Model Tess Holliday has been receiving a lot of attention lately in the media for her movement towards a body positive society with her hashtag #effyourbeautystandards.
When looking at the model's photos on her famed Instagram, I can see what the hype is all about. She is beautiful. She has a confidence that many women who "fit" society's body standards don't have. She works her bikinis and her tight lingerie like I can't even imagine. But while supporting her message, I cannot support her face behind it.
She is 29 years old, 5'5", and a size 22.
With most other "plus-size" models sized between 8 and 16, Holliday shatters the traditional concept of plus size. While I am all for breaking body stereotypes and not letting society's standards of beauty hold anyone down, I have a problem with this woman associating beauty with health.
She is gorgeous inside and out, and I love that she is trying to change what society thinks is an okay body image to sell to young girls too thin or too thick.
But at 5'5", a size 22 is not healthy.
Even though she works out with a trainer four days a week, portraying an understanding of the importance physical activity, I have a big problem with her #effyourbeautystandards, when that standard doesn't encompass emphasis on the key elements of proper diet and exercise.
I think all women are beautiful in their own way; but I think a healthy woman is the most beautiful, because she values her well being and how she chooses to live.
“I understand not everyone understands what I’m about. But to me it’s such a simple concept. It’s all about loving your body regardless of your size and chasing your dreams,” said Holliday.
I agree with Holliday 100 percent. I think it is marvelous that she loves her body, and I completely support this message. However, loving your body includes caring for it and making sure that it is healthy.
True beauty is knowing that your body is more important that what the world says about it. It is important to understand that health comes first, and Tess Hollidays' promotion of beauty as a "plus-size" model, while still pretty, isn't healthy.
I want to disclaim that I do not think anyone who orders a burger and fries isn't beautiful; because while a burger and fries isn't the most healthy, it is delicious, and you can eat what you want. She can eat what she wants and work out when she wants; and I have no business telling her anything different, because it is her body and not mine.
Go on with your bad self Tess! Be a beautiful plus-size model and continue to work in the industry that has more problems than the U.S. Government. Be supportive of loving your body no matter the shape and size, and help girls struggling all over the world. But be an advocate that beauty is not just superficial based on how happy you are about the way you look.
Beauty includes health. Period.
I am also not stating in any way that a women who isn't healthy due to things out of her control isn't beautiful as well, but if I wrote all of the disclaimers necessary for this article, it would be a novel.
Tess Hollidays' confidence and lack of effs given about society's definition of beauty is admirable. I think that her promotion of positive body image is fantastic and something that we need to see more of everyday, but healthy living is comprised of so much more than what you see in a photo or hashtag on Instagram, and well rounded health should always be paramount to superficial beauty.