Tess Holliday reveals she's recovering from anorexia: 'I'm free'

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Tess Holliday has opened up about her struggles with anorexia, taking to Twitter to share the update.

After years of struggling with her body image, the model shared she is "anorexic and in recovery", adding the eating disorder was the product of "a culture that celebrates thinness".

Tess Holliday made the brave admission on social media that she's currently recovering from anorexia. Photo: Instagram/Tess Holliday
Tess Holliday made the brave admission on social media that she's currently recovering from anorexia. Photo: Instagram/Tess Holliday

"I’m anorexic and in recovery," she wrote. "I’m not ashamed to say it out loud anymore. I’m the result of a culture that celebrates thinness & equates that to worth, but I get to write my own narrative now. I’m finally able to care for a body that I’ve punished my entire life and I am finally free."

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Some fans questioned how Tess could be an advocate for self-love and suffer from an eating disorder, to which she responded, "To everyone saying that I can’t possibly love myself and have an eating disorder, that is the actual definition of loving myself — being able to prioritize myself and to be in recovery.

"I’m more self-aware than any of my critics. But, you know, y’all go off."

After sharing her brave admission with the world, Tess was forced to address trolls who claimed she couldn't have an eating disorder because she isn't underweight.

She shared the news on Twitter. Photo: Twitter
She shared the news on Twitter. Photo: Twitter

"Not the 'but your fat how are you anorexic' comments," she wrote. "Y’all don’t know how science & body works huh. My technical diagnosis is anorexia nervosa and yes, I’m still not ashamed. I’m too damn happy for y’all to even come close to dimming my shine."

One follower responded to Tess, writing, "I had anorexia and bulimia in high school, but I never lost any weight. My hair fell out, but I stayed the same weight. People don't seem to understand that when you starve yourself your body clings to every last fat cell you have."

Another said, "To all those saying she can’t be anorexic because she’s large: there’s a disorder listed in DSM5 called atypical anorexia nervosa... which is when the patient meets all the criteria for anorexia except the low weight. Still considered anorexic.

"You don't have to be extremely thin to have anorexia, plus people with atypical anorexia have very high chances of becoming underweight and eventually meet the criteria for anorexia nervosa, if not treated."

Some fans questioned how Tess could be an advocate for self-love and suffer from an eating disorder. Photo: Getty
Some fans questioned how Tess could be an advocate for self-love and suffer from an eating disorder. Photo: Getty

Someone else added, "Eating disorder therapist here, worked in treatment centers my whole career and second this. We don’t distinguish btw subcategories of diagnoses when talking about patients. It is so harmful to exclude someone from their diagnosis because they don’t match the image in your head."

One fan said, "I really wish my younger self had you to look up to. I remember always thinking I couldn’t be anorexic because I was still fat. Thank you for speaking your truth- you are amazing." 

"Thank you for speaking out honestly. It is so important to change the narrative around what anorexia represents and it takes such courage to speak out about it," wrote another.

"Thank you for being so brave and telling your story. It’s important for people to understand that no matter what size you are you can struggle with anorexia," someone added.

Tess shared a longer statement to Instagram, writing, "To everyone that keeps saying 'you’re looking healthy lately' or 'You are losing weight, keep it up!' Stop.

It comes after Tess asked people to stop commenting on how she'd recently lost weight. Photo: Instagram/Tess Holliday
It comes after Tess asked people to stop commenting on how she'd recently lost weight. Photo: Instagram/Tess Holliday

"Don’t. Comment. On. My. Weight. Or. Perceived. Health. Keep. It. To. Yourself. Thanks."

She continued, "Yes, I’ve lost weight — I’m healing from an eating disorder and feeding my body regularly for the first time in my entire life. When you equate weight loss with 'health' and place value and worth on someone’s size, you are basically saying that we are more valuable now because we are smaller and perpetuating diet culture… and that’s corny as hell. 

"NOT here for it. For folks like me that are trying to reframe our relationships with our bodies and heal, hearing comments about weight is triggering as hell. It sets us back in our progress — and when people working on themselves see you commenting to me that way, it hurts THEM, not just me. 

"I can take it (I shouldn’t have to, but I can) but they didn’t ask for that trauma, ok? If you can’t tell someone they look nice without making it about their size, then baby, please don’t say nuthin at all (sic)."

For confidential support about eating disorders and body image issues you can free call the Butterfly Foundation National Hotline on 1800 33 4673.

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