photo: Facebook/TessHoliday
Whether you follow plus-size fashion and body positivity or not, there is one name showing up everywhere: Tess Holliday. The former Walmart-employee-turned-supermodel has a fascinating Cinderella story.

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Tess Holiday is the first size 22 model to be signed by a major a modeling agency.

photo: Facebook/ Tess Holliday
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Now 30 years old, she was born in Mississippi and moved around the south a lot as a kid. Her given name is Ryann Hoven.

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Far from the glitz and glamour of modeling, Holliday had a rough childhood. Her mother was disabled after being shot twice in the head by an ex-boyfriend.

photo: Instagram/Tess Holliday

 

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She was bullied in school and told BuzzFeed that her stepdad used to punch her repeatedly in the stomach. Through it all she always dreamed of being a model.

Source: BuzzFeed 

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She had her son, Riley, at age 20, and worked at a Mississippi Walmart to pay the bills. After she moved to L.A. — not to model, to be with a man she met on OK Cupid — she was discovered.

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A casting director found her portfolio online and just like that, she was fronting billboards.

photo: Faceboook/Tess Holliday
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At under 5'4" and approximately 280 pounds, she doesn't care if people call her fat or plus-size or curvy. “The reality is I am fat. It’s a word. It’s an adjective. And I don’t care.”

Whoever made this, ☎️ call me- you are my new best friend ????

A photo posted by ➕Size Model | Mom | Brat???? (@tessholliday) on

Source: BuzzFeed

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Her body is covered in tattoos of Mae West, Miss Piggy, Marilyn Monroe, and Dolly Parton.

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She is also obsessed with Hello Kitty.

???????????? playing with my #mothersday present like an adult... Dammit. ???????????? (#hellokitty voice by my neighbor)

A video posted by ➕Size Model | Mom | Brat???? (@tessholliday) on

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She met her fiancé, Nick Holliday, in 2012 through Tumblr. According to People, he reached out and said, "I love how you inspire other women." He's also her manager.

photo: Facebook/Tess Holiday

Source: People

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Holliday spun her wildly successful body positive hashtag, #effyourbeautystandards, into a line of merch...

photo: Facebook/TessHolliday
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...but a scandal broke out when customers claimed they never received their purchases.

photo: Facebook/TessHoliday
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Holliday told Refinery29 that she would never intentionally "defraud" her fans. "I have had more than a few tearful and restless nights over it. The reality is that I've done the best I can, and have tried to make everyone happy," she said.

photo: Facebook/ Tess Holliday

Source: Refinery29

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Now six months pregnant, Holliday is using her pregnancy to further promote body acceptance and positivity.

photo: Facebook/TessHolliday
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In February, she announced her first capsule collection named MBLM, available exclusively through Canada's Penningtons.

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Then, in late February, fitness personality Ashy Bines came for Holliday on Instagram, saying that she is not a good role model and drawing the below comparison...

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Holliday had the perfect response.

Oh no, a fitness instagramer doesn't like me because I'm fat & a bad "role model". I'm gonna go change who I am entirely...

Posted by Tess Holliday on Thursday, February 25, 2016
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And that's why we love her. She twirls on her haters and, in her own words, is "not going anywhere ... sorry for anyone that hates me."

photo: Youtube/MichaelKorte