Tess Holliday Walked In the Chromat NYFW Runway Show Wearing a Statement "Sample Size" Dress
Tess Holliday has earned some serious respect within the body-positive community for squashing unrealistic beauty standards. The mom of two has made headlines for calling out the hotel industry for catering to smaller guests, publicly boycotting Uber after a driver body-shamed her, and creating powerful movements like #EffYourBeautyStandards to spread awareness about body diversity and inclusion.
The 34-year-old model walked the runway for Chromat's Spring 2020 show on Saturday, wearing a white gown with the phrase "sample size" emblazoned across it.
ICYDK, "sample size" is a term that refers to the standardized proportions fashion designers use to make women's clothing. This tends to be a US size 0 to 4, which many people have argued is not a fair representation of the average woman's body.
But it also speaks to a larger issue: Actresses and models around the world often go to extreme lengths to squeeze into these samples. And even then, their bodies are usually still heavily edited and photoshopped, giving people everywhere an unrealistic view of what bodies can look like.
Fortunately, fashion lines like Chromat—which embraces bodies of all different shapes, sizes, races, and physical abilities—are doing their part to not only address but dismantle these ridiculous beauty standards.
In a heartfelt Instagram post, Holliday shared what being a part of such an iconic runway show meant to her.
"This is what diversity looks like, this is the future," she wrote alongside a photo of all the models that took part in Chromat's show. "We have always been here, but no one paid attention or cared because most of us pictured are outside of the status quo of what's considered traditionally beautiful."
"We deserve to take up space, and trust me, we will," Holliday added. "To know that I've spent my entire career advocating for more diversity in the fashion industry, and to be able to share the runway with so many others with the same mission was a feeling I will never forget. Representation matters. We matter. You matter. Never give up or give in."
Thankfully, Chromat isn't the only brand to fight for diversity on the NYFW runway this year. Actress Zendaya's runway collection with Tommy Hilfiger featured an inclusive range of models, like Halima Aden, Winnie Harlow, Candice Huffine, and a pregnant Ashley Graham.
Then there's Haitian-American fashion designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, whose Pyer Moss collection celebrated the African American community with an all-black model cast. Plus, Christian Siriano became one of the first high-end designers to announce a size 0-28 capsule line in collaboration with J. Jill this week.
The best part? New York Fashion Week isn't even over yet. Here's to hoping even more brands make huge statements about the importance of inclusive fashion.