Tess Holliday Asks People to ‘Look at Our Pain’ After Sharing That She’s Anorexic and in Recovery
“Look at the collective trauma we have from just being fat in the world,” the model wrote
The model and activist, 35, decided to speak out about her eating disorder over the weekend, after growing frustrated with the frequent comments she was getting that complimented her for losing weight.
"To everyone that keeps saying 'you're looking healthy lately' or 'You are losing weight, keep it up!' Stop," Holliday wrote on Instagram. "Don't. Comment. On. My. Weight. Or. Perceived. Health. Keep. It. To. Yourself. Thanks✌🏻"
"I'm anorexic and in recovery. I'm not ashamed to say it out loud anymore," she added on Twitter. "I'm the result of a culture that celebrates thinness and equates that to worth, but I get to write my own narrative now. I'm finally able to care for a body that I've punished my entire life and I am finally free."
Holliday's social media posts filled up with comments from people in similarly-sized bodies who have also struggled with eating disorders, along with some critics who questioned her anorexia. On Wednesday, the mom of two spoke out again, urging people to understand the stigma she's dealt with for most of her life.
"This is for every fat kid that never got to eat without being made aware of, reprimanded and shamed for every bite. To every person that got laughed at and humiliated for dancing, exercising, daring to love or to exist. This is for every person that has never had a chance to have a healthy relationship to food because the worlds condemnation, judgement and constant vigilance of their every move made that damn near impossible," she wrote on Instagram.
"This is for every person that has starved themselves, that has purged, that has binged, that has been on a carousel wheel of destructive diets and everything else in between. That suffered as a result of the prison of their mind, formed in and by a world hostile to them," she continued. "For every person for whom eating and moving and the concept of health was punitive and hell, rather than the self-care and self-advocacy it should have been."
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The #EffYourBeautyStandards founder said that the recent shift in body culture that "just recently started to make room for fat peoples' visibility" is "not enough."
"Look at our humanity. Look at the collective trauma we have from just being fat in the world," she said. "Look at how many of us have suffered so long, sometimes in secret and sometimes openly and disbelieved and unseen. Look at our pain. Look at how you may be complicit in a culture that creates that, then denies its very reality. If you care about our health, care about our mental health too, because that directly impacts our physical bodies and relationship with it."
Holliday acknowledged that "the world may not be ready to have this conversation and that's okay." But she emphasized that it should be happening, because "we deserve to make and have room for our complex truths."
"We deserve to heal," she concluded. "We deserve to be free."
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.