What Happened When a Fat Girl Became a Covergirl

What Happened When a Fat Girl Became a Covergirl - Tess Holliday

Another week, another flurry of “Grr! Fat People,” in the media. This week my twitter timeline has been filled with faux concern and moral outrage following beer swillingcannabis smoking, Piers Morgan getting his panties in a twist about a fat girl on a magazine cover. 

Piers has reignited a 6 month old feud with Tess Holliday, following her Cosmo Debut being nominated for cover of the year. He is positively fuming about a fat bird being awarded for doing her job, so much so, that he’s waxed lyrical on Twitter, shouted at my insta fav, Jess Millichamp (for over 5 minutes) and gone on a one man mission to promote not promoting obesity. 

Of course, Piers Morgan is a paid mouthpiece, someone who clings on to relevancy and TV air time by being offended by the inoffensive whilst claiming we are actually the snowflakes. He is easily ignorable, considering we now possess the mute button and who actually watches TV nowadays? And yet here we are again entertaining him , listening to him spout off and all because a big, fat section of the people who are joining in the debate…agree with him. 

Spend two minutes scrolling through his online tantrums or worse the feed of a fat girl on the internet (actually don’t, just don’t go there) and you will see a swarm of people offering their views on other people’s bodies. From the health experts to the frankly grossed out, people still don’t like, won’t accept or don’t want to see fat bodies. And frankly, I am bloody bored of it.

I am bored of repeating the same comebacks, producing the same research and arguing with the same anonymous football supporters on the interweb. So here is a comprehensive list of why people need to get over fat people, which we can all link back to whenever people want to chat about fat bodies…again. 


The biggest backlash against Tess’ iconic magazine cover is the view that having a fat bird visible on the shelf of your local Co-op may lead to a swarm of young teens rushing to partake in 24 hour Mukbangs & pizza parties. I absolutely understand, because as a teen, I saw Britney Spears wrap a snake around herself at the MTV awards once and I’ve been an avid snake charmer ever since (actual Tinder Bio excerpt).

Whether people accuse Tess of promoting, glamourising or encouraging fatness it is basically all the same thing. There is a belief that if fat people are seen in magazines it ‘normalises’ obesity and encourages people to stay exactly as they are…fat.

Of course, for decades, most women’s magazine’s have featured straight sized, (often) photoshopped, thin or very athletic women, and yet a 1/4 of us are still obese. It’s almost like there is no correlation between the images people see in magazines and our body shapes?

All Tess is really doing on that front cover is existing. She isn’t sending out a call to arms for people to get their binge on. She’s just wearing a bloody swimsuit. If anything she’s dressed for sports, mate.

If we really want to get outraged by companies and people that ACTUALLY promote obesity then why aren’t we calling out the many diet companies that actively sell meal plans through magazines? Research has consistently shown that the majority of those that lose weight through diet programs will put the weight lost back on within 3 years and over 40% of those will end up bigger than they started at. Piers was incredulous that Tess made a lot of money from ‘being fat’ and yet with the diet industry now being worth over $200 billion, who is really earning a wedge from ‘fatness?’

What Happened When a 'Fat Girl' became a Covergirl

“BEinG fAT iSn’T healthy”

This is a patient announcement, ‘Dr No Sod All’ is ready to see you now.

I recently shared a post about my own journey with body confidence and overcoming an eating disorder and the many psychologists, therapists and counsellors who had helped me find acceptance – when Dr Ray popped up in my comments section. Dr Ray had read about the multiple qualified health practitioners I had been working with over the past 3 years and seen their advice and thought, “No, I need to share my expert opinion on health and wellbeing garnered from the school of Google and Daily Mail Science with this woman, I can fix her!”

“Fat isn’t healthy though. You’re doing yourself a massive disservice and no doubt shortening your life. Eat a healthy, balanced diet with 30 minutes of daily exercise and everything will take care of itself.” – Dr Ray – Internet Health Know It All.

Cheers Ray, mate. I mean I have spent countless hours listening to people with actual degrees support me with my health but thank Fuck for you popping onto the internet to cure me.

The fact is health really has no size. I once dated a guy who was half the size of me, looked healthy af and yet had type 1 diabetes and nearly died a dozen times. Dinner out was an exciting insulin rollercoaster. You cannot tell someone’s health just by looking at them and let’s be honest, people don’t care about straight sized people’s health conditions. When I was full blown into a period of anorexia and was ‘slim’ for the first time in my life, people were all over me like a rash with compliments and praise. The fact my hair was falling out, my teeth were crumbling, I had acne, gall stones and nerve damage. Bothered? Not one person gave two hoots about my health status then.

