The size 26 model was vehemently criticised after gracing the cover, with many, including Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, shaming her for her weight and accusing the magazine of promoting an “unhealthy body image”.
But speaking to Knox as part of Broadly’s The Scarlet Letter Reports video series, which profiles famous women who have been demonized by the media, Holliday explains how she’s become accustomed to such comments.
“I can never celebrate a success in my career without it being picked apart because of my size or ‘my health’,” she says.
The mother-of-two went on to explain how many of her critics assume she is in poor health due to her weight, calling it “an imagined health, not an actual health”.
At the time of publication, Holliday was accused of advocating obesity, with Morgan describing the cover as “dangerous and misguided”.
“People don’t actually care if I’m healthy,” she tells Knox of the criticisms, “it’s just them using it as a blanket to be an a**hole”.
Holliday added that she received endless vitriol when she was pregnant with her second child, a process that she documented to her 1.8m followers on Instagram.
“People would say that I was going to kill my baby because of my size,” she remembers.
As for how she copes with such comments, Holliday explained that she “crumbles” sometimes but that thinking of all she has achieved thus far keeps her motivated.
“I have created a life for myself that I only thought was literally a dream,” she says.
“At the end of the day, I’m not doing this for people who don’t get what I’m doing.
“I’m doing this for the folks that need to see some kind of representation or maybe feel a little less alone.”
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies