For Tess Holliday, fat-shaming is pretty much a part of daily life. The model was recently overtly body-shamed by her Uber driver and then proceeded to post the evidence online.
Holliday, a size-22 model, went to Instagram to describe an experience in which she was shamed by her driver for not being “healthy” enough.
“Hey, @uber I don’t pay more to use your “black car” service to be told that there’s no way I could possibly be healthy because I’m fat & then questioning it. No one should have to tolerate this at any level of the services you offer. I’m fat. I also have a fat wallet & will no longer be using your services. Ever. Also after I told him I was healthy he turned the radio off & changed the subject. “
Studies have proven that your weight is not necessarily indicative of your health. One can be plus-size and still healthy. So to question her health is not just rude, but also incredibly inaccurate.
Holliday taped a clip of her ride and then captioned the video, “My driver who is fat is questioning if I’m healthy.”
Haters online quickly swarmed to claim that Tess was being a hypocrite because she didn’t like being fat-shamed but then called her driver fat. The criticism prompted Holliday to add,
“Saying my driver is fat was obviously being used as a descriptor & not to insult him. Also, I did not show his face or use his name when filming, it was to be able to show what I deal with daily & why this behavior is unacceptable from anyone.”
We’d like to add that the body positive movement has since reclaimed the word “fat,” as prompted by writer Lindy West. Additionally, Holliday calls herself “fat,” so we refuse to believe that she was trying to insult the driver by then turning around and calling him “fat.” Clearly, these haters don’t understand anything about bopo culture.
We adore Tess Holliday and hate that she has to continue going through this despite her wonderful success in the modeling industry. Holliday’s experience proves that fat-shaming is still one of the few forms of discrimination that is still widely accepted in the U.S. and it’s not cool.
Holliday just launched her MBLM by Tess Holliday collection, which is currently available at Nordstrom, Macys, and Penningtons.
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and The Challenge. When she’s not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her taking an absurd amount of photos of her tuxedo cat Tom.