Tess Holiday Lands SELF Cover And Proves All Bodies Are Good Bodies

by Thea Glassman
Image via SELF/Instagram

Tess Holliday is SELF’s new cover star and that’s incredibly important

Tess Holliday is a plus-size model, body positivity advocate, and all around Instagram gem (seriously, her posts will make you feel 1,000 times happier). She’s also on the cover of the latest SELF, proving that all bodies are beautiful and worthy of being featured in a prominent women’s magazine.

Holliday took to Instagram to post a picture of her cover, along with a truly ~glowing~ caption.

“I’m over the moon to finally share – This is totally surreal to see a fat body on the cover of a health magazine,” she wrote. “Thank you Self for changing the game with me!”

The model opened up to the magazine about her body, modeling, and concern trolls — which are a particularly annoying brand of internet users who pretend they’re super worried about her health.

“In the beginning I used to say, ‘I’m healthy, my cholesterol’s fine, I don’t have high blood pressure, I don’t have diabetes,” Holliday told SELF. “By telling people that you see a doctor, and telling people that you’re healthy, it’s perpetuating the abuse against bigger bodies and the mindset that we owe it to people to be healthy. The reality is I don’t owe you shit and I don’t have to prove that I’m healthy or not, because it is nobody’s business.”

Things got even worse when Holliday was pregnant. The model was “flooded” with messages from concern trolls, who told her that she was going kill or deform the baby because of her weight. Others said that she wouldn’t live long enough to see her child grow up. Side note: the internet is a gross, gross place sometimes.

“I just refuse to go down that road, and to feel like I need to prove my health and my worth to people that don’t care,” Holliday explained. “There’s a famous quote, I don’t know who said it but I use it all the time: ‘Never waste your time explaining yourself to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.’”

Holliday added that she still has some insecurities about her weight, but she’s come a long, long way from where she once was.

“[My arms are] the one of part of my body I still struggle with,” she said. “But I would’ve never [sat] here in a public place, I would have never taken my shirt off or showed my arms six years ago, and it’s nice. It’s hot outside, it’s nice to be able to just not feel like I have to cover up because I’m worried about what other people think about me.”