Tess Holliday dealt with turmoil in her life ever since she can remember. After her parents split, her mother started dating a man who was abusive. This new boyfriend shot her mother one summer while Holliday and her brother were away, leaving her in the bathtub for six hours before calling paramedics. During and after her mother’s recovery, Holliday’s classmates bullied her about being overweight and having a mom in a wheelchair. It got to the point where she need to drop out of school.
She went to live with her dad full-time to get away from her mother’s abusive husband, but that ended when she realized her dad may be just as bad as those high school bullies. “He had quite an explosive temper,” she says. “My dad told me that I would never amount to anything.”
When people give you negative feedback like that on a constant basis, it can be hard to put it behind you. Holliday says that being comfortable with herself was not always easy, and her self-confidence has been a journey, not a destination. Now, as a plus-size model, author, and mother, she’s working to ensure that her own childhood doesn’t negatively impact how she parents her children. She says she tries to always show her kids a positive body image at all times.
I’m definitely not a perfect mom, but I try to always put a healthy body image forward.
“I am one hundred percent conscious when I’m talking to my children to not put my own feelings onto them,” Holliday says. “I’m definitely not a perfect mom or a model mom, but I can say that I always try to put a healthy body image forward towards them and treat them with love and respect that I would hope to get in return.”
You can buy Holliday’s book “The Not So Subtle Art of Being A Fat Girl: Loving the Skin You’re In” here.
The “I Am Beautiful” series is now available on Amazon Prime Video.
Senior Video Producer – Jason Ikeler
Videographer – Andy Clancy
Video Editor – Rashawn Colton