Tess Holliday Accuses Facebook of Being ‘Fat-Phobic’ and Allowing Body-Shaming

Tess Holliday
Tess Holliday on Oct. 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Dislike. Plus-size model Tess Holliday is a champion for body positivity — just take a look at her Instagram page, which boasts 1.3 million followers, or search “#effyourbeautystandards” on the social media outlet of your choice. Even with all of her accomplishments, the clothing designer, 31, still runs into the occasional troll.

Earlier this month, Holliday posted a screenshot of a Facebook user’s offensive messages directed at the model. “Your the reason why there had been an increase in anorexia because people see you and don’t want there future to be you,” the hater wrote. “Is it weird to think how early your going to die because your body will eventually give in to heart disease, diabetes, cancer 

… By the way we’re you airlifted to the UK or on private seating because no way could you fit in an airplane or even be carried by one.”

Instead of getting mad, Holliday encouraged her troll to “tell me more please.” 

"I didn’t say anything mean to them," she told Allure in a new interview. “They were the ones being mean. I didn’t even use any foul language." 

But Facebook informed Holliday that her post violated community standards, and they suspended her account.

"Someone was clearly bullying me and harassing me and saying really disgusting things, but Facebook blocked my profile," she continued. “I had no access to my personal page, but I also couldn’t even post to my professional page. All because someone was bullying me?"

This instance reminded her of another Facebook situation where the social media giant wouldn’t allow an Australian talk show page to use an image of her as an ad due to a violation. The campaign “violates Facebook’s Ad Guidelines by promoting an idealized physical image,” according to a May screenshot posted by the group. 

“Facebook said it was an accident, and I was like, ‘It wasn’t an accident,'" Holliday noted. "You have someone at Facebook who is fat-phobic, so when someone reported my photo, they thought to remove it."

A Facebook spokesperson ensured that they meant no harm in their actions. “Our team processes millions of advertising images and millions of reports each week, and we sometimes get things wrong,” they said in a Tuesday, August 22, statement to Allure. “As soon as we were able to investigate, we approved the ad and restored the content. We're very sorry about these mistakes.”

But the apology may not be enough for Holliday, who mentioned that Facebook’s discrimination doesn’t just affect celebrities. 

"I’m fully aware that I have my platform because of social media. But what do you do when social media and the people that are running it aren’t doing their job? Why are people allowed to bully and harass us?” she said. “I didn’t say anything originally mostly because I do business on Facebook. I know people who work there. Instagram honored me at an event for being an influential person on the internet. But when this happened, no one responded to me. Would this be happening to me if I wasn’t plus sized? If this didn't have to do with body-shaming?"

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