Tess Munster is a single mom and a model over size 20 in an industry where Plus begins at size 8 and is a struggle for a size 18. Tess overcame child hood & adult bullying and dropping out of school, to earn her GED, travel the west coast as a makeup artist, and become one of Refinery 29’s Top 6 Plus Superstar Models.
She’s even started up a movement cheering on fat fashionistas to rock their most daring fashion regardless of size, and tag those posts and images #effyourbeautystandards. You’ll find thousands of tagged photos and posts on twitter and instagram already.
Tess may have been an outsider/underdog in the H.S. movie of her life, but she’s all grown up and less interested in kicking ass and taking names than living well and inspiring others to do the same. Bonus, my mother is totally in love with her.
Five questions for Tess Munster:
1. You have kind of revolutionized Plus modeling in a crazy short period of time by becoming an icon of self love and body acceptance. When did you realize your voice was as powerful as your images and did you ever think pursuing a career in modeling and fashion would have such a Transformational effect on so many people?
When I started getting messages from women pouring their hearts out to me, telling me things they haven’t told anyone else, it hit me. I had always wanted to model, but never in a billion years did I think I would actually be successful or have the impact on women that I’ve had. It’s been a very humbling experience.
2. What advice do you have for anyone considered plus sized on getting into the Fashion industry, whether modeling or otherwise?
Think long and hard about why you want to do it. Its a VERY tough industry to work in and you have to have thick skin. I’ve learned that the hard way. It’s very rewarding, but it’s a lot more work then you think.
3. How do you describe your personal style and how did it evolve?
Goodness! Eclectic?! I just love fashion, and I don’t really follow trends. I love accessories, and I’m constantly buying those and pairing it with items already in my closet. My own personal sense of style didn’t really come into it’s own until I started modeling. I had more access to designers then I had ever heard of, and that really opened my world up to endless possibilities.
4. You are a southern girl, and only in Los Angeles for a few years what is your favorite thing about L.A.?
The Diversity. I love the culture, the people, the food – honestly I just really love L.A. I feel like I’m a California Girl at heart.
5. If you were an ice cream flavor, which flavor would you be??
Rocky Road. It pretty much sums up my life: A little rough, but sweet!