Plus-size model Tess Holliday’s Cosmopolitan magazine cover stirs controversy
The model shared a preview of the cover on her social media accounts, writing to her followers, “Phew, I’m literally a COSMO GIRL!! Can’t believe I’m saying that.”
She continued: “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.”
Many people took to Twitter to congratulate the model on her accomplishment.
Others took to Twitter to argue that Holliday’s cover “normalizes obesity” and shouldn’t be celebrated.
British TV personality Piers Morgan joined the conversation and posted Holliday’s cover to his Instagram account.
“As Britain battles an ever-worsening obesity crisis, this is the new cover of Cosmo. Apparently, we’re supposed to view it as a ‘huge step forward for body positivity.’ What a load of old baloney. This cover is just as dangerous and misguided as celebrating size zero models,” Morgan wrote.
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As Britain battles an ever-worsening obesity crisis, this is the new cover of Cosmo. Apparently we’re supposed to view it as a ‘huge step forward for body positivity.’ What a load of old baloney. This cover is just as dangerous & misguided as celebrating size zero models.
Holliday addressed previous criticism within her Cosmo article, discussing how she began the #effyourbeautystandards movement.
“I created [the campaign] out of frustration,” she told the magazine.
“I was angry and sad that people kept commenting on my pictures saying, ‘You’re too fat to wear that!’ or ‘Cover up! No one wants to see that!’ And then one night I was lying in bed and thought, ‘F**k that!’ So I posted an image with four photographs of myself wearing things that fat women are often told we ‘can’t wear,’ and encouraged others to do the same.”
Holliday, author of The Not So Subtle Art Of Being A Fat Girl, also spoke to Cosmo about how she struggled with her mental health from 2017 until the spring of this year.
“I remember very vividly driving in the car with Bowie [her son] and I thought to myself, ‘I wish I could just disappear. I wish I could vanish.’ It felt at that point like I was causing everyone around me so much pain. It felt like a never-ending black hole. I was so tired of hurting … I just didn’t want to be here anymore,” Holliday told Cosmopolitan UK.
She also said, in terms of weight, she’s at her “heaviest” now and she “wished” she loved herself sooner.
“I was a US size 16 to 18 my entire life before I had Rylee [her son]. I look back on those photos now and I don’t wish I was that size, but what I wish is that I loved myself 120 pounds ago,” she shared.
“I’m at the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life now and it took me being the heaviest to finally love myself,” she continued.
According to the Mayo Clinic, obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
WATCH BELOW: The latest on obesity
The Mayo Clinic also says that there are genetic, behavioural and hormonal influences on body weight but obesity occurs when you take in more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these excess calories as fat.
Obesity results from a combination of causes and contributing factors including genetics, family lifestyle, inactivity, unhealthy diet, medical problems, some medications, social and economic issues, age, pregnancy, quitting smoking, lack of sleep and many others.
Holliday has faced backlash before for a racially charged statement — which she has since apologized for.
The statement comes from a 2015 interview with The Guardian, in which Holliday told a journalist, “I do admit that black men love me. I always forget that, and then I come to a black neighbourhood and I remember.”
After the interview went viral, the model made a lengthy apology.
“Firstly, I apologise for any hurt that my flippant comment has caused. I’ll try to provide some context which hopefully will change the way in which it is being viewed, but I have to also accept that being followed and quoted is something new for me and I am going to occasionally say or do things that make people unhappy. For that I am sorry, your opinions are important to me,” she wrote.
She continued: ” I replayed the incident to the team once we were set up for the next shot, and jokingly said some semblance of what appeared in print. It was in relation to being catcalled by black men significantly more than by white, but perhaps my tone and wording didn’t convey this clearly.”
“I am not a perfect human being, I am still growing and learning, and the title of ‘role model’ is not one that I have chosen — it was thrust onto me, despite my reluctance. I am doing my best to live up to what that means, but at times I will slip up. I don’t speak for everyone, but I will continue to try my best to speak UP for everyone,” she concluded.
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