Sticks and stones may break her bones, but "fat" will never hurt her. Plus-size model Tess Holliday shared in a new interview that she's embracing herself in every way — including the word "fat."
"To me it's just a word," the size 22 beauty told The Guardian. "But it wasn't until I discovered the body positive community that I became okay with it. I've been called fat my whole life. I am fat, so it's kind of silly to get mad about it."
In fact, the 5-foot-5 star, who found the spotlight as the "first size 22 model," chooses not to diet. "Everyone has their vices, but mine are visible," she told the paper. "If I shot all day and I want a f–king hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant, I'm going to eat it. Am I going to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner? No. Is it okay to do it? If you want."
She went on to address the double standards that are so rampant in Hollywood. "No one is coming at celebrities for smoking two packs of cigarettes. Or people who post a photo with their drink at the end of the day," Holliday cracked. "So why is it okay to do that to me? Life is s—ty, so why would you judge somebody for dealing with it in the best way they can?"
The paper also revealed some insight on Holliday's life growing up. "My dad is sketchy," dished the model, who is no longer in contact with her father. What she recalls of her biological dad was his harsh words.
"He’d say I had a pretty face, but he would belittle me and tell me that I couldn’t do certain things because of my size," she shared. "When you become an adult and you have a choice of who to have in your life, if someone’s hurting you and making you feel bad, then they shouldn’t be in your life, even if it’s a family member. To me, they don’t have any privileges. I kept giving him chances and he kept treating me poorly, and I just thought, ‘You’re not allowed to be in my life.'"
Making matters worse was another tragic family incident. When the model was 9, her mom was shot in the head by her fiancé at the time. “I mean, it will be 20 years ago on 22 June,” Holliday told The Guardian. “So, you know, it happened a long time ago. And my mum is here and she annoys the shit out of me. She’s still in a lot of pain, she still suffers, but she’s here.”
Aside from the family drama, Holliday has found a man who's supporting her in every way. "I used to look at Reddit quite often, but when [my fiancé Nick Holliday] sees me going on it, he will take my phone away from me," she dished of her loss. "You just click on any article that’s written about me or any photo that’s posted of me and there’s a whole discussion about my health."
She met her significant other online after he reached out to her via Tumblr saying she was an inspiration to many women. "I was like, this guy’s never going to give me a chance in hell because he’s so hot," Holliday joked. "Because I’ve never really had good-looking boyfriends before. My friends would always tell me, ‘There’s no way you’re going to get a nice guy and a hot guy — you’re fat, you need to settle for one or the other.’ I told them, I deserve both."
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!