Tess Holliday is best known for launching the super successful #EffYourBeautyStandards hashtag on Instagram, and the accompanying account on which her and seven others share body positive affirmations and stories. She was also the first UK size 26 model to appear on the cover of People Magazine.
As such, anyone who knows of Holliday and her work would know better than to scrutinise her weight without expecting a backlash. When an Uber driver ostensibly did just that, the model and activist was fast to expose his inappropriate behaviour on Instagram. She also vowed to boycott the cab company for the staff member’s intrusive comments.
In a video shared with her 1.4 million followers, Holliday’s driver can be heard saying: “Cholesterol?” To which she answers: “My cholesterol is fine, yep – perfect. I’m healthy.”
Explaining in the caption how he had asked after her health and then challenged her when she said she was healthy, she said: “No one should have to tolerate this at any level of the services you offer,” she wrote. “I’m fat. I also have a fat wallet & will no longer be using your services.”
Hey @uber I don't pay more to use your "black car" service to be told that there's no way I could possibly be healthy because I'm fat & then questioning it. No one should have to tolerate this at any level of the services you offer. I'm fat. I also have a fat wallet & will no longer be using your services. Ever. Also after I told him I was healthy he turned the radio off & changed the subject. #putmymoneywheremymouthis #uberdriver #uber Edited to add: saying my driver is fat was obviously being used as a descriptor & not to insult him. Also I did not show his face or use his name when filming, it was to be able to show what I deal with daily & why this behavior is unacceptable from anyone.
A post shared by Plus Model🎀Mom 🎀Feminist🎠 (@tessholliday) on
Holliday edited the caption later to comment on the fact that when she wrote over the photo that her driver was “fat” that she hadn’t meant this in a derogatory way. She also explained that sharing the footage was to highlight “what [she deals] with daily & why this behavior is unacceptable from anyone.”
In response, Uber released a statement to E! News saying: "We expect all riders and drivers to treat each other with respect as laid out in our Community Guidelines."
No one should have to deal with being victimised for their appearance, especially when in a confined space with someone whom you’ve paid for a service from. So it’s great to see Holliday show her followers that she doesn’t accept effective body-shaming and nor should they.
Image: Rex Features