Model and social media sensation Tess Holliday is no stranger to making body positive statements on behalf of women the world over, but last night, Holiday took over Toronto’s most overcrowded transit location to have her say. The mother of the iconic #effyourbeautystandards campaign joined nine other women at bustling Union Station in Toronto in just jeans and dark bras toting signs saying #IWontCompromise.”Yes for body diversity,” Holliday posted, commenting on her involvement with the campaign: “yes to us embracing our bodies at all stages.”
Organized by clothing brand Penningtons, the campaign encouraged passers-by to take photos of all the curves and swerves on display, and to share these photos on social media to jumpstart conversations about body positivity and self-acceptance. The women’s experiences were live-streamed from the brand’s Facebook page so that fans could see the signs on display. One sign said, “Post this to fight for body diversity #IWontCompromise, while Holliday’s own sign read, Share this if you’re unapologetic #IWontCompromise.
While it’s easy for people to write think-pieces and comment on issues of body positivity from behind screens, true activism is walking the talk, and this campaign highlights the need for people to start thinking of body positivity and diversity as a matter for every day and every place, not just debates on TV or the occasional hashtag-driven trend. Holliday’s team quite literally brought the idea into the open, and by picking Union Station–the key entry and exit point linking Toronto’s downtown core to most of its suburbs–they ensured that as many people as possible got to experience the true confidence of genuine self-love.
Though we know Holliday well for repeatedly showing the world that bigger bodies can achieve big dreams too, it’s nice to see a brand like Penningtons support the message publicly and so enthusiastically. Only by owning our own bodies are we able to empower others to enjoy theirs.