6’2”, size 12 model Robyn Lawley recently opened to the media about how she disagrees with the ‘real women have curves’ brigade, about how plus-size models are not relatable for the bigger sizes and on how she became a ‘plus-size’ model – the full story from The Guardian:
On her weight: “I tried to be a straight model for a while. But I’d arrive at castings, aged 19, and it would be immediately obvious that I was much bigger than the other girls and wasn’t going to get the job.” Like many aspiring models, she managed to battle her way down to a size 6-8 (a dubious goal for someone who is 6ft 2in), but found maintaining this weight a miserable and ultimately futile endeavour. One day, an art director recommended an agency specialising in larger models (anything over a size 10), and “they believed in me straight away.”
On how plus-size models aren’t rrelatable for the size the 20+ sizes: “I feel terrible for the size 22s, 24s, who never see a woman in the public eye who represents their size, or modelling the clothes they’re being asked to buy. I hate it, but I have to remind myself that this is a start. I’m helping in a small way to move things on.”
On how the fashion industry doesn’t know what to do with plus-size models: In June 2011, Lawley, Tara Lynn and Candice Huffine became the first plus-sized models to appear on the cover of [Italian] Vogue. They wore designer lingerie and $30,000 Gucci and Dior dresses that “had to be cut up on the day because none of them fitted us. No one there had ever worked with anyone even close to our size before. No one knew what to do with us.”
On the ‘real women have curves’ brigade and why she disagrees: Lawley finds the “real women have curves” brigade patronising and unhelpful. “People use me as a figurehead, and to me that misses the point and is blatantly offensive to thin women — my sister, for one. Curves don’t epitomise a woman. Saying, ‘Skinny is ugly’ should be no more acceptable than saying fat is. I find all this stuff a very controlling and effective way of making women obsess over their weight, instead of exploiting their more important attributes, such as intellect, strength and power. We could be getting angry about unequal pay and unequal opportunities, but we’re too busy being told we’re not thin enough or curvy enough. We’re holding ourselves back.”
On the need for variety: “Look at fashion shows. We need a range of ages and ethnicities. There are just very thin, white, 16-year-old girls on the catwalk and that has to change.” In a very literal demonstration of the higher value society puts on slim women, Lawley has often discovered that she is earning much less than the “straight-sized” girl on the same job. “There’s a sense of, ‘Oh, she won’t expect as much money.’ I am not accepting that.”
On body image for young girls: “I’ve seen the magazines, the TV shows, the celebrity articles, the same as everyone else. I’m not immune just because I’m a model. And I know they have a devastating effect on young girls. Don’t use the words fat, skinny or diet. Tell your daughter constantly that you love her body the way it is.”
See more pictures of stunning Robyn next!