Tess Holliday Posts a Photo of Her 'Unlovable' 13-Year-Old Self & Inspires Others to Share Their 'Misfit' Stories


For supermodel and badass mama Tess Holliday -- and many of us -- our prepubescent years were rough and riddled with moments of trying to fit in and be considered cool and "pretty." But as Holliday proves in a recent Instagram post, not fitting in doesn't equal not being beautiful or worthy at all. 

  • In the post, Holliday shared a throwback pic of her when she was 13 years old and entering her first and only beauty pageant; next to that is a recent photo of her current supermodel self.

    "Growing up in Mississippi, pageants were life and all of the 'pretty' girls did them, and my god, how badly I wanted to feel beautiful and fit in," she wrote in the caption. 

    She recalled how her mom looked all over town and could only find one dress that fit her, while the other girls showed more skin and were more dolled up. At the time, Holliday couldn't help but compare herself to them and how she couldn't fit into the textbook definition of "beauty."

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  • " ... I remember the pit in my stomach of feeling so unlovable and unworthy because to me, I didn't look like them," Holliday continued.

    Once onstage, Holliday didn't feel any better. When asked about her hobby, she said "collecting Tweety Bird," and the audience laughed and she held back tears. 

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  • "Unsurprisingly, I didn't win that night, but man, did I end up winning in life ... "

    "I wish someone could have shown that sad, lonely 13-year-old kid the photo on the right of her future: shooting a fashion campaign in Paris, wearing a gown that not only fits me, but allows me to no longer hide," she continued. 

    Even though she's come a long, long way, Holliday still has those moments where she feels like that 13-year-old girl -- and she wants others who feel similarly to know that they're not alone. 

    "Life is weird, but things always have a way of working out," she said. 

  • In the comments, people called Holliday an "inspiration," and shared their own experiences with not fitting in when they were younger based on superficial reasons.

  • Keep doing what you're doing, Holliday! 

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