Tess Holliday

Tess Holliday is a plus-size model who has been crowned the first plus-size supermodel. Holliday, who is a size 22, has been getting shine recently and isn’t ashamed of her curves. She recently became the first plus-size model to grace the cover of People magazine and previously launched #effyourbeautystandards to promote positive body images.

It’s great that fashion is now getting more diverse when it comes to standards of beauty. But clearly, fashion forgot about all the plus-size models—namely, women of color—who came before Holliday. And speaking of color, Holliday seems to think that black men love her.

During a recent interview with The Guardian, Holliday and the writer were sitting at a café when a black guy walked by and catcalled her.

“What do guys think they’ll achieve by yelling something?” Holliday asked. “They’re like: ‘She’ll love this, I’ll definitely get her number.’” She then added, “I do admit that black men love me. I always forget that, and then I come to a black neighborhood and I remember.”

Even the person conducting the interview was shocked that Holliday mentioned this: “And no one quite knew what to say,” the writer wrote in response to Holliday’s comments.


Well, that writer may not have known what to say, but a few of The Root staffers did. The reactions that came soon after The Guardian’s article was sent to our staff email were interesting. 

Danielle Belton, associate editor:

Um … “Good for her”?

I also want to add that “black guys like me” too, if we’re only basing this on who hollers at you on the street. And if we’re talking about men who are straight, there’s a dude for every kind of lady person and I HIGHLY doubt she polled “all” the black guys to get this opinion. 

But this is a common confusion that “Unemployed dude on the corner” = ALL BLACK MEN.


Kirsten West Savali, senior writer:

Stephen Crockett, associate editor:


Breanna Edwards, newswriter:

Needless to say, Holliday may want to learn to choose her words better. Sure, there may be some black men out there who will holler at her on the streets, but there are also those who wouldn't give her a second glance. And as one who touts herself as a feminist, I'd hope Holliday isn't using catcalls as a form of validation.