When Tess Holliday was featured in May 2015 in People magazine, I saw some commentary discussing whether Tess was a “good role model.” I felt very uneasy when I saw this.
Not even getting into the arguments that we can look up to people for their talents or accomplishments without wanting to look like them. Not even getting into the fact that people seem to always be quick to point out that happy fat people could be construed as “promoting obesity.” Not even getting into the fact that if a thin or average sized person becomes famous for their accomplishments or talents, nobody questions their body and whether it compromises their worthiness as a role model.
Not even taking any of these things into account, I’m going to go so far as to say that we NEED fat role models. Yes, I said it. Not just “it’s okay that they exist.” I’m saying that I’m glad that they exist, because we need them.