Tess Holliday Blasts Fatphobic Tabloid Coverage After Disneyland Trip

by Kristina Johnson
Amy Sussman/Getty

Model Tess Holliday called out two British Tabloids for highlighting photos of her eating at Disney

Tess Holliday’s recent day at Disneyland with her child was just like any other family’s: amazing, exhausting, and non-stop fun on ride after ride. But you wouldn’t get that vibe from a couple of tabloid articles from the Daily Mail and the Mirror on Tess’s trip — both were built around paparazzi shots of the model eating (you know, like literally every person does at Disney), clearly intended to humiliate the body positivity activist for having the audacity to indulge in some ice cream while being plus-size.

“This week, I went to Disneyland with my family. In the 10 hours I was there, I walked MILES, went on rides, and yea, ate some great food. The @dailymail & @dailymirror decided to share some paparazzi photos of me at my most tired and only in the moments when I was eating food. Ever notice how smaller bodied public figures can eat whatever they want and somehow that’s either ignored or seen as cute?!😒” Holliday wrote on Instagram, sharing some screengrabs of the offensive articles (both of which seem to have been tweaked since).

Several photos the websites chose to highlight showed Holliday at moments where she was licking an ice pop or biting into food — both perfectly normal things to do when you’re at Disneyland. The food is like, one of the main draws? But apparently the tabloids found it so noteworthy they added childish captions like “A Mickey ice cream proved just too temping.” (Spelling error theirs; imagine being professionally mean and bad at using spellcheck?)

Holliday is famous, wasn’t going incognito, and spent the entire day at Disneyland — I’m very confident whoever compiled those articles had many pictures to choose from, and it is not a coincidence that they went with the ones they did. It’s fat-shaming, plain and simple, and it’s awful.

To counteract the fatphobic tone of the articles, the model shared some of her own pictures from the day, which show an ordinary mom (who just happens to be a stunningly gorgeous model) having a joyful day out at the famous amusement park with her kiddo.


Holliday made clear that her problem with the framing of the articles wasn’t just about her own self-image, but also about the message it sends to every other person reading. “When the media shares photos of me through the lens of their fat phobic assumptions, they tell everyone who looks like me that they are worthless. When they create a breeding ground for body shaming comments, they create a swamp where hatred of others and of ourselves can grow. It’s just not productive—if we want to live in a better, kinder world, we need to reject this kind of harmful behavior,” she wrote.


“I don’t care what you think about me, or if you find me attractive or believe I have an eating disorder, but if you want to criticize me, find a better reason than my body. It’s corny and it’s harmful—not just to me, but to every single person who looks like me, which is a huge percentage of the world right now,” Holliday continued, ending with words of support to anyone else fighting to feel confident about their body.

“To my community of fat folks/those that struggle with your body image: y’all are seen, valued, and appreciated just as you are RIGHT NOW. We live joyful, active, and fulfilling lives… just like everyone else. No matter who you are or what you look like, no matter what you can do with your body or how you choose to dress, y’all are worthy of love. Don’t let morons like the @dailymirror / @dailymail or anyone else tell you otherwise. #effyourbeautystandard.”

I’d say the teams over at the Daily Mail and the Mirror should be ashamed of themselves, but let’s be real: they obviously have no shame if they put out something this gross in the first place.