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Plus Sized Model Tess Holiday Releases New Campaign Photos to Challenge the World’s Perception of Beauty



3American plus-size model Tess Holliday describes herself as a “body positive activist” and she started her #effyourbeautystandards movement on Instagram in 2013, which got her signed with MiLK management, becoming the first model of her height and size to be picked up by a major agency.

Now the 29-year-old has revealed the stunning results of her first agency photoshoot on Instagram.

Photographed by Catherine Harbour, the images show Tess Holliday confident and comfortable in her own skin.

She captioned the photos on Instagram “So thrilled that I can finally share these images. I shot with @catherineharbour in London last month & this was the result… Thanks to my agent for pushing me out of my comfort zone!”

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Tess also told The Daily Mail, “I think if someone doesn’t look at an image and feel something, you haven’t done your job. Whether it’s a negative or positive, it should evoke something in them. I want to challenge society’s perception of ‘beauty’ and what’s acceptable in our industry and the world. There is no one way to be a woman, or to be beautiful. We all deserve a place.” 

Photo Credit: Instagram/tessholliday


  1. Friday's other Child

    May 14, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Beauty standards aside, obesity is a risk factor for lots of chronic and acute diseases. Should we think of obese people as ugly? No. Should we however celebrate it? Absolutely not. Obesity and being underweight are different sides of the same coin; they both have a negative influence on health and wellbeing, neither should be normalised.

    • Jana

      May 14, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Sweetie, she loves herself that way, you cant change it. I am pretty sure she is aware of all the health risks ehn. Keep your oversabi to yourself. Everyone is not perfect.

    • su

      May 14, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      I am sure your fat! boohooooooooo!!! i bet you all wish you werent obese. Theres nothing to be confident in being that size! i know a few obese people. she cant fit into a lot of chairs, they sweat like crazy and smell easily, its unhealthy, cant climb stairs without almost fainting, cant run, cant walk properly, cant buy one ticket on a plane and soooo many other things! she has a stunning face and i bet she wishes she had a toned body to complete those beautiful facial features shes got.

    • maria

      May 15, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      Thank you for the news. but I think we already know that. but she is big should she come and kill herself? I have plus size friends who work out every day, eat less than my skinning, always on one diet or the other and are still BIG. I have a friend that I can vow is more healthy than any of my other skinny friends and she is a size 18 because takes care of herself and eat good and right but she is just a big girl she cannot kill herself now. and I know skinny girl that cannot even run a mile, are those healthy. please give us a break. all that matter is that you are comfortable in your skin.

  2. Drknite

    May 14, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    She’s thick! I will release my own photos to further debase the perception of beauty.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 14, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      We wait with bated breath. 😀

  3. @edDREAMZ

    May 14, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said..
    I cant and will never find a fat woman interesting i dont knw why…..

  4. Miss Pee

    May 14, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I mean, I get her point. I’m a plus size too. But there’s a difference between being a plus size and unhealthy.

  5. K

    May 14, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    I love that smile!!

  6. bruno FIERCE

    May 14, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    bellanaija always trying to give obese nigerian women hope since 1960.

    there’s a big difference in being a normal size woman (mindy kaling) and being obese (rebel wilson and this chic in the article)

    pls obesity is not healthy. this is not fat shaming. this is a proven medical fact. no doctor will advice u to be obese like this woman (neither will a doctor advice u to be a skinny broom)

    u did not have a baby so why are u so big. u are putting a lot of stress on ur internal organs especially ur heart.

    if we ask this woman about her eating habits, u will be disgusted. cake, bread, ice cream, etc and everything will be in very large quantity.

    she has a beautiful face tho.

    • sey

      May 15, 2015 at 9:26 am

      I agree with you, being gay isnt healthy either

    • Amused

      May 15, 2015 at 2:23 pm


  7. Yadira

    May 14, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    The problem with the world today is with the media ,why must artists feel the need to bring one body type for another another , If you are curvy , don’t say fuck skinny bitches , be mindful of the words you say everyday .

  8. arikeagbe

    May 14, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    She’s pretty

  9. esta

    May 14, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    The world needs to cut fat women some slack…our metabolism rates and bodies aren’t wired the same .I am currently weighing about 90kg which made me depressed for a while I cut all my carbs started engaging in some work out yet I don’t seem to be losing the weight.But I have Slim friends who eats everything pastries, ice cream,fries,pizza u name it.yet she doesnt add weight.I can’t even try eating half the things she eats cos I will blow.well I have decided to love myself the way I am for now.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 14, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      I don’t know if you’ve this yet but reducing portion sizes did it for me. Like you, embarked on a new work-out routine when I started ringing up 78kg on the scale and yet, weeks into it, couldn’t see any results.

      Until I tried a reduction in portion sizes this year (+ exercise) and “eureka!”. Started seeing the weight drop off to bring me currently within a 69kg limit (68.5 actually but who’s counting? 🙂 ). Also axed habits like eating certain fruits (a lot of those buggers have so much sugar in them!), drinking fruit juice (do you know I’d stopped drinking carbonated drinks for 3 years before I started weighing 78kg but fruit juices were adding to my gain?), eating deep fried food, etc. But it was the reduction portion sizes (dropped my portions to about a quarter of their former amount – sounds drastic but your stomach fills up quicker than you think – and piled on raw veg to supplement meals) that really made it happen.

