NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 26: Model Tess Holliday attends Refinery29's Every Beautiful Body Symposium at Brookfield Place on October 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Refinery29)
Craig Barritt—Getty Images for Refinery29
By Julie Mazziotta / People
March 13, 2017

Tess Holliday is upset. After spending her career pushing for greater size diversity in the modeling industry, she feels as though there hasn’t been much of a change for women over a size 16.

The size-22 model tweeted out her frustrations Thursday night.

“I’m so tired of feeling like I don’t matter because I happen to exist in a bigger body,” Holliday, 31, writes. “The only kind of plus size body you see in major fashion mags in a size 14 or smaller. I keep thinking things are changing, but for those of us past a size 16, it sure doesn’t feel that way.”

Holliday says that many of the curvy models people started to look up to have changed their bodies.

“We are surrounded by our heroes getting weight loss surgery, pedaling fitness to us, instead of true self love & acceptance,” she says. “It genuinely feels like there is just no place for girls like me.”

Holliday shared the same message on Facebook, and clarified in the comments that she isn’t calling out people for getting weight loss surgery.

“For those of you reaching trying to say I don’t support WLS [weight loss surgery], I NEVER said that. Literally never. I have an issue with people getting it & then shaming their body ‘before,’ ” she explains. “The reality is you gotta love what you got , & if you want to lose weight — cool. Your body your choice. But don’t say how gross you were, etc.”

While other women and models like Ashley Graham, Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy are against using the word “plus size,” arguing that it unnecessarily labels women, Holliday has always been a fan.

“There are plenty of things to get offended about, but taking a term that’s never been used in hate & is merely a descriptor & trying to take away OUR community is not cool. #plussizeandproud” she posted on Instagram in April.

The mom of two — including baby Bowie, 8 months, recently talked about how she’s had trouble accepting her post-baby body.

“Each day feels like a battle to learn how to love my body postpartum,” Holliday shared alongside photos of herself in a bra and underwear. “It’s been six months, and my stomach is lower, my breasts are a different shape, [I have] new stretch marks, and I feel like a stranger in my body more than ever.”

“I wasn’t anticipating this at all,” she writes. “I’m not used to looking in the mirror and feeling like I don’t recognize myself, but sadly that’s my reality some days.”

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