Robyn Lawley: “Curves don’t epitomise a woman”

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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!


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59 thoughts on “Robyn Lawley: “Curves don’t epitomise a woman””

    • I second your comment. Robyn is a very beautiful woman and she seems a smart woman too.

      The good thing is, “unconventional” models are not the only people who could influence the world and fashion/beauty industry on “young, white and skinny” not being the only criteria for beautiful women. Bloggers and internet users seem to have a voice as well. A lot of women of all ages, sizes and colors now come to realise that to be considered universally beautiful you don’t have to be a certain age, size or color, you just have to fight for your image, speak up every time someone brings up that a beautiful woman should be this and that or fit a certain criteria only 5% of female population can hope to achieve.

  1. she’s THIN!!! she’s just TALL! all the tall skinny woman would have her’s just fashion thinks a tall woman should have the same size of a short skinny woman to be thin

    • I know right! I am thinking if I saw her walking down the street in any one of those dresses I wouldn’t at all notice any extra weight on her never mind associate plus size with her. Damn she reminds me of cindy crawfords body and that girl did all high fashion runways in the 90s. I have said it before and I will say it again, bring back this healthy standard to high fashion runways


        compare that to this:

        now I understand that every woman has a different body shape and some will never have the same hip to waist ratio as cindy but her body fat percentage is achievable with a healthy diet and exercise for everyone. Less than 1 % of the population can achieve the second body in a healthy way without excessively restricting!

        This is a bit of a rant but I am sick of it, this girl is perfectly healthy and shouldnt be called plus size!

        • @ silvy have you not read the artice, Robin is actually complaining about women like you who talk about “real woman with curves” she is saying skinny women shouldn’t be bashed in the same way bigger women should be bashed either which is exactly what you are doing here, bashing thin women. Maybe you should read the article again before you talk such rubbish. You are basically doing the one thing Robin is complaining about.
          Throwing around old fashioned cliches . that the real women brigade like to do.

      • i can see the resemblance to cindy’s body but she is definitly heavier. the reason why robyn looks so amazing are her perfect proportions. it is all about propertions!
        I think she is beautful and I like her quote.
        We have to learn again that beauty has a lof different appearances.
        There are researches showing that we perceive things as more beautiful they more often we see them. it is unconcious influence. because of one-side communication in media our beauty ideal changes in one direction. I dont know if you have realised that stars nowadays are looking so simular because they represent one beauty ideal.

  2. This is the most balanced opinion I’ve read from anyone about this issue in a long time. This Guardian article should be re-blogged, Pinned, tweeted, etc repeatedly until it has a worldwide cult following. She just makes sense, and it’s time the rest of us did too.

  3. I find her beautiful and I do like her quotes, however, Robyn is not exactly representative of truly plus sized women. Yes, she is bigger than ‘straight models’, but in the context of regular/everyday life, she isn’t exactly a “big girl” (imo). Therefore, I’m not as inclined to cheer her for her confidence or most of what she just said.

    • well, to be fair, she said herself that she doesn’t represent true “plus sized” women, I think the second paragraph of this quote addresses what you’re commenting on:

      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.”

  4. My goodness, what a beautiful stunning woman! Airbrush or not, her face and body is pure perfection. Her height, I want!! (lol), as tall as Maria Sharapova, perfect!

  5. Absolutely loving her beige dress and shoes, as well as the the colourful dress. Have to admit, she looks like a real life doll in these images. In awe!!

  6. Like her , there shouldn’t be a problem with models like her- she’s gorgeous end of story. Her body type is still very rate, so I wouldn’t call her relatable but maybe a healthier role model for larger woman to aspire to than karlie

    She looks broad rather than fat to me, which I like. She doesn’t have the soft arms an slumping shoulders many do. .

  7. How the hell is 6’2″ size 12 woman plus size?! She looks thin and svelte to me; of course she’s bigger than size 6….she’s 6’2″.

