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Tess Holliday's Cosmo cover and what it means for mamas

Her message is one we all need to hear and see.

Tess Holliday's Cosmo cover and what it means for mamas

Tess Holliday has made a career of modeling, so it shouldn't be that shocking to see this mom of two on the cover of a magazine (after all, having her photo taken is literally the job description).

But because of Holliday's size her new Cosmopolitan UK cover did shock, and it electrified conversations about body positivity and media representation—and the story she tells inside the magazine is doing the same for maternal mental health.

This is a jolt that is way overdue and one that we are so here for. 🙌


The photo on the cover of Cosmo UK's October issue sees Holliday, the author of The Not So Subtle Art Of Being A Fat Girl, blowing kisses while posing in a swimsuit. Her quotes inside the magazine aren't as cheery as her expression on the cover, but they are just as important.

She tells Cosmo she really struggled with her mental health between 2017 and this spring. Her youngest son, Bowie, was born in 2016. A lot of mothers can relate to experiencing dark times, self-doubt and depression in those early, challenging sleep deprived years of motherhood.

Holliday describes her experience to Cosmo: "I remember very vividly driving in the car with Bowie and I thought to myself, 'I wish I could just disappear. I wish I could vanish.' It felt at that point like I was causing everyone around me so much pain. It felt like a never-ending black hole. I was so tired of hurting … I just didn't want to be here anymore."

Things have been improving for Holliday since the spring. She's taking care of her mental health and at a reported size 22, she's refusing to feel bad about the body that birthed her two boys and has carried her through a life that has touched and helped so many others.

"You know, you have to take care of your mental state before you can worry about anything else," she recently told Good Morning America.

Her Cosmo cover literally made people cry, with many women commenting on social media about how they wish they'd seen such a cover when they were growing up, but long before this cover, Holliday was changing lives and minds as the influencer behind #effyourbeautystandards. The hashtag she created has been used millions of times by other people who feel empowered to love their own bodies and rock the clothing that they want to (at any size) because of Holliday.

"I created [the campaign] out of frustration," she told Cosmo. "I was angry and sad that people kept commenting on my pictures saying, 'You're too fat to wear that!' or 'Cover up! No one wants to see that!'"

One night Holliday was lying in bed and decided to clap back at the criticism.

"So I posted an image with four photographs of myself wearing things that fat women are often told we 'can't wear', and encouraged others to do the same," she explains.

Sometimes, we mamas do need a little encouragement from fellow women who are unapologetic about loving themselves and their bodies, like Holliday, whose Cosmo cover is sparking important conversations.

"I'm at the heaviest I've ever been in my life now and it took me being the heaviest to finally love myself," she told the magazine, offering some advice to fellow mamas that she wishes she could offer to her former self.

"I was a US size 16 to 18 my entire life before I had Rylee [her oldest son, now 13]. I look back on those photos now and I don't wish I was that size, but what I wish is that I loved myself 120 pounds ago," she shared.

You can love yourself at any size, Mama. That's the message Holliday is serving on the cover and in the pages of Cosmo UK, and in her epic relies to all the predictable backlash about her cover. She's been accused of promoting obesity, a criticism Holliday says totally misses the point.

"I'm not recruiting people. I'm literally just telling people to love themselves and it just happens to come from a bigger body," she told Good Morning America.

That message of self-love is one we all need to take to heart and teach the next generation. Maybe if we do, they won't be at all shocked when a magazine cover features a beautiful woman in a swimsuit.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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