Tess Holliday is living her best life!
The model recently celebrated her 37th birthday on the beach with friends and was proud to share a few snaps of herself splashing in the water wearing a hot-pink swimsuit.
“I might be almost 40 but I'm always gonna be a hottie!!!! Don't forget it 😝,” she wrote alongside the series of photos. "Thank you all so much for the birthday love! I know I'm a couple days late posting, but this year I really wanted to just put my phone down & be in the moment.”
“I love you all,” Holliday added. “I love that I was able to celebrate with a few of my friends. I love that my ass got to be in the water where I'm the happiest! All I think about when I look at the photos from my birthday is how I wish I could tell teenage me that one day she would have friends that looked like her. That embraced themselves. That were unapologetic, kind & loving. Life keeps getting better & I'm soaking it all up.”
The post certainly welcomed a lot of love from her followers, including Mandy Moore, who wrote, "Happiest birthday, beauty!!!!" with three heart emojis.
“You are SO LOVED by SO MANY!” one fan wrote, with another adding, “May the love & joy you put out into the world find it’s way back to you.”
“So thankful for your guiding light through all of these years, you truly are one of my role models!” a commenter wrote. “Thankful for your love and light in this world. May this next journey around the sun be one of your best.”
Of course, Holliday has never been shy about sharing messages of affirmation. She’s also been extremely vulnerable in the past about loving her body and defending herself against internet trolls.
Last month, she responded to a body-shamer on TikTok who said they were “grossed out” by fat people on social media.
“Unfortunately, that is all happening in a bubble. You are seeking out content of larger bodied individuals as a way to make yourself feel better,” Holliday responded in a video reply. “Which is kind of a weird thing to do in general, especially when I can guarantee you a lot of the larger bodied individuals you're following have happy, full lives, not despite them being fat — they just are. They just exist.”
As one of the earliest voices in the fat-liberation movement, Holliday explained that trolls like that one haven’t stopped her from living her best life.
“The reality is that I've gotten fatter over the years, my weight has fluctuated. But the one thing that I have maintained through all of this is my joy. And I am fatter right now than I've been in a while, but I'm also happier,” she noted. “There's so many people that have been commenting lately saying that they can see my joy radiating. And that's how other people see me, they see the joy. Yeah, some people are going to see the fat and not pay attention to the joy, and if you're putting out into the world that you are grossed out by yourself, then more than likely, that's how you're going to be perceived.”
Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.