  8. I don’t think she is a size 12 at 6’2,unless a US12 which is UK16 or 14-16.
    Nonetheless,she does have a good head on her shoulder.And she is really pretty with nice skin.

    Man,I want those nude booties in the 2nd to last pix! Would love to wear it with a little black or red dress.Hot!

  9. There were some SI models during the 1980s and early 1990s that were about her size.

    And they did fashion. Not runway, but editorials. In Vogue magazine.

  10. She is gorgeous! The definition of an Amazon. And smart too. This is the best comment about these issues by someone in the industry, I can ever remember reading.

    I’m glad she is able to model at a healthy weight for her frame. Though not all taller women have larger frames. My sister is 5’10”, 5″ taller than me, but we have the same frame size (hands, feet, wrists, shoulder width) and she is a size US2/Small.

  11. She definitely doesn’t look plus size.. she looks thin and healthy. It’s amazing how different a 6’2″ woman looks wearing a size 12 than a 5’2″ woman. Why do you think that is? Is it because tall women have larger frames?

    • I think it’s just the proportions. It’s like drawing rectangles. If you draw one that’s consideraby higher than it’s broad, the overall shape is gonna look narrow (=thin) compared to a more squarish one, even if the latter one is actually narrower.

      IMO Robin Lawley has a small frame. Tall women with large frames rarely look thin despite their height, they just look big and strong. (See: Valerie Adams.) That’s not bad, but neither is it thin.

      Ps. She is awesome! I love that someone in her position says all this out loud. I’m a total fangirl now. 🙂

  12. I think the whole “real women have curves” refers to how women out of the fashion world are usually bigger in size, but soon int became an insult to women who weren’t curvy. All of us have our preferences, but to refer to another person as unreal just because they lack something can be very hurtful. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why Dove campaign didn’t go that far.

    Also, big sized women being underrepresented is a point. Most plus sized aren’t even chubby, but thin girls who happen to be a little bit bigger than most models. The size Robyn and other “plus sized” models wear seem so big because they are taller than the average woman. I’m almost sure women you see everyday walking down the street wouldn’t fit size 12 if they were over 6’0

  13. wait wait..she’s a plus size?? how? she is normal and definitely not plus. there is nothing plus about her

    Curvy woman are symbol of femininity it is since the beggining of our race, but it is not fair to say that thing girl is not feminine..faminine comes from a woman, not just her shape..from her moves, smell, is just sth in a woman that makes her feminine. some girls have it and some don’t

  14. I keep looking at her, stunning. Next to tracy anderson even more so. Tracy may be thinner, but she looks unhealthy, looks like she has muscle wastage.

    She’s a good example of a larger girl who can be beautiful. I think she should get vogue jobs and etc. Far better than Beyonce or Kelly Brook. I like her more than some of the VS girls.

    • Sorry to hitch onto your comment but I totally agree & couldn’t be bothered to write a duplicate message of your especially since you put it so well. Hehehe 🙂

  15. And I don’t like to associate her with plus-size. She isn’t, and the word plus-size is not a positive word for me. I’m thinking grannypanties and people that should book two seats on the plane.

  16. I agree with her, we all need to embrace our body as it is, to improve it and make it healthier and beautiful. Real women have different kind of bodies and this is what I’m trying to say to the world as a curvy blogger

  17. I think the first time I saw her I didn’t really care for her look, but in all of these pictures she is absolutely stunning. Beautiful face, perfect hair and skin, elegant and classy style.

  18. Robyn just has such a gorgeous face. She obviously is super pretty in still pictures, but she is one of those people that just looks stunning in motion. It’s like still pictures just can’t grasp all of her beauty to it’s full potential.

    She has a nice body too, super sexy in swimsuit shoots imo. I like what she is saying too. Lovely hair too!

