On September 20, TV show host Piers Morgan published an open letter in The Daily Mail to plus-size British model Tess Holliday flat out calling her fat. His letter was a direct response to Holliday scoring the front page of Cosmopolitan’s October issue.
According to Morgan, Holliday, who stands at 5ft 3in and weighs over 300lbs, is morbidly obese, and for a good reason.
The medical establishment gives that definition to anyone who is more than 100lbs overweight or has a BMI (Body Mass Index – the ratio of an individual’s height to his or her weight) of 40 or more.
What bothers Morgan the most is that Holliday and the magazine seem to be celebrating the fact that Holliday is overweight and promoting positive body image with her story while ignoring the evident health complications she may be facing. And as bold as his letter is, Morgan already expects an army of Holliday's fans to come after him.
That’s not me being a ‘fat-shaming douchebag’, as your legion of fans will doubtless immediately scream.
While his letter seems quite blunt, it has a positive end to it, encouraging Holliday to lose weight for the sake of her health and to stop encouraging obese people to celebrate obesity.
Wake up, shape up and be the brilliant role model you COULD be if you just stopped listening to those fools who want to celebrate your morbid obesity. You can do it, and I will be the first to salute, and celebrate you if you do.
She got married and nobody knew
In 2017, then 32-year-old Holliday revealed that she had been secretly married for two years. Her husband Nick is an Australian artist and businessman. The couple got married in a private wedding, attended only by close family members and friends.
Holliday met her husband Nick in 2012 on Tumblr, after he reached out to her and complimented her for her confidence and her position on positive body image. Their wedding took place on July 5, 2015.
Together, they share two children: 12-year-old son Rylee from her previous relationship and 2-year-old son Bowie. While raising two small children can be difficult for most mothers, Holliday says she has a good hang on things.
Raising kids can be tough
Speaking with People in July, Holliday said she manages her children quite well despite her size. Bath time can be problematic for her, especially when her boys want to join in. Nevertheless, she manages to scoot over for them and it’s not always an easy fit.
Holliday battled with postpartum depression after the birth of her son and is only just recovering from it. But by April, she had survived the worst of it.
I thought in my head: ‘I wish I could just vanish. I’ve never had suicidal thoughts, or self harm, but the thoughts of just wanting to stop hurting and feeling helpless were new and frankly overwhelming.
Morgan’s open letter is still sparking a lot of debate in the media and some commentators have called him out for body shaming. Nevertheless, his concerns about Holliday’s health and wellbeing seem genuine and the fact is that obesity is a high-risk condition.
Those who are diagnosed with it are at greater risk for illnesses including diabetes, high blood pressure, gallstones, osteoarthritis, heart disease and cancer.