Her body isn’t the standard of beauty typically promoted and lauded by the modeling industry, but plus-size model Tess Holliday (née Munster) is confident in her skin and wants everyone else to be, too.
‘I want to challenge society’s perception of beauty’: Plus-size pin-up Tess Holliday flaunts her size 26 frame in a black top and knickers in her first modeling agency shoot
- Tess was first size 26 (US 22) woman to be signed to top modelling agency
- The 29-year-old says there’s ‘no one way to be a woman or beautiful’
- She has 625,000 followers on Instagram and 850,000 fans on Facebook
Tess Holliday might only be 5’5″ tall and a UK size 24, but she’s also a working model who was just signed with a major London-based label—MiLK Model Management.
She is a plus-size model that is breaking industry standards.
Most plus-size models tend to be over 5’8″ and between sizes 10 and 18, but Holliday is making waves and opening eyes to the possibility of introducing different body types.
Of course, the road traveled hasn’t been an easy one.
Holliday grew up being bullied so badly that she wound up dropping out of school at 17.
Even today, she continues to receive hundreds of hateful comments daily.
Despite the negativity, Holliday has found peace with herself and hopes to encourage others to rethink about “beauty.”
Instead of being torn down, Holliday has risen up and started an #EffYourBeautyStandards movement that encourages women to love and celebrate their diverse bodies.
“Our relationships with ourselves and our bodies are the most important ones we will ever have.”
She’s famous for proudly flaunting her curvaceous figure, bold dress sense and collection of colourful tattoos on social media.
But as Tess Holliday poses for a collection of arty black and white images, the 29-year-old is turning her attention away from being an internet phenomena to shaking up our ideas of beauty.
Pin-up Tess, who lives in Los Angeles, is passionate about enforcing the notion that there is ‘no one way to be a woman or beautiful’.
Plus-size stunner Tess Holliday said she wants to ‘challenge societies perception of beauty’
After years of being turned away from castings, size 26 (US size 22) Tess was snapped up by London-based MiLK modelling agency in January – making her the first fuller-figured supermodel to land such a deal.
A far cry from the waif-like frames we have come to see as the norm on runways and in glossy magazine adverts, Tess oozes confidence as showcases her famous curvy body in her debut agency shoot.
She hopes the images will challenge the perceived beauty standards.
‘I think if someone doesn’t look at an image and feel something, you haven’t done your job,’ she said.
‘Whether it’s a negative or positive, it should evoke something in them.
‘That’s what I’ve always done with my work, I want to challenge society’s perception of “beauty” and what’s acceptable in our industry and the world.
‘There is no one way to be a woman, or to be beautiful. We all deserve a place.’
The 29-year-old said: ‘There is no one way to be a woman, or to be beautiful. We all deserve a place’
In her first agency shoot Tess, who is famed for wearing outlandish patterns and vibrant colours, is uncharacteristically stripped back.
She dons a simple black t-shirt and a pair of plain black briefs as she poses with her hands on her hip, throws her head back and stares moodily into the camera.
The paired-back vibe of the shoot, however, doesn’t detract from Tess’ confidence.
Tess shows off her intricate body art in this arty black and white photo shoot
In another shot she can be seen giggling as her as her famous auburn hair is coiffed into gentle waves and swept to the side.
Her intricate body art can be seen in its full glory as she turns to the side and shows off the inkings on her arm.
Speaking about the shoot, Tess, who at 5ft 4in tall and 18st 5Ibs (250Ibs) doesn’t conform to industry sample sizes, said she has now stepped ‘out of my comfort zone’.
Tess has also posed for head shots that focus in on her glossy red hair, Sixties-style eye make-up and striking nose ring
‘I feel like since signing to MiLK it’s challenged everything I thought I knew about modelling.. In the best way,’ she said.
‘I push myself so much harder and really step out of my comfort zone, and you can see that with these images.
‘My life has changed in the best way and I feel like the best is yet to come.’
Tess was recently snapped up by Yours Clothing to be the face – and body – of their summer line
Tess has also posed for head shots that focus in on her glossy red hair, Sixties-style eye make-up and striking nose ring.
Anna Shillinglaw, Managing Director of MiLk Management, said of the shoot: ‘In a world of fashion diversity and evolution, these images show that beauty can come in any size – Tess is a model regardless of being a size 2 or 24.
‘These pictures show the world why I took her on as a model at MiLK – because she is a beautiful girl and she is selling the product she models.’
Anna Shillinglaw, Managing Director of Milk Management, said Tess shows beauty can come ‘in any size’
Tess has already been snapped up by a fashion brand who adore her unique style, recently becoming the face of Yours Clothing summer line.
Ms Shillinglaw adds: ‘I fell in love with her face and thought why not give her a go, the sky is the limit!
‘And my intuition was right! We are very happy with Tess on our already successful and respectful Curve board.’
Tess is famed for stepping out in bold patterned clothes and outlandish, happy colours
After years of being turned away from castings, size 22 (UK size 26) Tess was snapped up by MiLK modelling agency in January – making her the first fuller-figured supermodel to land such a deal
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