The model said she refuses to "further perpetuate the toxic way we view and treat larger bodies."

By Faith Brar
January 05, 2021
Credit: Getty Images

Tess Holliday is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to challenging unrealistic expectations of beauty. Since starting the #EffYourBeautyStandards movement in 2013, the model has fearlessly called out incidents of body-shaming (whether it's at a hotel or in an Uber), she's been vocal about why moms of every size deserve to feel sexy, and she's even made a case for why plastic surgery can be body positive. Now, Holliday is taking to Instagram again, this time to share her views about fitness culture and social media.

In her first Instagram post of 2021, Holliday shared a video about why she won't be posting her workouts on social media in the new year.

"I'm not going to share that I'm working out or moving my body to prove that I work out," she said in the video, addressing her followers. (Related: How Tess Holliday Boosts Her Body Confidence On Bad Days)

"As a fat person in this body, I am exhausted that people use my body, use fat people's bodies, as weapons against them to further the narrative that fat people are 'bad' and that we are 'dangerous' and that we are a 'threat to society,'" she continued.

Instead of posting her workouts, Holliday resolved that she will refocus her energy on exercising simply because she enjoys it. "I want to do it, and I share it to give you guys a look into my life, not because I have anything to prove," she said in the video. "I'm not going to be a prop for people to scare others from living their best authentic life because it doesn't fit into this narrow, crazy mold." (Related: Tess Holliday Teamed Up with Fashion to Figure for an #EffYourBeautyStandards Collection)

As we ring in the new year, Holliday said she wants to lead by example in helping people realize that all bodies deserve acceptance and appreciation, regardless of shape or size. "No one is more worthy of being loved and accepted just because they work out or have a toned body," she wrote in the caption of her post. "My job on this earth is solely to help others come to a place of accepting and hopefully loving their bodies now, that's it."

This isn't the first time Holliday has shed light on why posting workout pics on Instagram can be problematic. In a 2019 post, she got candid about how fitness posts can sometimes feed into a culture of workaholism or the need to appear "busy" and "hustling" all the time.

"Being 'busy' is great, but our culture of workaholism is really difficult in so many ways," she wrote at the time. "I haven't shared more about my fitness journey yet [because] there is a stigma against fat folks working out. Though it feels silly to say, it truly is a journey." (Related: Tess Holliday Shares How Her Body Image Evolved During Motherhood)

Bottom line: Holliday wants it known that what people do with their bodies is their business and nobody else's and that the only validation you need is from yourself — not your Instagram followers (or anyone else, for that matter). As Holliday shared in her video: "Work out if you want to [or] don't work out. It doesn't really matter, as long as you're happy and as long as your heart and intentions are pure, do you."


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