Beauty / Fashion

Tess Holliday: Taking the Modeling Industry by Storm

You’ve probably heard or read about the name “Tess Holliday” and wonder what’s all the fuss about her. Well, get to know the amazing size-22 woman who is the first ever model of her size to be signed up for a major company.

Born Ryann Hoven in July of 1985 in Mississippi, Tess Holliday has the face that will mesmerize you and a personality that will make you want to sit down and get to know her a lot better. But looking at her, you’ll never know she’s had a rough life.


Living in a small town wasn’t easy for her. She was constantly bullied for being a plus size, short and fair skinned. That didn’t stop her though from trying her luck at a casting call for plus size models in Atlanta. She didn’t get listed though and it made her think that her dreams of being a model might only be nothing but a dream.

At the age of 17, Tess turned to her first love, makeup artistry. She dropped out of school due to relentless bullying. Then, she earned her GED, packed everything and left to travel across the country to pursue her dreams. After she’d mastered her craft, she started getting hired as head makeup artist, creative director and hair stylist for various fashion shows. However, despite her success in makeup artistry, she still felt something was amiss. So, she moved to Los Angeles in 2010. This decision changed her life forever.

Within a few months of living in LA, Tess made her lifelong dream of becoming a professional model come true. She became a finalist of Torrid’s House of Dreams Model Search and the face of Heavy, an A&E TV show. She then appeared in print ads for Heavy, which were featured in People Magazine, NY Magazine and other publications as well as billboards all over the USA.


Earlier this year, Ms. Holliday signed up with Milk Model Management, which made her the first ever model to be signed to a major modeling company. Milk management said that Tess’ angelic face and no-holds-bar character aren’t the only reason they were interested in her. Tess has spearheaded an Instagram campaign to empower women called #EffYourBeautyStandard.

Today, she continues to be an inspiration and a role model for a lot of women, especially those who consider themselves inferior over “normal-sized” women. With Tess’ encouragement and confidence, she’ll be turning things around in the world of modelling in no time.

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