Robyn Lawley Sums Up The Biggest Problem With The Modelling World

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The fashion and modeling world has a major problem: it is size-ist. As in, it prefers one size only (zero) and it also prefers a certain skin color (let’s not go down that rabbit hole, but it’s mostly white). You’d think in 2014 when nearly all the states in the US have now legalized gay marriage, the fashion industry would also widen its scope of what it used to hold fast to, and recognize that its needs to diversify to represent its customer base.

The majority of commercials and advertising campaigns we see are fronted by men and women who are white, young, and skinny. Yet when you look around in the real world, the body type projected represents only 5% of humans. Why does the industry refuse to budge? Is it a case of “you go first!” “no YOU go first” amongst the elite designers, creatives and brands?

Everyone else is so fed up of waiting that they have utilized the power of the internet to amplify everyday voices in a way like never before, and shown the world that these attitudes are not only wrong, but not everyone in the fashion industry agrees with it.

One of those voices is Australian model Robyn Lawley, who successfully straddles the line between an industry insider, and representing the voice of many women who are thankful for her presence. You see, Robyn is a size 16, refuses to lose weight to fit into an industry “ideal” and yet her resume keeps filling up.

She spoke with Marie Claire magazine Australia about how she got into modelling and how her perspective of what a model had to look like changed over the years.

“When you first consider the idea of modelling, you automatically think you have to be really skinny. I was really into fashion, so I knew models were about half the size I was. When I went to see the agencies, my weight was always an issue, so I took it upon myself to start losing it,” she said.

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“Everyone around me accepted that, because [they] also thought, well, Robyn wants to be model and she could be a successful model, so it’s natural she has to lose weight.”

“At that age it was really hard to have that extra pressure to lose, not just a little amount of weight, but a lot. I had a lot of issues with it. [Many models] get measured when they go into an agency, and if they gain weight, they are out. People don’t understand what starvation can do to you, it wreaks havoc with your brain.”

But now, she would never lose weight if a brand or agency told her to. She was the first plus size model to front a campaign for Ralph Lauren and since then she has never looked back, and never looked better in her curves.

And she wants to encourage other women that they too, whether they are models or not, don’t need to give in to pressure from anyone to lose weight and uses another fellow curvy model as a great example of why not to follow the trend.

“You can be the difference that changes the fashion world. Look at Kate Upton’s success and I really think it’s going to be what changes the fashion world – girls just refusing to lose the weight and accepting their natural size.”

“If we are happy with our weight the diet industry, you know it makes billions of dollars, is completely bust.” Yep. we have the power to disarm an industry which doesn’t care about your body, only it’s bottom dollar.

There is a movement amongst everyday women dedicated to empowering each other, self-acceptance and body positivity. When celebrities or well-known names like Robyn get on board and speak these messages to a much greater audience, it reinforces what we all want to hear and will in turn have a profound effect on the industries that influence us the most (advertising, beauty, fashion, media, diet).

Speaking up and going against the grain for a good cause has never been more crucial, nor more effective, than it is today. Here’s to Robyn Lawley, Kate Upton and all the other girls in the modeling world who refuse to fit into a standard!

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