Tess Holliday Shares the Surprising Moment She Learned to Love Her Body

tess hollidayOne of the reasons model Tess Holliday's fans love her so much -- besides her beauty -- is because her unbounded confidence is so inspiring to women of all shapes and sizes. But where did that sureness from? In a recent interview, Holliday let her fans in on her secret to banishing body shame and loving her unique curves.

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Holliday tells Refinery29 that it was when she saw nude photos of herself that she became more comfortable with her body.

Yup, the very thing that often creates more body shame for women did the very opposite for Tess. You could almost say she fell in love with her body when she looked at it bare, artfully photographed but without any airbrushing. She says:

I think it was the first time I shot nude. One of my old friends shot me in her bathtub for a plus-size french online magazine called Volup. She put a filter on the photos, but she didn’t Photoshop my body, and it was the first time I had seen my fat rolls like that — that I had seen my belly.

That's amazing! Think about the way we usually see our selves naked -- when we ever do. It's usually in the bathroom or bedroom, arms limp at our sides. We often zero in on our perceived flaws with a critical eye.

And that's when we dare look. When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror nude? Many of us avoid full-length mirrors altogether. We assume it's all bad news, and we don't want to see it.

Well, here's how looking at that nude photo made Holliday feel:

I remember looking at the photos and thinking, 'Oh, I don’t look that bad. I actually look pretty good naked.' It was those photos that really made me feel comfortable. Also, my fiancé is very body positive. Having somebody love your body always makes you feel good as well.

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We rarely get the opportunity for a glamorous nude photo shoot like Holliday's. But what if, the next time you got out of the shower, you posed yourself coyly, as if posing for one? Instead of standing like a medical textbook illustration, what if you struck a flirtatious pose, angled to highlight your favorite features?

For that matter, what if we looked at our bodies through the eyes of a lover? Whether you're in a relationship with someone who loves your body or you have to imagine such a person, see yourself through their rose-tinted filter. In their mind, your supposed flaws recede and the most delicious parts of you beckon. 

I have a good friend who says she looks better naked. She doesn't have what our culture typically considers a "hot" body. She says clothes seem to cut up her body into awkward segments (She wears them anyway, of course!). But nude, all those parts seem to fit together seamlessly in a way that is harmonious. She's so enamored of her body, in fact, that she had topless boudoir photos taken as an engagement present for her fiancé.

I think one of the big keys to body acceptance is our imagination. If you don't love what you see in the mirror, try pretending that you do. Impersonate someone who thinks your gorgeous and see what happens.

Do you ever look at yourself naked? How does it make you feel?

 

Image via Tess Holliday/Instagram

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