Tess Holliday redefines model standards

By Natasha Davis

Tess Holliday

Tess Holliday is here to break rules and shatter expectations. This 29 year-old wife and mother recently became the largest plus-size model to be signed by a major modeling agency. At 5’5” and a size 22, Holliday became a curvy revolutionary in late January when she was signed to the MiLk Model Management (Curves) division. The vast majority of plus-size models are a size 12-16 and north of 5’9”. Thus, Holliday was continually told that she was too big and too short to be a model, but all of those critics have now fallen silent.

After starting the #effyourbeautystandards campaign on Instagram in 2013, Holliday became a social media darling. This was one of the reasons MiLk decided to sign her. Anna Shillinglaw, the owner and director of MiLk Model Management explains, “I started following her, and saw how many followers she had — more than most models. She’s such an important role model for so many women.”

Holliday has transformed a social media army consisting of over 624,000 Facebook likes and 308,000 Instagram followers into a real-world modeling career. She is a shining example of the changing tides in the fashion industry, but she also exists as an indicator for the possibilities that exist for people with a strong online presence to crossover into the world beyond the computer screen.

Check out Holliday’s latest spread in SLiNK Magazine’s Role Models issue.

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