Body-positivity activist and author Tess Holliday was featured on the front of Self magazine’s first digital cover.
The image — Holliday posing in a backless pink dress — was met with some harsh criticism on social media.
Your health is none of my business? Yeah, it is my business because I have to pay for your outrageously high medical bills for the rest of your life.
Obesity is something that should not be celebrated, unless you like pills, doctors, hospitals, diabetes, heart disease and pain.
— Barry K (@BarryMoskow) June 27, 2018
Tess Holliday is not inspirational. She quite honestly disgusts me. Being overweight is not healthy or something to be proud of. Not sorry.
— Kara Hodge (@kararhodge) June 27, 2018
Tess Holliday is on the cover of a health magazine, we’re truly living in a dystopian future
— ???????? (@emilyurdrunk) June 27, 2018
However, others praised both her cover and profile, written by contributor Ashley C. Ford.
This @SELFmagazine piece by the BRILLIANT funny wise amazing @iSmashFizzle on Tess Holliday has been the bright point of my morning (during an otherwise really abysmal point in the newscycle/history of humanity) https://t.co/h6chkwGFNm
— Sara Murphy (@heysaramurphy) June 26, 2018
Tess! I’m proud and happy for you! I loved the article and read it thoroughly. It was relatable in a lot of levels! Happy for your success.
— Joshua Maldonado (@joshmald89) June 27, 2018
— Jaycëë (@Jaycee_McC) June 27, 2018
Holliday’s profile was featured as part of the magazine’s Weight Issue, a collection of short stories centered on discussions of weight and health. In a letter that served as a prologue to the stories, editor in chief Carolyn Kylstra wrote, “We chose to feature [Holliday] and give her a platform because she has insightful things to say about thriving in a world that devalues bodies of size.”
In the piece, Holliday touches on topics ranging from post-partum depression following the birth of her second child to concern-trolling, and explains how she deals with the latter.
“I just refuse to go down that road, and to feel like I need to prove my health and my worth to people that don’t care.”