Tess Holliday proudly owns her body — she did create #effyourbeautystandards, after all — but privately, the model deals with rude people trying to destroy her self-esteem.
Holliday, 33, said she gets messages on social media every day telling her to “drop dead” because of her size.
“I would be lying if I said they didn’t affect me,” she said in an essay for InStyle. “I go to therapy to try to make sense of it all. I will tell someone to f— off if they deserve it, but I’d rather come from a place of compassion.”
The mom of two said that along with therapy, she mutes people who bring her down, and occasionally deletes her social media apps.
“Then I focus on my ‘self-care folder’ that has games like Cat Cafe, where you feed and pet little virtual cats,” she said. “It’s silly, but it takes me away from the negativity.”
RP @instylemagazine “Who you follow is who you’re letting into your inner circle. It’s in your subconscious. It’s what you’re absorbing. Sometimes I delete social media from my phone altogether.” Model @TessHolliday says the key to handling haters, including on social media, is to show yourself (and others) some love and compassion. “I can’t live life being miserable, because I could die tomorrow. And then what — I was miserable because I was fat? What a waste.” Read @TessHolliday’s full essay on showing yourself compassion, not taking life too seriously, and how modeling changed her life at the link in bio. I Photographed by @anthony.maule; Styled by @meaghanpoconnor Makeup @danielmartin Hair @shinyanyc Nails @chrmdbysarah
A post shared by T E S S HL L I D A Y (@tessholliday) on Apr 15, 2019 at 9:16am PDT
Holliday said that people accuse her of “promoting obesity or recruiting people to be fat,” which just makes her laugh.
“If I say, ‘I love myself,’ and they think I’m saying, ‘Hey, you need to be 300 pounds, then you too could enjoy life as much as me,’ I have to smile,” she said. “People act as if I’m selling Tupperware or something — that’s not how it works.”
But she doesn’t see the point in dwelling on people’s negative comments.
“I can’t live life being miserable, because I could die tomorrow,” she said. “And then what — I was miserable because I was fat? What a waste.”
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Still, Holliday said that she only recently started to love herself, and that modeling greatly improved her self-esteem.
“I never felt confident before I got on set; there was never any clothing I felt good or sexy in. Now I feel the most on top of my game when I’m at a photo shoot,” she said. “I thrive in that space because I know I am the person I always dreamed of being.”
“My life is only getting better,” she added.