'I'm proud of myself for standing up for myself even though she will never get it, and there was no reason for me to like, explain myself in that situation.'
Body positivity activist and model Tess Holliday is no stranger to people making unsolicited comments about how her body should or shouldn't look. While the 36-year-old—like most people who deal with constant body shaming—usually lets it slide, she recently decided to clap back when a woman criticized her for her weight while waiting for an appointment at the doctor's office. A video of her recounting the incident has been viewed more than 149k times since being shared on Instagram last month, igniting an important discussion about how even some of the most recognizable celebrities bear the brunt of body shaming.
In the video, Holliday explained that she was in the waiting room at the doctor's office minding her own business when an older woman decided to criticize her body. "So something happened yesterday to me and I've been kind of processing it, deciding if I want to share it and because I share everything, decided let's spill it. I'm gonna tell you guys what happened," the Eff Your Beauty Standards creator said. "So I went to the doctor yesterday and I'm in the waiting room, minding my business [in a] hoodie and a mask."
"This woman was seated a couple seats away from me, she was a little bit more mature and she says, 'You are so pretty. You have a beautiful face and you have beautiful hair.' And I mean, I look like this, and my face is covered, but I'm like, 'Oh, thank you!'" Holliday said. "But you know she couldn't just leave it there, she then proceeded to tell me, 'Why don't you just lose a little bit of weight?' I'm no stranger to this, it happens often but usually, when someone says something like that to me because I have deeply seeded trauma and people-pleasing tendencies, I usually say you know something to kind of placate their diet talk, make them feel a little bit better. I'm usually like, well you know I work out, whatever."
This time, however, Holliday said she "was tired" of getting these body-shaming comments and decided to speak her mind. "I looked at her, took a breath and I said, and I still can't believe I said this—look at me smiling, I'm so proud of myself—I looked at her and I said, 'Ma'am, I am one of the most famous plus-size models in the world; I think I'm doing okay,'" she revealed. While the jaw-drop moment initially took the woman aback, Holliday said, she still thought it would be a good idea to push it. "Then she goes: 'You know, I just stop eating when I'm not hungry anymore.' And I just said, 'Bodies are weird.' And then I looked at my phone and God bless, I hear Terry the nurse say my name, and I was like, 'Bye!'" the model shared.
Holliday said the whole experience left her feeling "proud" of how she'd handled it. "I'm proud of myself. I'm proud of myself for standing up for myself even though she will never get it, and there was no reason for me to like, explain myself in that situation," she said. "But I'm f***ing proud of myself." Captioning the video, she added: "I don't often give myself enough credit, and my energy this year is very much to cut that s*** out. Going to the doctor and dealing with someone body-shaming me was apparently my tipping point."