Tess Holliday: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Tess Holliday Cosmopolitan

Getty Tess Holliday

Plus-Size model Tess Holliday has made the cover of Cosmopolitan. Her life has been full of tragedy and beauty that lead her to this moment. She celebrated today by sharing some of the photos from the shoot to her social media accounts, which drew mostly positive comments.

There were some who spoke out nearly condemning her. Journalist and TV personality Piers Morgan was one of those people. He shared the model’s Cosmopolitan feature to his Instagram page with a caption that read: “As Britain battles an ever-worsening obesity crisis, this is the new cover of Cosmo. 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.”

Tess addressed Morgan’s comment, “To everyone saying I’m a burden to the British health care system, I’m American so you don’t have to worry about my fat a**. Worry about what horrible people you are by whining about how me being on the cover of a glossy magazine impacts your small minded life.”

Despite negative voices, Tess continues to inspire millions. “This cover is going to be a game changer for so many girls and young women!” She wrote.

Here’s what you need to know about Tess:

1. Her Mother Was Shot in The Head Twice by an Ex-Boyfriend When Tess Was 10


Last year, Tess opened up about an tragic moment in her childhood when her mother was shot in the head twice by an ex-boyfriend and then left for dead.

“Most people don’t believe me,” Tess told Diana Madison in an interview. “When I was 10 my mom was shot in the head twice by her soon to be fiancé. She was left for dead.”

Tess’ mother, Beth, had to learn to walk and talk again and remains partially paralyzed. “I have to help her or someone has to help her walk steps. She’s in constant pain,” said Tess.

After her mother was shot, Tess and her brothers split up. Her relationship with them and her father remains strained. Tess’ mother spends half her time at the house Tess shares with her husband Nick Holliday and the other half at Tess’ grandparents’ house. “It’s been quite tough,” said Tess.

2. Tess Confessed in Recent Months That There Are ‘Crippling’ Mental Health Issues She’s Battling


In a new interview for Cosmopolitan UK’s October 2018 issue, Tess confessed that she’s currently in “the worst mental health state of her life”.

“I remember very vividly driving in the car with Bowie [her two-year-old son] and I thought to myself, ‘I wish I could just disappear. I wish I could vanish.’ 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 any more,” said Tess.

She didn’t dive into details of why she felt like a burden on her family, but she did mention how the hateful comments she receives daily sometimes weigh on her significantly.

Tess explained how she was a size 16/18 her entire life until she gave birth to her son Rylee. “I look back on those photos now and I don’t wish I was that size, but what I wish is that I loved myself 120 pounds ago.” Tess claims she is now the heaviest she’s ever been but is more empowered than ever.

“It took me being the heaviest to finally love myself.”

3. Tess Started The #EffYourBodyStandards Movement in 2013 to Promote Self-Love

Tess started the #EffYourBodyStandards movement back in 2013 around the time she signed her first modeling contract. The campaign reaches across social media platforms to champion women of every size, color and background. Hundreds of thousands of people have joined the movement to redefine what beauty is and means to us as a society.

Tess usually features one woman a day. Their photo and story is shared to the #EffYourBeautyStandards Instagram page where thousands of others celebrate them.

Tess told The Huffington Post why she started the hashtag. “I got tired of being told what I could and couldn’t wear by the media and how I should cover my body because of my size,” she said. “So I decided ‘eff that,’ I will wear what I want!”

“To me it’s such a simple concept. It’s all about loving your body regardless of your size and chasing your dreams.”

4. Tess Recently Confessed That She And Photographer Nick Holliday Have Been Secretly Married For Three Years


On July 5th, Tess shared an Instagram photo of her and long-time love Nick Holliday telling her followers that she married Nick on her 30th birthday. “It’s been 7 years of being loved by you Nick & here’s to many more! (according to the health trolls I’m gonna die soon- so let’s party until that happens),” Tess wrote in the caption.

She first broke the news about their secret wedding back in July 2017 on her Instagram page. Entertainment news went crazy over it and so did her fans. Tess and Nick first met in 2012 on Tumblr. According to The Daily Mail, Nick reached out to Tess to tell her how much he appreciates her promotion of body positivity and of course, to tell her how beautiful she is. They’ve been together ever since.

The two have a two-year-old son together named Bowie and are raising an 11-year-old son Rylee from Tess’ previous relationship. Tess has been extra vocal about motherhood. She struggled with postpartum depression after giving birth to Bowie, but focused her mind on writing a book which she released in August 2017.

“I wanted to write a book for awhile but I didn’t want it to be a book about my life. I wanted it to be something that was going to help others. I picked it up and started writing it in October when my baby was a few months old. I wanted to write something that would help a ton of people. I had a lot of life advice so why not put it all in one place.”

5. Tess Became The “Largest Plus-Size Model of Her Size And Height to be Signed to a Mainstream Modeling Agency” in 2015


Tess moved to Los Angeles in 2010 with her son Rylee. She was casted on A&E show ‘Heavy’ after the casting director found her through ModelMayhem.com where she had a profile under the name Tess Typhoon. In the meantime, her social media presence continued to grow. Her friend dared her to use the name Tess Munster for her profiles simply because she likes the TV show ‘The Munsters’.

In January 2015, after four years of being featured in fashion blogs and publications like Vogue Italia and Nylon magazine, London-based modeling agency Milk Model Management signed Holliday to their plus-size division, Curves. The news of Tess’ signing made major news. She became the largest plus-size model of her size and height to be signed to a mainstream modeling agency.

“It’s something that I’ve wanted my whole life,” Tess told USA Today. “To even think that it’s happened, it feels like an out-of-body experience. I found out about plus-size modeling when I was 15, and I went to an audition in Atlanta. They told me that I was too short and I was too big, and I would never model. But I’m very hardheaded! I was getting shoved into lockers. I was being called names. Modeling really helped my confidence because I started seeing myself in a different light like, ‘Wow, I’m actually pretty.'”

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