Tess is a Plus-Size Model, Make Up Artist, Body Positive Activist and Blogger based in L.A., who turned her hobbies into a successful career. She says she is now doing what she always dreamed of.
Tess was born in a small town in Mississippi, July 1985. She always longed for a life bigger than what her small town could offer. She had always been different than other girls growing up; Tess was teased for being curvy, fair skinned, and short. The bullies at school were relentless, but she kept her head up. Knowing that she'd never quite fit in never kept Tess from dreaming. When Tess turned 15 she attended a casting call for Plus Models in Atlanta, GA, where she was not warmly received. Standing at 5'4", wearing a size 16, she noticed everyone towering over her, and quickly realized her dreams of being a model might just be a dream. Tess then turned to her first love, Make Up Artistry. It was reading Kevyn Aucoin's book, "Changing Faces," that opened her eyes and showed her that makeup could truly "transform" someone inside and out.
At 17, forced to drop out of school because of severe bullying, Tess earned her GED, packed her bags, and moved across the country with hopes of making her dreams come true. She perfected her technique as a Makeup Artist, and started landing jobs as head makeup artist, hair stylist, and creative director for numerous fashion shows in Seattle, WA. It was truly amazing to see the confidence that she could give her clients through glamming them up with makeup. Although it brought her tremendous joy and pride, Tess felt like something was missing. So, in 2010, she decided to move to Los Angeles, and it was that very move that forever changed her life.
Within months of moving to L.A., Tess became a professional full time model, was a finalist for 'Torrid's House of Dreams Model Search', and the face of a new A&E TV show called 'Heavy'. She has appeared in a nationwide print ad for 'Heavy' that was featured in People Magazine, NY Magazine, and numerous other publications, as well as billboards across the country. Tess currently models for Domino Dollhouse, Jessica Louise Clothing, Sealed With a Kiss Designs, Black Cat Bikinis, Tattooed Zombie Accessories, Evil Pawn Jewelry, C.TA Glam Couture, 222 Clothing, and Vintage Box 1947, among others. Tess has also been featured in Vogue Italia, Inked Magazine, Inked Girls, Bizarre Magazine, Atomic Bombshells (cover), Plus Model Magazine, Volup2., Skorch Magazine (cover), Cats Meow Magazine (cover) Glam Rock Magazine, Drive In Magazine, Rabid Magazine, any many 'Fatshion' Blogs. She also most recently was named One of the Top Plus Size Models by Refinery 29, Vogue Italia, & Huffington Post- Not too bad for a small town Mississippi girl, huh? Tess has even continued her work as a Make up Artist, and has traveled all across the west coast doing weddings, events, photo shoots, you name it!
What Tess loves most about her careers is the ability to inspire and empower women around the world. From transformations with makeup, building confidence through modeling, and advocating body size acceptance, her fans have been the best part of her journey. She recently founded the #effyourbeautystandards movement which has over 65,000 shares on Instagram alone, and it's truly changed her life. She receives letters and emails from different women every day thanking her for empowering them to love their bodies, and to not be ashamed of being short, pale/dark, or dare I say...Fat. It is now the features that Tess was bullied about in her youth, that she says she now embraces, and encourages other women to embrace within themselves. Tess hopes that girls who are bullied, and women who lack confidence will begin to see their inner and outer beauty at whatever size. Tess is proof that determination, relentlessness, and positivity can look beautiful on anyone, and that there is a wonderful life past a size 20.