Australian plus size model Robyn Lawley is the latest to speak out against unrealistic body image in the fashion industry.
Yesterday, Lawley penned an op-ed in the Daily Beast about the popular online thinspiration goal among young women: the elusive “thigh gap.” Thinspo forums and tags on Instagram are nothing new, but after personally being the subject of online bullying in one of said forums, Lawley decided to take action.
Last year, she found that an un-retouched photo of her body was posted on a pro “thigh gap” Facebook page, and over 900 (mostly negative) comments followed, including degrading names like “pig” and “hefty.” The model appeared on the Today Show this morning to draw even more attention to the issue. She told GQ Australia this month, “I’ve got big hips and a big body. I’m double, triple the size of other models -— I embrace that, I own that.”
This year Lawley reached a couple of important industry milestones: She launched her own swimwear line, was chosen as the face of Ralph Lauren — a first for a plus-size model — and she was the first ever plus-size girl to be featured in GQ Australia, which lands her among the ranks of superstars like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Miranda Kerr and Shanina Shaik — meaning she now has more of a platform from which to speak out.
Body image — namely the unrealistic standards that are placed on young women in the fashion industry — is a long-standing issue that seems to have no end in sight. But with influential, successful women like Lawley drawing attention to the problem, hopefully change is on the horizon.