Don’t worry, body shamers. Tess Holliday isn’t “recruiting” anyone for some sort of obesity movement.
The model, 32, fought back after critics — including U.K. tabloid columnist Piers Morgan — accused her of glamourizing obesity with her Cosmopolitan U.K. cover.
“We didn’t expect it to go global, and for everyone to be talking about it,” Holliday said on Good Morning America after Morgan wrote that, “This cover is just as dangerous and misguided as celebrating size zero models.”
The mom of two said that his words didn’t bother her.
“Unlike Piers Morgan, I don’t need to troll people to stay relevant,” she said. “I get to have an awesome job and do what I love and hopefully change people’s lives.”
And Holliday added that, while her body positivity hashtag #effyourbeautystandards has been used in over 3.5 million posts on Instagram alone, there’s still work to be done.
“You have to keep having this conversation because that’s how things change,” she said. “I’m not recruiting people, I’m literally just telling them to love themselves and it just happens to come from a bigger body.”
Holliday said in Cosmo U.K. that people often tell her that her voice doesn’t matter anymore because she’s already hit it big as a model.
“I have had people say to me: ‘Shut up already with your diversity. You’ve already made it,’ ” she said. “But I’m not talking about me and my career. I’m talking about the ton of models out there who don’t have the opportunity because they don’t have three million followers on social media.”
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She also wants to continue the body conversation to help people who might be struggling the way she was a few years ago.
“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 said. “I was a US size 16 to 18 my entire life before I had Rylee [her first son, who she had at age 20]. 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.”