Tess Holliday, who was born, Ryann Maegan, is a plus-size model and self-proclaimed “body-image activist.” She was born and raised in Laurel, Mississippi and moved forty times by the time she reached the age of ten. At the age of ten, Tess and her brother moved in with their grandparents when her mother was shot in the head and paralyzed by her fiancée. Tess suffered from extensive bullying from the age of five up for her weight, pale skin, and for living in a trailer behind her grandparents’ house. She finally dropped out of school at the age of seventeen, on her first day of 11th grade, due to the bullying and receiving death threats and got her GED. Tess had a dream of becoming a plus size model and showed up for a casting call in Atlanta, Georgia, where she was told she would have a hard time finding even print ad work due to her size, being a US size 16 and standing five feet three inches tall. She didn’t give up on her dream, and with her mother’s encouragement to become a plus size model, and in Tess took a leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue her dream. Tess Holliday has become more and more popular in the world of fashion over recent months. Here are ten things you don’t know about Tess Holliday.
1. Has two children
Tess has given birth to two children, both boys. Her first son, Rilee, was born when Tess was 20 years old and not much is known about who the father is. Tess had a second son, Bowie, in June of 2015 with her fiancé, Australian photographer and businessman, Nick Holliday, whom she met on Tumblr in 2012.
2. Had different last names before Holliday
Tess wanted to change her birth name for a more catchy name and chose the name Munster, because she always loved the show, “The Munsters.” She is still often referred to as Tess Munster, but when she got engaged to Nick Holliday, she adopted his surname, and now, is mostly referred to as Tess Holliday.
3. Has multiple tattoos
Tess is not only known for her extra weight, even for a plus size model, but she has also superseded most other models when it comes to the number of tattoos she sports. Tess not only has a lot of tattoos, but she has some very interesting ones, too. Some of the most notable tattoos you’ll see on her body include Dolly Parton, on her forearm, and Miss Piggy and Hello Kitty. Her tattoos span from top to bottom of her body, and she loves to flaunt them in her photos.
4. Backlash from weight loss expert
Weight loss expert, Steve Miller, has had plenty to say about Tess’ fame for being fat. He has been very outspoken about the fashion and modeling industry embracing Tess’ views on diet and healthy practices. He disagrees with the world supporting, what he believes to be, an unhealthy lifestyle of eating what you want, and living life as an obese person without being ostracized, which is Tess’ motto. His belief is that this is sending women the wrong message and it is a very dangerous message.
5. Worked at a dental office
When Tess moved to LA, she worked as a receptionist in a dental office while she pursued her modeling career. In 2011, while still working at the dental office, Tess’s professional modeling career took off and eventually she left her dental office job and dove full-force into the new career. There was no looking back.
6. She’s an entrepreneur
Tess has started her own swimsuit line for plus size women. She wants obese women to feel comfortable even wearing swimsuits and to not be afraid to love their large bodies and even flaunt them. This has been her message to women everywhere. Her swimsuit line is called, “Sea by Monif-C.”
7. Has thousands of followers
Tess has made a big splash on Instagram, combing in over 800,000 followers on Instagram. She spreads her message of eating what you want without guilt and learning to love your plus size body by using social media She has multiple people who specialize in social media, working to help her tackle her mission of getting the message out by managing her social media accounts.
8. She is the largest plus size supermodel
Tess has broken the rules for even plus size models by being the first model of her size to make it in the fashion world. She has topped the charts on weight, and even her height. She has modeled in some of the most well-known magazines, including Vogue Italia, Addition Elle and has appeared on the cover of People magazine. She has worked with some of the biggest fashion designers and has appeared on many TV talk shows to help promote her cause, and her ambitions, including being interviewed by Meredith Vierira.
9. Involved in T-shirt controversy
Tess produced a line of T-shirts that sported in support of her body image cause, with the tagline “Eff Your Body Standards” on them, her motto. They sold for $40 and she claimed that part of the proceeds was going to be donated to an organization that supports survivors of domestic abuse, however, not everyone got their T-shirts, nor were they able to attain a refund for the money they paid. It was also said that she did not donate monies to the organization and this sparked a huge controversy from fans and supporters of hers and she received a lot of backlash for her lack of commitment and good business practice.
10. Her favorite part of her body
When Tess was asked what her favorite part of her body is, she replied her butt. She said that she thought her butt was pretty perfect. Tess does not agree with dieting, but does try to maintain her weight by doing some exercising. She has a personal trainer that she works with four times a week. She likes to swim, walk and hike during her time off.