of her in her first beauty pageant, alongside a more recent shot of herself. "Growing up in Mississippi, pageants were life and all of the ‘pretty’ girls did them, and my god how badly I wanted to feel beautiful and fit in," she wrote on the photo sharing site.
"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 and 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..."
Amen to that.