Piers Morgan slams obese model
CONTROVERSIAL British columnist Piers Morgan has written a brutal "open letter" to the plus-size American model Tess Holliday, slamming her for promoting a "pathway to sickness, misery and possible death."
Holliday weighs 136kg and wears a US size 22, or a size XXXL. She is proud of her weight, says she exercises several times a week with a trainer and doesn't believe in diets.
Her profile has boomed off the back of social media's body-positive movement - she has 1.7 million Instagram followers - and says she is teaching women to love their curves.
"That's not me being a 'fat-shaming douchebag', as your legion of fans will doubtless immediately scream. That's just a fact," he wrote.
"The medical establishment gives that definition to anyone who is more than 100lbs (45kg) overweight or has a BMI (Body Mass Index - the ratio of an individual's height to his or her weight) of 40 or more. That's YOU."
Health experts say a healthy body mass index (BMI) is between 18 and 25.
Morgan's comments come off the back of the huge backlash surrounding Holliday's current cover shoot for Britain's Cosmopolitan magazine.
Donning a green swimsuit and blowing a kiss, Holliday's bold image is accompanied by the words: "A supermodel roars: Tess Holliday wants the haters to kiss her ass".
Many criticised the decision to put Holliday on the cover as an attempt to normalise obesity.
But Holliday hit back, saying: "If I saw a body like mine on this magazine when I was a young girl, it would have changed my life."
She also hit back at those trolling her weight.
"To everyone saying I'm a burden to the British health care system, I'm American so you don't have to worry about my fat ass," she tweeted.
"Worry about what horrible people you are by whining about how me being on the cover of a glossy magazine impacts your small minded life."
In his article, Morgan argued no one could be Holliday's weight and be "genuinely happy".
"Right now, I think you're trapped in a hellish spiral of self-delusion in which your soaring fame and fortune is entirely dependent on you remaining morbidly obese," Morgan wrote.
"You're only getting the cover of Cosmo and endless TV appearances because you're massively, dangerously overweight yet feigning joy. The editors and producers paying you large sums of money to glamorise your morbid obesity are cynically exploiting you. They're your enablers," he wrote.
"Cosmopolitan sat you in a throne and declared you're 'a role model for others who've been excluded this way', you're 'downright honest' and you're 'everything the fashion industry needs right now' because you 'don't conform to the narrow standard of beauty that's been set by society."
Morgan described these claims as "absolute nonsense".
"The bottom line is that there's nothing remotely powerful or inspiring about a 5ft 3in person breaking the scales at 300lbs (130kg). It's just a guaranteed pathway to sickness, misery and possible death," he wrote.
"So I urge you to stop pretending your body is radiating some great 'positive image' to the world. It's not.
"Wake up, shape up and be the brilliant role model you COULD be if you just stopped listening to those fools who want to celebrate your morbid obesity."
He said the "most inspirational" thing Holliday could so is start to lose weight.
"If your own friends are telling you that you look 'damn good' in a photo that is so obviously deeply unflattering, then as I said, you need better friends. A real friend would be telling you what I am telling you.
"Tess, the most inspirational thing you could do right now is start to LOSE weight, not put even more on."
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