Twenty-nine-year-old Mississippi girl, Tess Holliday, made history by becoming the first plus-size model to snag a contract with a major modeling agency, but it’s her unlikely tie to Beyoncé that’s blowing our minds right now.
Let’s get real for a hot minute… Holliday is an inspiration in many ways. If you aren’t hip to this chick, you should be.
At 5 feet 5 inches tall and a size 22, Holliday — who announced her contract with MiLK Model Management’s plus-size Curves division late last week — is a rarity in her industry. The average plus-size models who score modeling deals are at least 5 feet 8 inches tall and fall on the size spectrum anywhere between 8 and 16.
A cursory glance at her Instagram feed should be enough to illuminate why she is quickly becoming a true inspiration to women of every shape and size. Holliday is unfailingly herself. She is strong. She is kind-hearted. She is obviously beautiful.
And, apparently, this #EffYourBeautyStandards founder does a damn good Beyoncé.
Scrolling through her blog to soak up all the feel-good vibes we can from this super-cool femme, we came across what may just wind up being the best four minutes of our week: Holliday, along with fellow plus-size models, Gabi Fresh and Nadia Aboulhosn, recreating Beyoncé’s “Flawless” video.
Their message? Every body is flawless.
And, y’all, this video is the real deal. These ladies are killin’ it! Then, just when we thought they couldn’t get any more fierce, their “Flawless” rendition breaks into an amazing feminist speech dub-over.
But, moreover, it’s the message behind the video that really resonates with us.
On her blog, Holliday explains that she initially had reservations when Fresh and Aboulhson approached her about recreating the popular Beyoncé music video.
“I was filled with a mix of emotions,” she explained. “The song and the video is amazing of course (almost everything Bey does is!) so of course part of me was excited to be included in the project — three very different plus size women recreating and reinterpreting such a positive, empowering piece.”
She was hesitant at first, however, for fear of how it might be received. Until, that is, she channeled Queen Bey herself and got over it.
“So here we are. Three diverse plus size bloggers/models/feminists coming together with one common goal: To show that we are not competitors, and we are all doing our own thing in the SAME community and that everyone should be celebrated,” she said.
“This is OUR way of giving an ‘eff you’ to the critics that say we promote obesity,” she continued, “that we have no place in the fashion industry or that just because we are a certain size means we are fundamentally flawed.”
Wait, she’s not done.
“No, F*** THAT. We all have flaws,” she asserted. “It’s part of being human, but we are so much more.” And that, she reiterates, is the true reason she, Gabi and Nadia came together to film “Flawless.”