If you don’t know Tess Holliday, it’s about time that you become acquainted with this passionate advocate for body positivity and inclusivity. She just made waves on the runway at New York Fashion Week, and when you see the dress she was wearing, you’ll know why.

Challenging the norms

Today reports that Holliday, 34, wore a dress with a message in her first-ever big NYFW show for designer swimsuit brand Chromat. The white, floor-length dress was anything but ordinary and one people will probably be talking about for the rest of the week. In black letters all over the dress the words “sample size” were written. This was clearly a diss towards the unrealistic sample sizes of 0-4 that models are expected to wear on the catwalk – and we’re so here for it. It’s about time that someone at a big fashion show speaks out, and this is exactly what Holliday did with that dress.

Tess Holliday Dissed the Fashion Industry in the Best Way Possible at New York Fashion Week Bad Yogi

Holliday’s dress challenged the norms of the fashion industry.
Image: Getty Images

Celebrating diversity and inclusivity

Holliday was really happy about how it had all gone down, taking to Instagram after to voice her excitement and thank Chromat for being part of positive change, adding that walking the runway for the brand was “one of the most memorable and emotional moments” of her life.

Holliday also thanked all the people who had helped her to get to where she is today, saying that they all supported her emotionally throughout it all. “Everyone you see in this photo at some point hyped me up, held my hand, let me cry with them & we all shared so much laughter and pure joy. I wish I could have bottled up the love in this room so that y’all all could feel what I was so lucky to experience!” she wrote.

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Last night was hands down, one of the most memorable and emotional moments of my entire career…. hell, my life! Everyone you see in this photo at some point hyped me up, held my hand, let me cry with them & we all shared so much laughter and pure joy. I wish I could have bottled up the love in this room so that y’all all could feel what I was so lucky to experience! 😭 This is what diversity looks like, this is the future. We have always been here, but no one paid attention or cared because most of us pictured are outside of status quo of what’s considered traditionally “beautiful”. We deserve to take up space, and trust me, we will. To know that I’ve spent my entire career advocating for more diversity in the fashion industry, and to be able to share the runway with so many others with the same mission was a feeling I will never forget. Representation matters. We matter. You matter. Never give up or give in. (Also plz comment if you were in the show with me so I can tag y’all!) TY @chromat @beccamccharentran ILYSM!! #effyourbeautystandards #chromatbabes #nyfw

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Holliday also took the time to speak about diversity and inclusivity of plus-size models, saying that they all deserve to be seen and know that they are beautiful: “This is what diversity looks like, this is the future. We have always been here, but no one paid attention or cared because most of us pictured are outside of [the] status quo of what’s considered traditionally ‘beautiful.’ We deserve to take up space, and trust me, we will.”

We can finally see some change

Uhm, can we have a hell yes? It’s so amazing to see plus-size models on the runway at such a big fashion event. Chromat is no stranger to making headlines when it comes to inclusivity and diversity. Founded in 2010, the brand prides itself on embracing women of all sizes, shapes, and physical abilities. On top of featuring Holliday in its show, several other plus-size models along with pregnant model Bianca Cook walked the runway. To top it off, model Ericka Hart, who is a breast cancer survivor, joined Holliday on the runway, proudly showing off her double mastectomy scars.

This year’s NYFW surely isn’t holding back. Holliday is proud of the fact that her life’s work is finally starting to pay off – she’s been an advocate for this for so long, and now it’s finally happening. “To know that I’ve spent my entire career advocating for more diversity in the fashion industry, and to be able to share the runway with so many others with the same mission was a feeling I will never forget,” she said.

Holliday is representing what people need and want to see right now

This is, of course, not the first time Holliday makes waves with her work. People have been supporting her mantras of self-love and inclusivity for a while now. Holliday even appeared on the cover of Self magazine last summer and she makes it her job to keep inspiring her 1.9 million followers on Instagram with body-positive photos and messages. In one of her posts about Chromat, she had an important message for her fans: “Representation matters. We matter. You matter. Never give up or give in.”

Tess Holliday Dissed the Fashion Industry in the Best Way Possible at New York Fashion Week Bad Yogi

Holliday is a long-time ambassador for body positivity.
Image: Getty Images

Her fans were very excited about her appearance at NYFW, with one commenting on her post with “Yasss girl! Thank you for giving us a voice” while another said that “it’s so important to see plus-size being represented! We aren’t invisible!!!”

No matter what your size, you’re beautiful

We agree –  the plus-sized population is not invisible. In fact, the number of women who don’t fit into the plus-size category is less than those who do. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and no matter what shape or size you are, you’re beautiful and unique. You’re you, that’s your superpower. Never forget that.

It’s great to see all this inclusivity at NYFW this year. Holliday’s debut for Chromat comes after that of 9-year-old Daisy-May Demetre, who made history walking the runway this weekend as the first double amputee model. Keep doing what you’re doing NYFW, we like what we’re seeing.

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