Body-positivity activist Tess Holliday is on the cover of SELF Magazine, and people have a lot of thoughts about it

by Asfa Shakeel

In their first ever digital cover, SELF Magazine is featuring model and fat-positivity activist Tess Holliday as part of a powerful statement about  body positivity.

Tess Holliday

Tess Holliday is on the cover of SELF Magazine. (Image source: Instagram/Tess Holliday)

SELF is a website geared towards improving people’s knowledge of health, nutrition and wellness. Their website lays special emphasis on “inclusivity, accuracy and empathy“.The editor in chief of the magazine wrote in an Instagram post announcing the cover, “Holliday identifies as a fat woman; we chose to give her a platform because she has insightful things to say about thriving in a world that devalues bodies of size. We also chose to feature her because size representation is necessary, especially for a national health media brand that can help guide the conversation about what it means to be healthy and how to make health accessible.”

Tess Holliday

The magazine is geared towards health and nutrition. (Image source: Instagram/Tess Holliday)

Tess Holliday

They want people to know that health is not dependent on weight. (Image source: Instagram/Tess Holliday)

She continued on to make a statement about equating health with appearance, saying that it is unfair to assume all knowledge of a person’s health-based goals can be gauged from their weight. She wrote, “You don’t know how healthy or unhealthy a person is just by looking at them, you don’t know what their health goals and priorities are, and you don’t know what they’ve already done or are planning to do for their health going forward. And moreover, you should know that concern trolling—using a person’s perceived health to justify making them feel bad about themselves—isn’t just counterproductive, it’s abusive.

Tess Holliday

Holliday is also making a statement against concern trolling. (Image source: Instagram/SELF Magazine)

Tess Holliday

She wants people to leave others alone despite their appearance. (Image source: Instagram/Tess Holliday)

Holliday shared the cover herself, writing that it was surprising even to her to see a bigger body than usual on the cover of a magazine, “I’m over the moon to finally share- This is totally surreal to see a fat body on the cover of a health magazine.” Her shared cover has over 92,000 likes on Instagram already with hundreds of people sharing their opinions in the comments below and on other forums.

Tess Holliday

The cover is really popular on Holliday’s Instagram. (Image source: Instagram/Tess Holliday)

Tess Holliday

It has many people sharing their opinions. (Image source: Instagram/Tess Holliday)

While many appreciated step forward by a health magazine, many responded negatively to the cover as well, picking out issues with Holliday’s weight and her personal history.

Tess Holliday

Many people are against Holliday being on the cover. (Image source: Instagram/Tess Holliday)

Tess Holliday

Many were also against someone with Holliday’s history getting this attention. (Image source: Instagram/Tess Holliday)

Tess Holliday is the author of The Not So Subtle Art of Being A Fat Girl.



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