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Sports Illustrated’s First Plus-Size Swimsuit Model Knows She’s Not Actually Plus-Size

“It’s about time we forgo labels and embraced size diversity in the fashion world and mainstream media.”

By Laura Beck

New Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition “rookie” Robyn Lawley is considered a plus-size model because, at a size 12, she’s larger than most models. However, compared to non-models—you know, the rest of us Muggles—her body is considered perfectly normal—in fact, I’d say she has a very culturally desirable body in every way. Robyn Lawley is lovely and I’m so pleased for her success, but she’s not exactly breaking the mold when it comes to the types of bodies showcased in the media.

I’ve written about the problem with calling average-to-thin women plus-sized and it appears Lawley shares my sentiments in this area, and wants to do away with labels all together. She wrote on Instagram:

Chatting with the @todayshow today about @si_swimsuit kudos to @mj_day I’m with everyone there that’s it’s ludicrous to call me plus size and I’ve stated that publicly pretty much every step of the way, of my career, si_swimsuit are at the forefront of embracing women of a variety of sizes! They’ve been doing that from the beginning and they have not once called me plus size, it’s about time we forgo labels and embraced size diversity in the fashion world and mainstream media!!! #loveyournaturalsize

Robyn gets it. I love seeing all shapes and sizes of women, and it would be amazing if they featured some women who are bigger than she is, too! As consumers of media, we’re so used to seeing only very thin bodies represented and it’s not good for us; we need to everyone. Thin, average, chunky, everything. That’s how we get comfortable with body diversity and the first step on the road to all women valuing and respecting their awesome bodies.. Let’s hope Lawley keeps being an active on this front; we need strong and smart voices like hers pushing for change.


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