Tess Holliday isn’t afraid to take on Victoria’s Secret. The plus-size supermodel (the first ever size 22 model to be signed to a major agency) blames the lingerie retailer for perpetuating body shame for girls who don’t fit their standard sizing. “I don’t think they cared,” Holliday tells host Nick Axelrod in this episode of I Yahoo’d Myself. “They probably didn’t look up from their glitter and angel body spray–or money!” she says.
Holliday continues, “They are perpetuating the image of what’s wrong with America and with society, in general, that you have to look a certain way — like a Victoria’s Secret Angel — to feel beautiful and be sexy.” But, according to this trailblazer and her 1 million Instagram fans and followers of her now-famous #effyourbeautystandards social-media movement, you can be sexy at any size. In other words: don’t let the haters get you down.
Holliday, who embraces the term “fat” unlike many of her plus-size model peers, also fires back at critics who think her size 22 frame represents an unhealthy lifestyle. “Obviously someone doesn’t wake up fat. I know that I am fat, but people completely miss the point of me trying to educate women and show them that it’s ok to be who you are and love yourself and still live your life and not be miserable.”
As for her plans for her own plus-size clothing line, Tess reveals, “I wanted to do something that was edgy and sexy but then give some options for people who don’t want to wear the same tired floral, leopard, cat-print stuff. There have been the most atrocious prints on plus-size garments that would never be on straight sizes.” Watch the video above to find out more! And #effyourbeautystandards, by the way.