Haters are going to hate! Tess Holliday doubles down on her body-positive message in response to criticism over her gracing the cover of the October 2018 Cosmopolitan U.K. cover.
For the 32-year-old plus-size model, this was a life-changing, feel-good moment. “I definitely cried,” she exclusively told Us Weekly on September 5 at Refinery29’s 29Rooms event in Brooklyn, New York. “I freaked out when I realized it was real.” But the major career milestone also came with some anxiety. “I was terrified that I wouldn’t live up to the Cosmo girls and I know that’s silly because my body is a Cosmo body, which is why they picked me, but it is such an iconic magazine and I guess I just wanted to do it justice — and I feel like I smashed it.”
Even though the Not So Subtle Art of Being a Fat Girl author has faced backlash because of the pic, she says it’s not going to stop her. In fact, it only enhances her motivation to be a positive role model. “The more people hate it and talk about it, the more [social media] followers I get,” she shared with Us. “And those are people that could actually see my cover and move things forward and actually change things, so I embrace it.”
Controversy over her cover image, in which the size 24 model wears a silk emerald green bodysuit, skyrocketed when British news host Piers Morgan took to his Instagram to blast it. “As Britain battles an ever-worsening obesity crisis, this is the new cover of Cosmo,” he captioned her cover on August 30. “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 responded to Morgan’s harsh words with a video on September 4, in which she dances and laughs while eating cake with the cover image on it. “People who think I’m glorifying obesity are glorifying stupidity. I am pretty glorious though,” she wrote.
As Holliday tells Us, her main goal is to continue to be a role model for all girls and to help them live their dream. “My advice would be to not listen to critics and not listen to people saying you’re not capable of doing what you want,” she shares. “I mean, is everyone going to be on the cover of Cosmo? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a space for you and that you can’t carve out your own niche and own it because we all have something that makes us unique.”
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