Eff Your Beauty Standards/Tess Holliday

Body Positivity Is Healthy For You

By Audrey Browning

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The body positivity movement is slowly seeping into modern culture, and it’s a beautiful (and possibly life-saving) thing.

Model Tess Holliday is well known for promoting body positivity through her #EffYourBeautyStandards campaign, and recently announced she is opening her own clothing line in 2016.

Though a lot of people hail her as the queen of self-love and acceptance, her journey to the top wasn’t always easy.

“I wish things like this were around when I was younger,” Holliday told The Huffington Post in an interview. “I was really self-conscious as a kid, I felt terrible – like a prisoner in my own body.”

She has only felt comfortable in her skin for the four years she’s been in modeling, after a lifetime of being bullied for her size.


(I’m sorry, but have you seen Tess Holliday? She’s drop dead gorgeous.)

Tess isn’t the only celebrity who’s spoken out against weight stigma.

Demi Lovato made headlines for coming forward with her struggle with bulimia and weight.

“I realized I’d rather be strong and happy than be what society thinks is thin and perfect and be miserable,” Lovato said, once she finally came to terms with loving her body.

via giphy

via giphy

Society has recognized the beauty of thin and fit people for a long time, and is just now tipping the edge at recognizing the beauty of other people. Over time, people can make unhealthy lifestyle choices to give in to the entertainment industry’s pressure to look a certain way.

Bullying of any sort has been proven to contribute to psychiatric and physical health disorders later on in life. In addition, adults bullied as children generally don’t make as much money, have as much education, or even have as many friendships.

The body acceptance movement could be saving lives, according to a study. Weight discrimination has been linked to death, meaning that people who’ve felt alienated or bullied for their weight are 31 percent more likely to have died.


via giphy

Natalie Merola-Garcia, a fashion and lifestyle blogger in Austin, said she doesn’t even agree with the concept of classifying size.

“We are all women who deserve to be treated with respect,” Merola-Garcia said. “I would never call a woman who is a size zero ‘skinny’, so why are women labeled ‘plus’? It’s disturbing.”

Merola-Garcia also had a hard time getting to the level of self-love she’s at now, struggling with similar pressures from the fashion industry.

“I won’t sugar coat it – I hated myself internally, while putting on a smiling face,” Merola-Garcia said.

Self-hate is common for people who have experienced discrimination based on their size. Nicole Arbour, a YouTube personality, released a video last month called ‘Dear Fat People’ that seemingly tried to bully people into losing weight. However studies have shown that body-hate generally only leads to people putting on more weight, as well as having to deal with greater psychological issues.

How should the body positive movement push forward?

“Especially in the beauty and modeling industry, and the world at large, we should be mentoring other women and preaching positive behaviors to change the way the world works,” Merola-Garcia said. “If we all make a small effort, more and more women would more than likely want to be part of the change.”

“If we are going to celebrate all sizes, we must first decide ourselves we are all beautiful and treat each other with respect and love.”