  19. I think she looks great here – I’m not a huge fan, but she’s very statuesque and I’m sure she’s striking in person. She is 6’2″, so her plus size is certainly different to the average girls’ – and her at a size 6 would look very thin. Robin’s head just always looks disproportionate to her body – not because of her weight, just because of her frame. That always sort of puts me off – but that’s silly of me really!

    She’s slim and doesn’t look to be carrying much extra body fat to me – I know she is technically plus size in her industry, but obviously to most people in the street she would look about right. She is a ‘big girl’ because she’s so tall and not skinny – but she’s not ‘big’ in the fat sense at all. If she were a foot shorter, she would definitely look plus sized. Many models look a little too thin for their frames – like at 5’3″ a size zero doesn’t look as thin as it does at 5’11”. The whole size 0 thing is kind of silly because on some women it’s a perfectly healthy size – it’s just that more often than not those women are less than 5’4″ and the models are generally 5’8″.

    Anyway, I like her quotes – she sounds smart and fair. I know a lot of people have very strict aesthetics as to what kind of bodies look best in clothes – I can sort of leave that alone for the high fashion runway (because it all seems a bit far away and self-indulgent to me), but for commercial fashion advertising, I think it’s ludicrous to have as little diversity as there is.

    • I’d love to see how you would react to someone picking out a body part and calling it “off putting” you’re so full of yourself and a hypocrite who scolds other people for saying way less things about people.

      • And you are any different because? If you are the same two anonymous comments at the bottom, why are you so angry over someone else’s opinion. You’re no better than the haters ripping on lc for liking thin bodies. People need to stop getting upset over an opinion, which is really what applies to half these people on this site.

  20. she is bigger when compared to top models not only because she has extra layer of fat on her bones but also because her large, big bone structure. Look at her shoulders, elbows, wrists and hip bones. even her neck is very thick except for her small face which is very small in propotion to her body overall. .

  21. I love her face and make-up in the black outfit, so pretty and glowing. Not a fan of the make-up in the nude outfit though, makes her look much older and dull. Altogether a beautiful women with a lovely figure.

  22. LOL The “real women with curves brigade” is people like Erica, and her little clique of followers on here such as winnie and serena,etc

    Anyway I get what Robin is saying, she is 6ft, and a size 12 which isn’t the same as being 5ft 4 and a size 12 so she isn’t really ‘relatable, to the average woman. Someone like Lena Durham is ‘relatable,

    • Lol I have never said ‘real women have curves’ and I always favor slim figures like the VS girls, not round ones like Lena. Please work on your reading skills; it must be difficult to be an adult with the comprehension of a kindergartener…It will really open doors for you m’dear 😉

  23. “Curves don’t epitomise a woman. Saying, ‘Skinny is ugly’ should be no more acceptable than saying fat is”

    This quote applies to half the people on this site, so sick of people like erica talking about how woman with “curves” are more attractive to men and how only “curvy” women are fertile. It’s good to see someone like Robin come forward and point out this double standard.

  24. I think she is in the average weight, those dresses just make her look slimmer. It definitely wouldn’t be plus size for normal people but this is the fashion industry after all. Clothes just look good on thin people. Their customers wouldn’t buy them any other way.

  25. OMG she is STUNNING. Jesus… I know she’s been featured a lot, but she looks absolutely breathtaking here. Perfect, really. Perfect body, face, stature. Shouldn’t change a thing.

  26. Robyn’s one of my favorite models,beautiful inside and out.
    If I’m able to lose weight,I would like to get down to her measurements as we both have a similar shape.
    She says she swims almost everyday…wish I could do that,I love swimming.
    I think there are so many ways to be beautiful,thin,curvy,big,in between,everything else.And someone can be both slim and curvy!Everyone has their own ideal of what is beautiful,usually.Some just pay attention to what the media says and don’t define beauty for themselves.
    I do think Robyn is pretty slim for her body type.

  27. She is not plus size at all. Like, at 6’2” you’d HOPE she was a size 12. If she were a size 4 she’d be frighteningly underweight for her height!

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