After receiving a slew of messages commenting on her recent weight loss, plus-size model Tess Holliday decided to address them, revealing that she is in recovery for anorexia.
"I'm anorexic & in recovery," Holliday, 35, wrote in a tweet Saturday afternoon. "I'm the result of a culture that celebrates thinness & equates that to worth, but I get to write my own narrative now." Holliday ended the tweet saying she's "finally able to care for a body that I've punished my entire life & I am finally free."
Just a quick recap: Anorexia—known technically as anorexia nervosa—is an eating disorder characterized by extremely restricted eating, the pursuit of thinness, a distorted body image, and an intense fear of gaining weight, according to the National Institutes of Mental Health. It affects up to 0.6% of the adult US population, and though it can affect any person at any age, the Office on Women's Health says it's more commonly seen in girls and women. While anorexia has been associated with extreme thinness, anyone can suffer from the condition, regardless of weight or size.
Holliday didn't only make her announcement on Twitter; she also took to Instagram to answer comments about her weight. "To everyone that keeps saying 'you're looking healthy lately' or 'You are losing weight, keep it up!' Stop," the mother of two wrote, captioning an image of herself in a red bra, along with screenshots of her tweets. "Don't. Comment. On. My. Weight. Or. Perceived. Health. Keep. It. To. Yourself. Thanks."
The comments were overwhelmingly positive, praising Holliday for her courage. "THIIISSSS. Thank you for this caption," wrote fellow plus-size model Jennie Runk in the comments. "So many people need to hear this." Young Sheldon star Danielle Pinnock followed, saying "PREACH THIS GOOD WORD SIS!!!!"
This isn't first time the #effyourbeautystandards creator was outspoken about comments on her size. "It's not easy to choose love towards a body that so many find 'disgusting', & sometimes I wonder if that's why so many of us spend so much time hating ourselves," Holliday wrote in an Instagram caption from 2019, sharing a close-up of her stomach and tattooed thigh. "To radically love yourself is hard work, but my god it's worth it. My body has served me well, it's taught me things about myself, and others, that I didn't think were possible."
The body positive activist has long fought against the association health with thinness, before trolls mentioned that she couldn't possibly have anorexia because of her size. "Not the 'but [you're] fat how are you anorexic' comments," Holliday wrote in a tweet. "Y'all don't know how science and body works huh. My technical diagnosis is anorexia nervosa & yes, I'm still not ashamed. I'm too damn happy for y'all to even come close to dimming my shine."
As Holliday pushed back against the haters, she ended with some actionable advice for anyone who comes across her page: "If you can't tell someone they look nice without making it about their size, then baby, please don't say nuthin at all."
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