“Why are we so focused on having the girl fit the clothes rather than the clothes fit the girls?”
That’s the question Robyn Lawley, one of the many beautiful women included in the 2015 swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, asked during an interview with NYMag.com. Usually it’s beyond a faux pas to have a discussion about a woman’s size, but Lawley is leading the charge on body-image advocacy and wants designers and the major fashion magazines to begin talking about and eventually do away with the term “plus-size”.
“Well, I like "curvy," she told the publication when asked what term she prefers. “Unfortunately, I have to be differentiated for castings. SI never once called me a plus-size model. If you actually look back, they haven’t said anything, but everyone loves a story. I agree with people when designers think I’m plus-size. But my size is just a number.”
Past modeling work by Robyn Lawley. Images copyright Wilhelmina Models.
Lawley, a 25-year-old Aussie who is expecting her first child any day now, has had several experiences, both good and bad, as a “plus-size” model. While Sports Illustrated never once mentioned her size in her signing for the issue, several designers dropped out of dressing her for the Steven Meisel cover for Vogue Italia once they learned her size. It seems like the best reactions to her size she’s had in the fashion world have been no reactions at all.
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“I wish it were completely different and women didn’t worry about other bodies. I just want it to be a regular thing. I want Vogue to be regularly featuring curvy or plus-size or size-8 models. At the end of the day, I (and other girls) look up to these magazines. If you just see one consistent body type, you’re going to hate your body. I don’t want girls to feel like that.”
Lawley is the creator of her own swimsuit line, which allows her to cater her fashion to any size she wants. She modeled her own line in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
Lawley is a size 16 (a size 12 in the US), well above the “sample size” that the rest of the women in the magazine are. The average size of women in the US is a size 18 (16 in US measurements), while women in Australia are—on average—a size 16.
Information sourced from nymag.com.