When you’re fat, people suddenly become the purse holders of the NHS. For Tess, who’s American, she pays for her own health insurance, so be rest assured her fat ass aint costing you a penny. In the UK, of course, we know that the obesity crisis is costing us coin, and people are all too keen to save the pennies. Lets ignore the fact that fat people also have jobs and pay their national insurance contributions, but if we are really going to start screening people for lifestyle factors which MAY lead to them getting sick, then why aren’t we out here accusing smokers, beers drinkers or mountain climbers of bankrupting our NHS?

Come to think of it, do you know who costs us tax payers a lot of money and who we really should start demanding ‘pay their way?’ OLD PEOPLE! Old people are out here using two fifth’s of our NHS budget on getting crinkly and honestly, I am sick of it! I am here for a Hunger Games style contest to really thin out that ageing crowd. Winner gets a free knee replacement. You in, Nan?

Or perhaps we could show some empathy and a little compassion for people regardless of body size, life lots and choices and recognise that people don’t ‘deserve’ to get ill and everyone deserves health care.

#MentalHealthIsImportant – Except for you Fatty!

It’s Mental Health Awareness week and the people are once again keen for others to reach out, talk about it and look after their emotional wellbeing. That is of course as long as they’re not fat.

We talk about how fixing a ‘broken’ brain is as important as fixing a broken arm but if you’re fat you need to lose a shed loads of weight before your mental health is THAT important. Streams of abuse have been directed to Tess Holliday and any fat person that tried to defend her. Piers Morgan knows too well the abuse he would have directed to these people’s timelines as the hoards crowded to denounce fatness as disgusting, gross and vile. There is one thing you can say about Tess Holliday, she’s as tough as nails for coping with all that unprovoked hatred.

Ultimately, you don’t have to be an international plus size model receiving deluges of abuse to begin to worry about your body image or to have it affect your mental health. The Mental Health Foundation found that 1 in 8 adults in the UK have experienced suicidal thoughts about their body image and 1 in 5 of all UK adults said that images on social media had caused them to worry about their body image. It’s almost like receiving constant messages about what we should look like and how to gain the ‘perfect’ body isn’t making us feel that great after all.

Sure, the people that spout this abuse will say they are ‘shaming’ fat people into losing weight and really it’s ‘good for them’. And babes, if that worked, you’d have the majority of skinny tea users wandering around town naked, with a bell around their necks screaming ‘Shame, Shame, Shame’ into each others faces. The reality is that we’ve spent decades trying to shame people into being thin, and yet we’re getting bigger and bloody sadder.

Here’s a crazy thought, what if people could see themselves represented in a magazine where someone was living life in a fat body without being apologetic? Do you think that might make people feel a tad less bad about their own bodies, a tad less sadder?

What Happened When a Fat Girl Became a Covergirl - Rick Ross

Your Fat Misogyny is Showing. 

Tess Holiday isn’t the first fat person to be on the cover of a magazine. Before her there have been the countless trail blazers of fatness represented in the form of fat men. Biggie Smalls, Rick Ross, Seth Rogen, John Candy etc etc have all graced numerous covers of magazines and there hasn’t been so much as a grunt from Piers and his ilk about being exposed to their love handles.

Now I am not saying people view fat men and fat women differently but if you consider the adjectives for fat guys such as ‘big man,’ ‘unit’ and ‘beefy’ and fat women are all ‘whales,’ ‘cows’ and ‘pulling pigs’ you can see how it might feel a bit different to be fat depending on gender.

In fact, wanting to bone a fat woman comes with it’s own category on PornHub, and if you’ve ever had the joy of dating online as a plus sized women you’ll know all to well how tiresome it is to be considered a ‘kink’ or ‘dirty secret’.

You can’t wax lyrical about how Tess is promoting obesity at the same time you’re calling James Corden a legend (I mean you shouldn’t he’s a douche but he’s also one of the highest paid douches on US TV, so you get my point). Stop being a hypocrite.

I Just Don’t Want to See It!

Finally, a little bit of truth telling from our favourite internet trolls.

We know this is how you really feel, so stop with your health concerns, worries about ‘the children’ and admit, you just don’t like seeing fat people and get over it. It’s not surprising you’ve learnt to hate fat bodies. But your hatred doesn’t stop fat people existing and their right to wear a swimsuit or see themselves represented in a magazine. Do you know what you can do, just don’t buy it.

And Breathe. I feel like this post has only just touched on all my thoughts about fatness and THAT magazine cover. Come and continue this conversation with me in the comments or over on my Instagram. If you want to follow some amazing fat women who's existence makes me a lot more happier on the internet then check out Jess, Grace, Poppy, Em, Steph, Sarah, Chloe, Callie, Charl, George, Dani and Kelli.


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