Look up the definition of body positivity in the dictionary, and you'll see a picture of Tess Holliday. Okay, not really, but as far as we're concerned, she's the poster woman for loving the skin you're in.
The 33-year-old model isn't afraid to show off her body, especially on Instagram. She's posted unedited shots showing her naked, lying on the salon bed after getting a Brazilian wax, and even in the bathtub with her son. Needless to say, she's our self-love icon. Below, we've rounded up seven of Holliday's best body-positive moments.
When she posed nude for women's equality
On the day of the 2018 Women's March, her husband, Nick, posted an untouched nude photo of Tess to advocate for women's rights, which Tess then reposted. “Women deserve respect, whether they are completely naked or covered head to toe,” the caption reads. Now if those aren't words to live by, we don't know what could be.
When she let us know her feelings on pubic hair
“Posting this again because I deleted it earlier because I thought maybe it was too much, but we all have body hair, and if you choose to remove it, cool. It’s not shameful!” she wrote alongside a photo showing her on the salon bed after getting a Brazilian wax. We feel you, girl. We all have body hair, and what you do with it is totally up to you. No judgment.
When she posted a photo of herself totally naked in the bathtub
Holliday wrote that she was trying to score some self-care time in the tub, when her 2-year-old son, Bowie, decided to join in. “This photo isn’t ‘flattering’, but I don’t care,” she captioned the photo. “I’m proud of my body, & what it’s capable of & how funny & ridiculous my life/motherhood is.” Most of us probably wouldn't feel comfortable posting a photo of ourselves in the bathtub, but like we said, Holliday doesn't hold anything back.
When she slammed Victoria's Secret
“Who needs VS anyway?! They never supported plus ladies & now they are trying to dis my trans sisters? Hell nah,” Holliday wrote in an Instagram post after Ed Razek, chief marketing officer of L Brands (which owns Victoria’s Secret) said trans models shouldn't be in the VS Fashion Show. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Holliday went deeper and said we need to give our "time, focus, and money" to body-positive brands.
When she shared a workout video that showed her every angle
“@massy.arias kicked my butt today! Not gonna lie to y’all — seeing my body from some of these angles made me feel badly at first, and then had to remind myself who I am. I’m fat and fooooooine,” Holliday captioned the Instagram post. By the way, the workout looked super hard. Holliday did squat holds, arm presses, and opposite leg raises, all while using two gallon-size water bottles as weights.
When she said 'fat folks have bomb sex' on TV
Holliday went on Busy Philipps' new talk show, Busy Tonight, and said that she often shares risqué photos because she wants everyone to know “fat folks have bomb sex! We need sexy lingerie, we need options. I wanna be sexy whether I’m having sex or not, or if it’s just for me in my home or I want to go out and show it. The world just wants to cover up marginalized bodies and I’m not here for it.”
When she admitted body shamers test her mental health
After landing the September cover of Cosmopolitan U.K., Holliday faced some serious backlash and was accused of glamorizing obesity by U.K. tabloid columnist Piers Morgan. “This month tested my mental health, but here I am, still standing, still grateful, still happy, still a fat covergirl… but I’m also f—g exhausted,” she wrote on Instagram. "My body has always felt like a war zone, but I’ve made peace with that. It’s your minds that need to change."