Controversey and Plus Size Modeling

Until recently, the typical 5’9” / 100 lbs model was the only consideration for any major swimsuit campaign. However, the demand for plus size models rises every day. With major magazine companies like Sports Illustrated showcasing plus sized models such as Robyn Lawley, society loves the body-positive statement Sports Illustrated and Robyn are making. What society doesn’t love is that Sports Illustrated labels Robyn as plus size.

(Image credit: Sports Illustrated)

Robyn is a plus size model signed to Wilhelmina, Milk Management and Bella Models. She is 6’2” and a size 12. Although many may believe how wonderful it is of Sports Illustrated to have finally included a plus size model in their magazine, a huge majority of the population is criticizing Sports Illustrated for calling Robyn “plus size”. Robyn’s 6’2″ / size 12 frame is actually very healthy for her height. Her size to height ratio is average among women in the U.S. Labeling Robyn as a plus size model has sparked much outrage. We imagine that had Robyn been 5’5″ and a size 12, she wouldn’t be gracing the cover of SI. Despite her clothing size, Robyn’s height makes her size proportional. Since the average American woman is a size 14, stating Robyn as a plus size model insinuates that the average American woman is either plus size or overweight.

Despite the controversy surrounding Sports Illustrated, Robyn has still been able to use her celebrity and grace to relay a positive message. Robyn has launched her own plus size swimwear line in sizes 8-18 (U.S). She is giving girls and women all over the world the confidence they need to be comfortable with their bodies. Robyn is redefining beauty. She promotes body positivity on her social media: “Why are we so focused on having the girl fit the clothes rather than the clothes fit the girl?” She has been nominated for rookie of the year for Sports Illustrated, and they refuse to label her as a plus sized model after all of the backlash received after introducing her as the first “plus size” model. Her title now is simply, model. Robyn does not consider herself a plus size model; “I just consider myself a model because I’m trying to help women in general accept their bodies” the model told Time. Not only has the model created swimwear for larger women, but also has requested certain designers to change their samples to bigger sizes.

(Image credit: Cosmopolitan Australia)

Robyn’s body positive outlook and focus on health will hopefully break the industry standard of the extremely skinny model. More importantly, we hope that she can inspire young girls and women to love themselves in the skin they’re in.

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