I got a lot of backlash from the Tess Holiday post I did this week. Even though the initial post said “This cover can be called controversial”, which is obviously is looking at all the discussion that followed, I instantly felt regret posting it.

The conversations that followed were intense. There was no, or very limited, intellectual debate. Instead, there was a lot of attacking, generalizing, taking things out of context, and projecting of some of my friends’ own problems on the issue.

As Corbett mentioned correctly, Facebook is not the place to have this discussion. However, there are some points that I’d still like to make and there are some things that I should rectify. (And thank you, Rachel, for bringing this to my attention).

My problems with the Tess Holiday issue:

  • My problem is not with Tess itself. Even though I do believe that she is not sincere. I know many overweight people that do, in fact, embrace their heavier frame and they are okay with that and I believe and respect that. They also do not celebrate or promote their weight, and they definitely don’t tell me or other people to quote “Kiss their fat ass”. Tess pretends to fully embrace her weight and pretends to be proud of “who she is and how she is”, but at the same time, she is on a Cosmopolitan cover wearing make-up and heavily photoshopped. The hypocrisy here is flat-out annoying to me and it’s a big part why I simply do not buy into the facade.
  • Obesity should not be promoted or embraced. I’m just baffled by how I need to explain to people that the being morbidly obese is a disease. It’s affecting the quality of life, decreases lifespan, affects people around them and costs an INSANE amount of money, and this is in the states alone. And this is 100% preventable.

What I should have added:

  • I’m all for accepting a wider view of what’s “normal” when it comes to beauty standards. I don’t think that our former standard with overly skinny catwalk models was healthy at all. Maybe I should have stated this but haven’t we long passed this idea?
  • Rachel brought up to me that I could be sending out the wrong signal and brought Ashley Graham to my attention. I’ve looked into her and I think she is the perfect example of what being a plus sized model that can also still portray a healthy lifestyle.

 

My view on the Cosmopolitan issue stands. I think they’ve pushed the narrative too far to the extreme by putting Tess on the cover. Being overweight to the point of killing yourself from the inside is not something that should be glorified. Instead, attention should be more towards women like Ashley Graham that can demonstrate self-acceptance, health and a couple of pounds more.

 

Always appreciate thoughtful discussion,

 

Mark

 

 

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