    • Shopperoflife

      May 15, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      I was dying of starvation yet, nothing was shifting. Apparently, all the smoothies l was drinking dabarued all my efforts. So, like you, l no longer starve myself but portion control. I love me my Naija soups but in moderation. It is working.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 15, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      Nne those smoothies are the devil. By the time you add banana, kiwi and the so-called “low fat” yoghurt to your blender, all of that’ll completely undo the benefits of the spinach or kale you piled in there to keep it healthy.

      I’ve had to quickly backtrack from that exercise – even smoothies sef, need portion control. Let’s not deceive ourselves by downing full cups on the aegis of it being good for you.

    • esta

      May 15, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Thanks dear I think I will try that..I really want to lose the extra weight

    • Ada Bekee

      May 15, 2015 at 6:25 am

      My best friend had been big all her life but went from a size 18 to a size 6 in a year by undergoing the most rigorous training I have ever seen..she changed her lifestyle and her diet even me fitness guru can’t keep up with her now…change your lifestyle

    • Tosin

      May 15, 2015 at 8:12 am

      for now.
      i liked this.
      do you.

  10. mx

    May 14, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    plus size women should start speaking up more gone r d days people called u names.i love chubby women with passion they r d best no offence to skinny women its all abt choice.big women are too hot but media have really damaged there self esteem,but many are seeing tru d lies…i love them big

  11. M4

    May 14, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    There is nothing sexy and beautiful about being obese,absolutely not!.Plus size is understandable but this lady right here is over weight and she is risking her health in the process.Obesity is not ok and shouldn’t be encourage in anyway.

  12. Mz Socially Awkward...

    May 14, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    Tess “munster” Holliday! BN, don’t police my comment because I typed “munster” oh… It’s not a diss, that’s her actual self-given moniker…

    I found out about this woman for the first time after stumbling across a documentary that Channel 4 did on the emerging chunk of the fashion industry which caters to plus size women (can’t remember the title of the programme). Apparently, this is a potential money maker as more high street brands are beginning to realise how much more sales can be gained from that market.

    And midway through, they introduced this beautiful chick. Say you want about her weight, babe is gorgeous, shaaaa. Kai, she photographs amazingly well. I now carried myself to check out her instagram page and woot? Beautiful shots all round. Plus the hubby isn’t bad on the eyes either!

    Not sure how she got to what she weighs now and I’m definitely an advocate for living a healthy life by self discipline … but I love her confidence. It’s exhilarating to behold. 🙂

    The tats, however (!). Those will not play out so well later on in life…

  13. deb

    May 14, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    YOU PEOPLE NEED SOME LECTURE: there are people like this who are NOT hypertensive, have normal blood sugar, are not diabetic&cholesterol level ok meanwhile a slim person might have all the above stated. Being big doesn’t mean obesity. Get some lesons.

  14. Boy_Ade

    May 14, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Tell her to get into a two piece bathing suit, then we will talk about what is perception and what is reality.

  15. stephanie

    May 15, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Uhh no she hasn’t. FAT is not beautiful. THIN is not beautiful either. And this woman has been photoshopped so she’s still lying to us just like every other.

  16. Person

    May 15, 2015 at 4:48 am

    I try not to judge simply because a lot of people live with invisible diseases. Maybe she has one that piles on the pounds. If she doesn’t, then judge I shall. LOL. We can’t even see the pictures in colour!!! All in black and white! *yinmu*!

    • Speak Out

      May 15, 2015 at 11:22 am

      Yes, I am plus-sized in case you are wondering. Check out her “coloured” images on instagram since you are so concerned.

  17. EllesarisEllendil

    May 15, 2015 at 4:49 am

    So we all pretend that this picture isn’t photoshopped, not her body obviously, but her face has be done up a bit.

  18. Tosin

    May 15, 2015 at 8:10 am

    confidence is beautiful.
    she’s fat though, the upper arms have a lot of excess

  19. Marilyn

    May 15, 2015 at 10:07 am

    I watched a show on TLC, where a woman make the conscious choice to be obese. She is fully conscious of the health risks of obesity and had this to say – she would rather live a shorter life and fully enjoy it then live a life of restraint and renunciation. Some people want to live a happy life, even if they die at 30, than live to 100 and have constantly succumbed to external pressures of what they should be or should not be.

    Let her be. You figure out how you want to live your life and let her live hers.

  20. maria

    May 15, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    people are so ignorant and can say anything when they are behind that computer screen. I am a big girl a size 16 to be precise. I am very comfortable in my skin and I love myself. will I love to be skinning? Absolutely, but am I skinning? No. self-love is important. I am a healthy young lady I work out everyday and i eat as clean as I can possibly eat. I am not going to eat vegetables all my lives, I am human too I live good tasting foods too. I know skinny hot girls that do not have the kind of confidence I have simply because they do not accept themselves like I do. been skinny does not mean you are healthy. so anyone that has anything to say can shove it because I really could care less about anyone’s opinion. I am not going to self-hate or conform to society standard of beauty. I am beautiful the way I am and I love that and Tess Holiday is beautiful as herself so all this healthy preaching makes no sense because seriously when does my health or less holiday’s health becomes the world’s priority.

  21. precious oyindamola

    May 15, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    some of u dat is insulting her…ur mum is fatter dan dat….mtchewww…dull brains

  22. M

    May 19, 2015 at 12:36 am

    @Mz Socially Awkward: Plus size wars

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