Tess Holliday opens up about her struggles with sexual assault and mental health.
The 33-year-old model is the star of Cosmopolitan U.K.‘s Oct. 2018 issue. The body-positive icon talks to the publication about the highs and lows of her career.
“I remember very vividly driving in the car with Bowie [her two-year-old son] and I thought to myself, I wish I could just disappear. I wish I could vanish,” Holliday says. The mother of two describes a period between Jan. 2017 and spring 2018 during which her mental health was at an all-time low.
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“It felt at that point like I was causing everyone around me so much pain,” she continues. “It felt like a never-ending black hole. I was so tired of hurting… I just didn’t want to be here anymore.”
Holliday also reveals she was sexually assaulted by one man on two separate occasions, though at the time she did not fully comprehend what had happened.
“The first time I went back to his room. I thought he was cute. I was into him but I didn’t want to have sex. He forced himself onto me,” Holliday explains. “I was also told I had no choice. And that’s why I didn’t realize it was rape.”
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“The second time I was in his living room and he started making moves on me,” she elaborates. “I didn’t want it to happen and said no again, but it happened again.”
But Holliday also expresses the new-found confidence she has in herself and the happy life she lives at 300 pounds. “If I saw a body like mine on this magazine when I was a young girl, it would have changed my life,” she captions an Instagram photo of the Cosmo cover. “And [I] hope this does that for some of y’all.”
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Phew, I’m literally a COSMO GIRL!! Can’t believe I’m saying that! 😭😭 Thank you @cosmopolitanuk & @farrahstorr for this incredible opportunity 🙏🏻 If I saw a body like mine on this magazine when I was a young girl, it would have changed my life & hope this does that for some of y’all 💕 Issue hits stands 8/31! 🎉🎉🎉🎉 Photo by the incredible @wattsupphoto #effyourbeautystandards
The full interview appears in the Oct. 2018 issue of Cosmopolitan U.K. on sale Friday.
(WARNING: COARSE LANGUAGE)