Plus-size model Robyn Lawley doesn’t want to be a plus-size model anymore. Not that she’s planning on changing her body or quitting the business, she just takes issue labels and the fashion industry in general, not size.
The 24-year-old spoke to Clique Magazine about her problem with the term plus size in general and how it is applied to her specifically, a size 12 at 6’2″. Most mainstream models are both shorter and thinner than Lawley, but she does not look plus-size whatsoever ,whatever that even means. The model also expresses her befuddlement as to why the fashion industry insists on sequestering women like her to a plus-size niche while continuing to ignore more diverse body types.
She makes a number of astute points in the interview. Let’s go over a few of them.
Though she is a tall woman, she is not a large woman or plus-size. Using the term plus-size implies that models who aren’t sample sizes are fat and we know that people assume fat and lazy are the same thing:
‘People think plus-size models don’t exercise – we do! But it’s about health, not forcing my body to be something it’s not meant to be.’
Like other plus size models, Lawley attempted to lose weight in order to fit the mainstream modeling ideal. She even admitted to starving and still being unable to achieve the size the fashion industry demands.
“Even at my lightest, I just couldn’t get there,I genuinely really tried. I was counting calories, I was taking diet pills, I was dabbling in starvation.”
Not that she seems to be wanting for job opportunities, Lawley has worked for Ralph Lauren and Vogue multiple times. She’s a plus-size darling and undeniably preternaturally good looking.
“I thought you had to be skinny to be beautiful. And I thought I would never be beautiful at this size.”
Lawley is now working with clothing company Mango as the face of their plus-size line, Violetta, which starts at a size 12, but she wonders why she is considered plus size at all:
“People say, “How is she a plus-size model?” and I’m like, “Exactly, this is the point, how am I a plus-size model?”"
She also questions why there isn’t room for women in modeling with bodies that fall between mainstream model sizes and plus-sizes:
“Fashion designers won’t go past a size two, so there’s no size diversity – just none.So there’s a whole no-man’s land of models who are in between the ‘straight size’ and the ‘plus-size’ and they are not working, yet they’ve got these amazing bodies that are completely in proportion.”
Maybe one day, proportions won’t matter and we’ll have models of all shapes and sizes to display the latest fashions. Robyn Lawley would like the see the term plus-size nixed altogether
She also revealed that she would like to see the end of the term ‘plus-size’ altogether.
“I don’t think anyone should be called plus-size, I think it’s derogatory to anyone – it’s a label.”
It is derogatory to put categorize people and allow for judgments to be made based specifically on a title. Here’s how she puts it:
‘I’m a model; I don’t think I need ‘plus-size’ in front of it.’
Exactly. She is a beautiful a beautiful and successful model who should not be referred to as plus-size because it’s both not true and not relevant.