Tess Holliday is getting real about self-love.
The 36-year-old model shared a powerful message on Instagram over the weekend about what it's like to be "seen as plus size." The star's post included a set of uplifting messages for her followers, as well as photos and videos celebrating her shape.
"From the first moment you are seen as plus size you hear the word 'if' a lot," she began. “'If you lost weight, if you weren’t so big, if they only took the time to get to know me.' The worst part about being fat isn’t actually being in a larger body, it’s the sh— other people and society put on us."
According to Holliday, plus size people are kept in "boxes" and taught to feel negatively about themselves. The star continues by challenging her followers to start "being kinder" to themselves and "break out of the box" before sending a pointed message to her critics.
"To those who look at me in disgust: What if you stopped judging others who are fat and focused on your own happiness?" she wrote. "Kindness to others and to ourselves is the only way to really heal. We all say we want to live in a better world — but it starts small. It can start here. Hate me all you want, but I've got a great smile, and an even better ass. And my heart? That’s the best part of me."
Holliday's post was met with praise and supportive comments from fans who thanked the star for being a leader in the body positivity movement.
"Thank you for all you have done for the community," one person wrote. "Because of you, I have learned ways to love myself the way I am and it has been so much more freeing than hiding myself!"
"Less self-deprecation is the mood for 2022," added another. "Love this message. We all need to be kinder to ourselves and to others."
"You are such an inspiration to me and help me feel seen," someone else commented. "Well said!! Life is hard enough without all the judgment."
"I needed to hear this today," a fan echoed. "Thank you for sharing such an important message, representing people in larger bodies, and helping change the conversation around us."