Tess Holliday is calling those who trashed her now infamous "strawberry dress" saying their criticism had more to do with her weight than her style choice.
Back in January, the plus size model turned heads when she walked the red carpet at the 2020 Grammy Awards. In a now iconic fashion moment, the 35-year-old worked her full figure in a pale pink, sparkly strawberry pink frock from designer Lirika Matoshi.
The whimsical choice landed the Mississippi native on numerous worst dressed lists and she became the subject of some cruel online posts.
Months later, fashion critics seemed to change their tune. The buzzed-about berry frock, which retails for $490, quickly became fashionistas' summer-must according to The New York Post . To date the hashtag #StrawberryDress has racked up 8.1 million views on TikTok, been tagged in nearly 13,000 posts on Instagram and was the focus of a feature by Vogue.
Matoshi told the Post that demand for the strawberry dress surged 738% through the first ten days of August, as compared to July and “people are seeing the dress as an escape from life right now.”
“I like how this dress had me on worst dressed lists when I wore it in January but now bc a bunch of skinny ppl wore it on TikTok everyone cares,” she tweeted on Sunday, in a post that has since gone viral with over 250,000 likes. “To sum it up: our society hates fat people, especially when we are winning.”
She doubled down on her message when some followers said they didn't see what the big deal was.
“I’m aware some people said I looked nice in my Grammys dress and I never said I didn’t make best dressed lists as well as WORST dressed, but y’all are purposely ignoring the important part of my post: SOCIETY TREATS FAT PEOPLE LIKE WE ARE INVISIBLE,” Holliday stressed.
The body-positive blogger did also receive also outpouring of support.
“Hey everybody, I wasn’t expecting the post about my strawberry dress to blow up the way it did. Thank you to everyone who has shared my post in solidarity,” she tweeted in appreciation. “Like it or not, please understand that just because you have never been shamed for your size, doesn’t make it less valid.”
While speaking with Vulture, Holliday explained she had no idea the dress had become a viral sensation until a friend sent her a Twitter thread about it.
'This person was like, "I find it really ironic that Holliday wore this dress at the Grammys in January, and no one gave a s**t until slender people on TikTok were wearing it." I looked, saw that it was in fact trending,' she said.
'I really started to examine, Well, why is this so popular now? Why are people acting like it’s new? That’s when I started to get a little frustrated.'
Holliday first burst on to the fashion scene following the birth of her son when she was 20-years-old. After moving to L.A., she started modeling for the edgy plus-size brand Torrid and became the face of the A&E documentary television series Heavy. In January 2015, London-based modeling agency Milk Model Management announced that they had signed Holliday to their plus-size division, Curves, making her the largest plus-size model of her size and height to be signed to a mainstream modeling agency,
She has since gone on to star in campaigns for H&M, Benefit Cosmetics and Addition Elle, work with famed photographer David LaChapelle, be featured in Vogue Italia, Nylon, Marie Claire UK and graced the cover of PEOPLE Magazine.