Why Fat Positive Model Tess Munster Doesn't Glorify An Unhealthy Lifestyle


People just can't stop talking about Tess Munster/Holliday, and TBH, neither can we. In case you missed it, last week she made history by being the "largest" model (size 22, to be exact) to land a major modeling contract, and the internet has a lot to say about it. (Spoiler alert: most of it is mean.)

Before we dive any deeper here, let's make one thing clear: There's more to Tess than just her body, and we know that. We're not here to start a body war on fat vs. skinny, either. We're here to discuss exactly why people are shaming Tess for being a very happy and very successful plus-size model, and if her popularity is, in fact, glorifying an unhealthy lifestyle.

The short answer? No. Laci Green from MTV's "Braless" makes a solid case on why Tess makes so many internet haters uncomfortable in her latest episode. If their "Oh no, a plus-size model is in a magazine therefore everyone is going to want to be unhealthy!” logic is going to be applied to Tess, then they should also be worried about all the underweight models we see on a daily basis. Today, most images we see of women are 10-30 percent underweight, so if being unhealthy is the main concern, the masses should have been upset a long (long!) time ago.

<a href="" target="_blank">Faye Orlove</a>

Photo Feb 06, 12 08 05 PM

Another great point by Laci: You can't tell how healthy someone is just by looking at them. It's well-known fact that extra weight increases health risks, but there could be underlying health conditions that someone is dealing with that you don't know about—not to mention that the type of fat also has a lot to do with it. Visceral fat, which wraps around your organs, is higher risk than subcutaneous fat, which is under your skin.

The real problem here seems to be that people can't accept that a size 22 girl that promotes an image of self-love and confidence. She even—GASP—willingly posts pictures of her body in nothing but underwear for the world to see and isn't ashamed about it. And why should she be? Her positive self-image seems to conflict with the norm because we learn from a young age (4 years old, actually) to be prejudiced against fat people.

<a href="" target="_blank">Faye Orlove</a>

Photo Feb 06, 12 08 38 PM

Tess pushes us to rethink everything we know about traditional beauty standards (I mean, she started the hashtag #effyourbeautystandards for a reason) and helps diversify what real women's bodies in magazines look like. All in all, we couldn't be more stoked that Tess is sticking true to who she is and not backing down, but let's remember, folks: There's so much more to women (and their happiness and success) than what their bodies look like.

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