If you are a woman who identifies as plus-size, this week will be a mixed bag of emotions for you.
At first you’ll feel like a kite soaring high above a sun-drenched beach. The next moment you’ll feel like you’re hurtling back down towards the sand, all because a bratty kid threw their dirty sandal at you and knocked you clean out of the sky.
You’ll feel like this because this week, Cosmopolitan UK released their October 2018 cover featuring plus-size model, body image activist and author Tess Holliday.
From the moment I saw that cover my reaction went from one of sheer delight to spine-tingling fear, because I knew what was coming next.
Before we could even take a moment to appreciate the glory of the deep green swimsuit Tess is sporting, or covet her mermaidesque hair, legions of people were opening up their social media apps ready to debate whether or not her body on the cover was “empowering” or “dangerous”.
Leading the stance that the newly released magazine cover is a positive and important step forward for body diversity and acceptance is Tess herself (real name Ryann Maegen Hoven) who posted the cover to her Instagram account accompanied by a message so joyous and proud that it surely sent a splinter of hope through the soul of every woman who chanced upon it.
“Phew, I’m literally a COSMO GIRL!! Can’t believe I’m saying that!” wrote Tess. “If I saw a body like mine on this magazine when I was a young girl, it would have changed my life.”
Phew, I’m literally a COSMO GIRL!! Can’t believe I’m saying that! ???????? Thank you @cosmopolitanuk & @farrahstorr for this incredible opportunity ???????? If I saw a body like mine on this magazine when I was a young girl, it would have changed my life & hope this does that for some of y’all ???? Issue hits stands 8/31! ???????????????? Photo by the incredible @wattsupphoto #effyourbeautystandards
Within minutes, her army of Instagram fans, 1.6 million of them in total, were gliding into her comments section to talk about what the existence of this cover meant to them and so many of their comments mirrored my own thoughts.