Big Girl You Are Beautiful: Should Plus Size Models Be Encouraged?

Body acceptance or misguided message?

To this date, plus-size women still do not find complete acceptance of their size in many people but, modelling has acted as the prime base of starting a new revolution of changing such opinions.

The first plus size model was Angellika Morton who at first started off as a straight size model but transitioned later in 1997, acting as a role model to girls with body-image issues worldwide.

Similarly, Tess Holliday is a true inspiration to many, from being bullied in high school to becoming a cover star! An American model, weighing 300 pounds has put her name down in history as the world’s first size 22 cover model to be featured on this fashion magazine.

Not only is this a huge stepping stone in Holliday’s career but, is also a lesson to other plus-size girls to truly love their body no matter what size or shape and to be comfortable in themselves.

She shared her success on Twitter as she wrote:

“I’m literally a COSMO GIRL!! Can’t believe I’m saying that! If I saw a body like mine on this magazine when I was a young girl, it would have changed my life.”

However, not everyone was as welcoming to the idea of her appearance on Cosmo’s cover.

Piers Morgan, a British journalist and Good Morning Britain TV presenter, took to social media to share his views as he wrote “Apparently we’re supposed to view it as a ‘huge step forward for body positivity’ What a load of old baloney” and carried on to write:

“This cover is just as dangerous and misguided as celebrating size zero models”.

He was against the idea of promoting plus-size models as it encourages overweight girls to stay the way they are instead of giving them motivation to get ‘healthy’, the same way zero size models encourage underweight girls or women.

Regardless, it’s important to keep in mind that every girl faces her own struggles, whether that may be with her height, weight or skin colour so was it really his place to begin preaching what he believes girls should look like?

Was he promoting the idea that all girls should be the ‘perfect size’? These thoughts are what pushed Holliday over the edge.

Holliday, the creator of #effyourbeautystandards Instagram campaign fired back during an interview with This Morning, acting as a shield to protect not only her but also the thousands of overweight girls around the world, in this video:

She also defends her purpose of not encouraging girls to be fat but the message of body positivity to help girls in their own body. As the question of physical health arises, she responds:

“I don’t have to prove I’m healthy to anybody…my health is no one’s business”

However it is a fact that there is a rising issue of obesity especially in the US which is not only extremely unhealthy medically, but also costs a fortune.

Thus, it can be argued that encouraging people can prove to be dangerous as Piers implied despite his insensitivity to the issue.

In response, Holliday smiled and said “I can’t entertain that respectfully because I’m not putting myself on the cover and saying ‘Hey guys, let’s all gain 300 pounds and be fat’. I’m literally just existing in my body”. She continued to say:

“My message isn’t lets all be fat, its lets love yourself regardless of how you look in your current body because your mental health is far more important before you can worry about your physical health”

To conclude, her fans most definitely praised her work and success, thanking her for being the next step forward to body positivity:

What you think about Tess Holliday being on the cover of Cosmopolitan UK, we leave upto you to decide but, till then listen to Mika’s “Big Girl (You are beautiful)” where he speaks up against body shaming through his music almost a decade ago.