Tess Holliday hits back at 'horrible people' who body-shame her

PHOTO: Tess Holliday arrives at the Marie Claires 5th Annual Fresh Faces at Poppy on April 27, 2018 in Los Angeles.PlaySteve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images
WATCH Tess Holliday hits back at 'horrible people' who body-shame her

Plus-size model Tess Holliday has no patience for body-shamers.

After Holliday shared an image of herself scantily-clad on the new Cosmopolitan UK magazine cover, she received an avalanche of support from her fans -- but also, a fair amount of criticism from people who accused her of promoting obesity.

"You have to keep having this conversation because that's how things are going to change," Holliday told "Good Morning America," in response to critics. "I'm not recruiting people. I'm literally just telling people to love themselves and it just happens to come from a bigger body."

Holliday also responded to British TV host Piers Morgan, who blasted her on Instagram by calling the cover "dangerous" and "misguided."

"Unlike Piers Morgan, I don't need to troll people to stay relevant," Holliday said. "I just get to have an awesome job and do what I love and hopefully change people's lives."

The no-holds-bar reaction doesn't come as a surprise to anybody who's familiar with the 33-year-old model.

Holliday is well-known for pressing women of all sizes to love their bodies, and in her interview with Cosmo UK, she explained why she launched the movement #effyourbeautystandards.

"I was angry and sad that people kept commenting on my pictures saying, 'You’re too fat to wear that!' or 'Cover up! No one wants to see that!'" she said. "And then one night I was lying in bed and thought, 'F--- that!' So I posted an image with four photographs of myself wearing things that fat women are often told we 'can’t wear,' and encouraged others to do the same."

The hashtag has been used more than 3.2 million times, and Holliday herself has developed a following of more than 1.6 million people. After her cover came out, she tweeted how meaningful it is to be a role model for others, noting, "If I saw a body like mine on this magazine when I was a young girl, it would have changed my life."

Holliday, a mother of two, told "GMA" she is at her heaviest weight yet but is also happier than ever, opening up about her struggle with mental health.

"I am definitely the fattest that I’ve been in my life, but I can gladly say that the past five years, it’s been really transformative for me and I’m able to love a bigger body," said Holliday, who started modeling eight years ago because of a photo she posted on social media.

"Now that I’m on the other side and doing better about mental health I’m able to actually say, ‘Okay, I want to like workout more, do this,'" she said. "You know, you have to take care of your mental state before you can worry about anything else."

Fans of Holliday, who has more than 1.6 million social media followers, backed her up.

"For some reason, I burst into tears when I saw this. Maybe because I used to pore through women's magazines at a teen for HOURS of misery, imagining how much happier I'd be if I looked like them. I just pray this means my daughters won't waste so many formative minutes," wrote one woman on Twitter.

Added another: "Yesssss! If I had seen plus women like me on magazines growing up, it wouldn't have taken 25+ years to love my body. Thank you @Tess_Holliday."