Tess Holliday has just announced that she’s in the process of designing her own collection, set to launch in stores next year. “It’s been really exciting, but stressful,” she told The Huffington Post. WHile we don’t yet know any more details, we’re certainly excited to see what Tess has up her sleeve.
Here’s what happened when we caught up with the sensational model at the Curve Fashion Festival in Manchester this weekend.
How Do You Feel About The Term ‘Plus Size’?
“For me it’s just a word. I know alot of people have issues with it, but most of the well-respected models and people in the community have no problem with the term and embrace it because that’s just what it is.”
What Would You Say Is The Secret To Body Confidence? Tess Holliday in her H&M campaign.
“It’s hard because I have days when I’m feeling super amazing and then there are days when I don’t. I think for me it’s just surrounding myself with positive people and people that love and support me. If I didn’t have the people that I do in my life, I would just crumble.”
What Advice Would You Give To Someone Starting Out In The Modelling Industry?
“I think it’s important to have a really good support system around you. To have at least one person who believes in you and has your best interests in mind because there are alot of people that want to take advantage of people just starting out in the industry so it’s important to have a good team. It’s also important to be as professional as possible, especially on social media because nowadays brands aren’t just hiring you as a model, they’re hiring you as a person. The modelling industry is such a small world and word travels fast so you need to be easy to work with and you need to treat other people with respect.I also think you need to take chances and risks and – not every opportunity – but take most opportunities that come your way.”
What’s Been The Highlight Of Your Career?
“It was my People magazine cover, but now I think it’s the H&M campaign because I am really proud of it. I love the message and the people they chose to be a part of it. It’s all about embracing who you are and I am all about that!”
Do You Think The Curve Fashion Festival Will Be A Turning Point In People’s Perceptions About Body Ideals?
“It absolutely sets a precedent for what is going to happen in the future. I think it’s really important for an event like this to happen in the UK especially because in the US we talk alot more about what it means to be plus size and it’s alot more celebrated, but in the UK I’ve noticed that there’s alot more shame that goes towards plus size women. So to have something like this with so many huge brands involved and so many people standing up for us is really refreshing.”
Alot Of UK Brands Now Do Cater To A Bigger Variety Of Sizes Than They Ever Did Before, Do You Think We’ve Still Got Further To Go?
“I think until I am able to just walk into any store – whichever town or country I am in – and not have to Google beforehand to know that I am going to be able to find something that I can wear, then I still feel like we have a long way to go. It’s a very scary feeling when you’re plus size and you’re travelling and your baggage gets lost or something, you have very limited options for what you can buy.”
Where Do You Shop? What Are Your Favourite Brands?
“ASOS is definitely one of my favourite brands and the rest of them are small, independent designers really and I also really love SimplyBe.”
What Do You Feel Your Sexiest In?
“Naked. Definitely, I am always naked at home!”
You’ve Spoken About Being Bullied For Your Size When You Were Younger. How Did You Overcome All Of That To Become The Poster Girl That You Are Today?
“I don’t think that I have overcome it because it still happens. I still get bullied every single day of my life, whether it’s online or through the media. I think that I have found ways to adapt to it and cope with it. I pay a therapist alot of money haha! It’s finding people that love and care about you and it’s about staying positive and removing yourself from the situation. When I was being bullied in school, I was left with no other option but to drop out because the staff wouldn’t take it seriously. By getting out of that situation, that’s why I am where I am today because I was able to focus on the good in my life and move forward.”
How Would You Respond To Being Told You Can’t Do Something Because Of Your Size?
“I usually laugh. It’s funny because I get recognised now all the time. People are also really congratulatory and really nice which makes me feel so glad that I never listened to anyone who criticised me because you never know unless you try.”
There’s Also Sometimes An Assumption That If You’re A Certain Size, You’re Unhealthy. What Do You Make Of That?
“I think those people are really stupid. I think that’s people just projecting their own fears onto other people and I think the world would be a much better place if they just focussed on themselves instead of everyone else.”
How Would You Describe Your Style?
“It really depends what mood I am. I think it is bold, it is eclectic. Sometimes I like to dress like a cartoon character, sometimes I like to dress really sexy but I think the one thing about me is that I like to always do something that stands out.”
You Have A Huge Social Media Following! Obviously That Brings So Much Amazing Stuff But Also Negativity. Do You Respond To Trolling?
“Oh sometimes I do. Sometimes I say the most hilarious stuff and I have fun with it. I’d never make fun of them or say anything about their appearance or anything like that, but I will respond and have fun with them.”