Everything Pregnancy

#effyourbeautystandards: Pregnant, Plus-Size Model Tess Holliday Blasts Her Body Shamers

"I'm part of a small minority that's telling you it's okay to not have a perfect baby bump, or not show at all, to be plus size & have a healthy child, & most importantly to find a care provider that doesn't shame you about your size," Tess says.

Plus-size pregnant supermodel Tess Holliday is used to hearing comments about her body. But that doesn't make it any easier for her to field rude and insensitive comments from Internet trolls.

The soon-to-be second time mom told Today.com that at first, the online community was respectful about her pregnancy. "Funny enough, [fiancé] Nick and I had a day of peace when we announced we were pregnant. We literally had one day of peace where everybody was nice to us on the Internet. It felt like 'The Twilight Zone.'"

Reality quickly set in, as commenters began to rip her apart for her supposed unhealthy pregnancy, and selfish lifestyle. But the opinions didn't end there; the model has also been the target of truly unkind sentiments about the way she looks, such as that she must be carrying multiples because she's so big.

Tess recently shared a photo of herself on Instagram at 8-months-pregnant, along with a stern message for her pregnant body shamers, which read, in part: "Having another baby has been a beautiful process & at times, frustrating. As I enter my 8th month, my body overall looks the same other than my belly & I'm okay with that. What I've had to be learn to be okay with (WHICH IS NOT COOL) is the fact that people still think it's okay to comment on my body: 'you don't look pregnant', 'you must be have quadruplets', 'you are putting your baby at risk' & a slew of other uneducated statements that are very far from my reality."

Having another baby has been a beautiful process & at times, frustrating. As I enter my 8th month, my body overall looks the same other than my belly & I'm okay with that. What I've had to be learn to be okay with (WHICH IS NOT COOL) is the fact that people still think it's okay to comment on my body: "you don't look pregnant", "you must be have quadruplets", "you are putting your baby at risk" & a slew of other uneducated statements that are very far from my reality 🙄. When "celebrities" are pregnant in the press, they look glamorous, toned & are eager to talk about how they are going to get the baby weight off. While I've done my best to look as put together as possible, that's not real life, & it's not for most women. I'm not the first plus size woman in the public eye to have a baby & share it with the world, & I certainly won't be the last. However I'm part of a small minority that's telling you it's okay to not have a perfect baby bump, or not show at all, to be plus size & have a healthy child, & most importantly to find a care provider that doesn't shame you about your size. It's also okay to tell someone to fuck off when they give you unsolicited advice about what's "best" for you & your baby. As women, we know what's best & that's our business.. No one else's. 👑 #effyourbeautystandards #theresnowrongwaytobeawoman #32weeks #babyhollidayontheway

A post shared by Tess❣️ (@tessholliday) on

Wow, respect. You go, Tess! Besides, as she says, "you can't judge someone's health by their size. I saw my obstetrician on Monday and had a perfectly fine checkup, and my doctor is like, 'I couldn't be happier.' If my doctor thinks I'm OK, then I'm OK, Internet."

Tess hopes her words will help more people understand that women come in all shapes and sizes, and that a woman being skinny with a perfect basektball-like bump doesn't automatically mean she's having the healthiest pregnancy. Even many doctors still need to get on board with the idea that pluz-size moms-to-be deserve respect, according to Tess.

I agree that in general, we all need to be more tolerant of one another's differences, and to exercise discretion when we comment about their life choices and appearance. Besides, whatever happened to treating others with dignity? Geez, people!

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.