Plus-size Perceptions

Plus-size Perceptions

If you don’t know who Robyn Lawley is and you just happen to stumble upon pictures of her, what you’re going to see is a very beautiful girl looking slim, long, lean and healthy. Even so, she certainly doesn’t personify the stereotypes assigned to fashion models—descriptions such as skinny, stick-thin and emaciated.

Because she’s not a “regular” fashion model. Lawley is a “plus-size” model. And that label has had many people scratching their heads. When the 6-foot-2 Australian beauty Instagrammed a photo of herself in a bikini with the tag, #retouchandmakeupfree, followers immediately took to the comments section to express their bewilderment and disagreement with the fashion industry’s definition of “plus-size.”

Plus-size model Robyn
Lawley veers away
from the stick-thin
stereotype assigned
to models

Lawley typically fits into Australian size 14/16 clothing.

Wikipedia says that plus-size “is a general term given to clothing proportioned specifically for people around size 16 and up in U.S. In the fashion industry, plus size is identified as sizes 12-24, super size as sizes 4X-6X and extended size as 7X and up.”

In a Huffington Post interview in February, Hayley Hasselhoff, herself a plus-size model, opined that “[a]t the end of the day, it just means ‘curvy.’ That’s why I think the word ‘plus-size’ in the industry is very different from people’s mind view of what ‘plus-size’ should really mean.”

But if “plus-size” is supposed to represent “normal size,” in contrast to “model size,” for the sake of fashion ideals, then the term itself is misleading, not to mention quite insulting and depressing, as public perception suggests. Reactions to Lawley’s Instagram post, which has been liked over 2,000 times as of this writing, with that sentiment include the following:

Lawley for GQ Australia
November 2013

“If u are plus size I’m a whale…this world is sick.”

“I actually can’t believe she’s a plus sized model? no wonder I always feel shit about my bod if this is considered plus sized!”

“How is this a plus size?! WTH.”

“She’s only calling herself plus sized because that’s what the modeling industry says she is. She’s beautiful regardless of what size she’s classified as. The modeling industry just needs to stop calling size 8 and above plus sized.”

“All models are so skinny, and their ribs show, which if your naturally skinny, then your beautiful, but all models shouldn’t be so skinny… Now all little girls want to starve to be skinny which is the new beautiful. Curves are beautiful, and just cause your not a twig doesn’t make you fat. I wish their were more models like you, with womanly curves. Every size is beautiful and I’m tired of seeing nothing but skinny girls. Why can’t every size be model material?”


Via: Manila Standard Today