Tess Holliday criticised for magazine cover 'promoting obesity'

Tess Holliday appears on the cover of <em>Cosmopolitan</em> U.K.’s October issue. (Photo: <em>Cosmopolitan</em> U.K.)
Tess Holliday appears on the cover of Cosmopolitan U.K.’s October issue. (Photo: Cosmopolitan U.K.)

Tess Holliday, a 5-foot-3 plus-size model, fat-positive advocate, and tatted mother of two, is anything but conventional when it comes to her life and career.

Despite that — or maybe because of it — she’s making history as a Cosmo girl.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Holliday announced her upcoming cover photo for Cosmopolitan U.K.’s October issue, in which she’s wearing an emerald one-piece swimming costume.

The model herself is not shy about sharing how thrilled she is, and neither are her many thousands of followers, inspired by the inclusive representation.

“If I saw a body like mine on this magazine when I was a young girl, it would have changed my life,” Holliday wrote alongside the photo, before others echoed the same sentiment.

Still, reactions to the cover and Holliday’s words inside the magazine have not been all positive.

Instead, some followers have taken it upon themselves to warn the model about the dangers of promoting obesity.

In the interview, Holliday reveals she is “the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life.”

Negative comments aimed at the 33-year-old went so far as to note that her weight may contribute to a shorter life expectancy.

But her loyal followers steered the conversation back to a more pressing topic, and one that Holliday addresses in the cover story: mental health.

“I remember very vividly driving in the car with Bowie [her 2-year-old son] and I thought to myself, ‘I wish I could just disappear. I wish I could vanish,'” Holliday told Cosmopolitan.

“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.”

Some pointed out feelings of pain and low self-worth could be the result of society’s unrealistic expectations of “beauty.”

Overall, the message behind Holliday’s cover is even more beautiful than the image itself, detailing her process of finding self-love. And that is reason to celebrate.

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