Plus-Size Supermodel: “My Phone Hasn’t Stopped Ringing!”

posted: 05/20/15
by: Courtney Reimer
tess holliday plus size model

If you haven't yet heard of Tess Holliday, that's about to change in a serious way. Tess Holliday is by anyone's estimation the buzziest model of the moment, having landed a contract with a major agency, a major social campaign and a major magazine cover with People magazine.

Not an atypical scenario for a typical model, but Holliday is anything but typical: not only does she sport some serious tattoo work, but she's a size-22.

In January, Holliday became the first size-22 model to sign with an agency (MiLK Management), and she has gained devoted following via her body-positive social campaign on Instagram. Now, she's really breaking through to the mainstream with a People magazine cover.

"My phone hasn't stopped ringing!" Tess told People, but it wasn't always like this: in the beginning she heard "no" a lot.

"Nobody was interested," when she started going out for castings at age 15. "I got one call back and they said, 'Look, you have a pretty face, but you're too short and you're too big.'" And that was in addition to the bullying she was feeling in her personal life, too -- getting pushed into lockers, called names and even getting death threats at home.

And now she's everywhere and couldn't be happier, but isn't letting the attention go to her head. "I wasn't the best, and I still am not the best," she said to People. "They key to it is just doing it."