Australian plus-size model Robyn Lawley spoke to The Mail Online about body image, diversity in fashion and I’m a little conflicted about the message she sends. She’s awesome and I’m glad she’s getting noticed, but there’s something troubling about the sentiment of some of her statements to The Mail. Her presence as a plus-size model in the fashion industry is of course important, but the whole plus-size racket comes with its own host of problems.
As a plus-size model, Lawley is relentlessly harangued into talking about bodies: her own, other models’, how they compare–it must be exhausting for her. It sure is exhausting to me. Even though she definitely didn’t have a choice but to talk about size and shape, her responses were often troubling and eye-rolly.
Let’s go over a few choice quotes from Lawley’s discussion with The Mail and rank them on the eye-roll scale of 1-10 (1 is not even a little annoying while 10 is super fucking annoying):
”I started out doing regular modelling as a teenager but I couldn’t maintain a size 6 to 8 figure and that’s what size all the samples are.”
1- Not at all annoying. Straight forward, honest.
‘I’m tall and I have big hips and shoulders. Even if I diet I can’t shrink my bones. I had tried to be that skinny I would have ended up in hospital.”
3- Not that annoying, but some people have small bones and still don’t want to or can’t be “that skinny” and that’s okay too. She doesn’t need the old big boned excuse.
“I am the perfect shape for plus-size modelling.”
7- One of the problems with the plus-size fashion world is that they only look for models with a certain body type: the one Robyn Lawley has. She’s great, she’s beyond gorgeous, but it’s annoying to be all “Rah! Rah! Plus-size bodies exist; deal with it world” and then recognize that most shapes are still excluded from that. This statement would receive a more annoying ranking if I didn’t love her confident willingness to refer to herself as perfect.
“I don’t feel any pressure to lose weight as I’ve been this size for years now and I don’t want to change or diet. I enjoy exercising and being able to eat foods I like.”
3- Applause for Robyn Lawley for excellent body image and healthy habits, but I wouldn’t want to change my body either if like Robyn Lawley’s bod, it was both my money-maker and something I personally considered perfection.
“It must annoy some of the other models when they see the plus-size models eating after they have starved themselves all night.”
8- It kind of sounds like she’s saying those skinny bitches are jealous of her and I doubt they are, but if so, it’s pretty annoying to be all “You want this? Can’t have it.” while taunting them with food.
“I know a lot of stunning girls who are not working because being a size 8 to 14 you are in no man’s land even though you have a normal, healthy body.”
2- All bodies are “normal,” but it’s nice to recognize that there’s a gap there.
“People are surprised when I turn up on a shoot and I can model. But why shouldn’t I be able to do it just because I’m a size 16?”
3- On one hand, I’m like “You show them!” and on the other hand, I’m all “There’s no way people are doubting your ability to model if you’re getting hired.”
“It’s disappointing as I love catwalk modelling, it’s more exciting than being on a shoot so it sucks not to be included.”
1- Indeed, it does suck.
“Plus-size models are being used more in magazines and in the media but not on the runway and not by high-end designers like Prada. I’d love them to use more curvy girls but it’s like a taboo and I don’t know why. It screams lack of diversity.”
1- Hear, hear!
“It doesn’t send out a good message to teenager girls who are impressionable. They’re not coat hangers, they’re girls and it’s bad for them to only see skinny frames on the catwalk. I hope I can be a strong role model for them but there’s not enough of us plus-size models”
7- Be a great role model, Robyn Lawley, you’re absolutely right that there aren’t enough plus-size models, BUT saying “us plus-size models” reinforces the “us vs them” mentality between curvy and thin women. Oh and women with skinny frames are not coat hangers. No one should say that ever. Rude.
Moral of the story: Even awesome bad ass cuties like Robyn Lawley sound annoying when they are given no choice but to talk ad nauseam about bodies all day.
via The Daily Mail//Image via Getty