The model took to Instagram to pay tribute to Nick Holliday, her "partner in this life" and father of her baby boy Bowie Juniper.

By Maressa Brown
June 18, 2017

Model Tess Holliday is known for being outspoken and vocal about a number of tough issues, from beauty standards to sexuality when you're a mother or plus-size woman. So, it's no surprise the mom of two just got so real about the darker side of days like today. In a Father's Day tribute to her fiancé Nick Holliday on Instagram Holliday opened up about her own dad.

"Fathers Day has always been hard for me," Holliday shared. "My dad didn't show up in the ways I needed him, he rarely made the effort & when he was around it was followed by emotional & physical abuse. (I talk in depth about this in my book) It taught me a lot, especially when it came to finding a partner for myself, & eventually a father to my children."

Holliday's experience is, sadly, one shared by others. It's for that reason, Father's Day isn't necessarily a joyous occasion—or, at the very least, can feel challenging for some. Thankfully, there's a silver lining to the day for Holliday. She went on to praise Nick for everything he does as a father, especially as he grapples with mental illness.

"Happy Fathers Day to my partner in this life, @nickhollidayco?," Holliday writes. "As someone who has mental illness, being a Dad isn't always easy for him. He isn't perfect, & we have good & bad days but he shows up when I need him, when our boys need him. Not a day goes by where he doesn't tell us he loves us (something I didn't get growing up from my Father), or go out of his way to make us smile. He has dance parties with Bowie, draws & plays uno with Rylee, makes us snack plates & rolls his eyes when we all annoy him ?? We all love you so much Nick ? #fathersday #mentalillness #breakingthestigma"

Acknowledging that her partner has mental illness is, in and of itself a beautiful, important move. Plenty of proud papas out there face similar battles acutely or chronically. And yet, we don't talk nearly enough about it, particularly in a way that normalizes mental illness, simultaneously taking taboo out of the equation. Thankfully, as she always does, Holliday is drawing attention to an important aspect of #momlife — and in this case, #dadlife — that we could all stand to discuss more.

Happy Father's Day to Nick Holliday — and to all the loving fathers who are doing their best and showing up every day.