Tess Holliday Takes a Stand in the Plus-Size Versus Curvy Debate

Tess Holliday
Tess Holliday Courtesy Tess Holliday/Instagram

Tess Holliday doesn't shy away in the face of controversy. In fact, while some models in her industry want to do away with the labels "plus-size" and "curvy," she finds the whole idea "very silly."

"Myself and several other plus-size models happily embrace the term. It's hard for me when I see people who want to ban it, and they're basically working for plus-size companies and are the face of plus-size brands, yet they don't want to be called plus-size," Holliday, 30, the voice behind the hashtag #EffYourBeautyStandards and a fashion designer in her own right, noted to Paper magazine. "The term has never been used in a negative way. It's never been used as hurtful, it's something that's basically just for women to find where they want to shop."

And while the mom of one does understand the reasons behind censoring those phrases (mainly rooted in building confidence), she actually thinks it is counterproductive. "I do think it's very important, especially for young women who are coming into their bodies, and older women who are becoming more OK with their bodies, to have terms for being bigger," she explained. "When they look online, or look in magazines, they see that label, [and] they feel like they're not alone. They have something to identify with. I'm a firm believer in calling it what it is."

Holliday doesn't apologize for her view on the matter, even if it goes against the grain. "I don't really see anyone losing sleep over the fact that they're called plus-size,” she said.

One thing everyone can agree on is that fashion as a whole is changing, largely thanks to social media. Still, Holliday says there's a long way to go. "I definitely think that there are more opportunities [for models of all sizes], I just wish that it was more diverse," she noted. "It would be nice to see different body types, and different genders and races in the plus-size industry like we see in [sample-size modeling]."

Tell Us: Do you agree with Holliday?

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