Saturday, 30 May 2015

Tess Holliday and Me

Over the last few weeks Tess Holliday has been introduced to a worldwide audience after she got signed up to a large modelling agency in London and appeared on a Channel 4 TV show. Tess Holliday is a plus size model; 29 years old, 5 ft three and half inches tall and weighs 280lbs.
(Photo thanks to Tess Holliday's Instagram find her account HERE)

Go to Google snd search for Tess Holliday and you will see page after page with her name on it. In fact only just last week she appeared in the People magazine in the UK. Right now Tess Holliday is being talked about all over the world. 

I wanted to get involved in this worldwide debate that seems to be going on right now... See some people see Tess Holliday as a gorgeous plus size model... others however see her as promoting that it's ok to be fat and unhealthy.

Here's what I think...

When you look at me now you hopefully see a happy, content and sparkly lady... 
(Copyright Clare Elise)


During my school years I got bullied..A LOT! It was a vicious cycle, the more I got bullied the more I reached for the chocolate and the more I gained weight - the more that I gained weight the more I got bullied. Add to that hyper-mobility and dislocating knees and by the time I was age 15 / 16 because I couldn't do much sport, I piled on the weight and began hiding myself underneath baggy shirts and jeans because I was now wearing a UK size 18.

(Copyright Clare Elise, Clare Elise Teenager)

It's sad to say this but I really hate looking at that photo. 

At the age of 16 I started getting on stage and singing pop songs at charity shows.  I remember my Aunty and Mum took me shopping for stage wear and tried to convince me to buy something a little glam and sleek, after all it was all about the glitz and glam on stage, however this didn't happen and that night I went on stage with a long sleeved turquoise shirt and big black trousers and platform shoes - to me it was all about covering up. 

I started out singing on stage in the nineties and at the same time as doing the odd gig I started going along to auditions for girl groups etc. Girl groups were springing up everywhere as The Spice Girls were BIG NEWS. I went along to audition after audition and always got great feedback about my voice, however I'm pretty sure that I got turned away plenty of times because I didn't have "the look" - by that I mean I wasn't a size 8! 
Plenty of nineties popstars have now years on expressed how much image was a HUGE thing in the popworld back then and how much pressure they were under to stay thin. Just look at Claire Richards (STEPS) and all that she's gone through - bless her.

So how does this all relate back to Tess Holliday?

Well here's the thing: I think that if back in the nineties there had been a "Tess Holliday figure" who people respected and accepted because she was a plus size model my life as a teen wouldn't have been so miserable! 

Crazy to think huh?!
But I genuinely think this. 

I think Tess Holliday is helping make the lives of curvy teenage girls everywhere a hell of a lot easier. Good on her for standing up and saying LOVE yourself and your body for what it is. It is about time that things changed and women weren't made to feel bad because they were to fat or to thin. Let's face it in the music world things changed when the curvaceous Adele walked on to the stage and into the spotlight.

I don't normally write long pieces like this on my sparkly blog and I don't always share to much about me, however on this occasion I wanted to share and I wanted to say just how much I respect and admire Tess Holliday. She's curvaceous, ambitious, strong and focused and us women whether a size 20 or a size 0 should be inspired by her enthusiasm and charm.

Thanks Tess Holliday for getting out there and showing the world that curves are just fine! 

Find Tess Holliday here: