Robyn Lawley is one of a very slim number of plus-size “supermodels”. There’s Emme, perhaps the first plus-size supermodel ever. And, of course, Crystal Renn, who’s fluctuated between straight and plus-size modeling umpteen-thousand times throughout her career, but is considered a supermodel regardless of her weight status. The point is… there aren’t many. So when a plus-size supermodel lands in GQ, it’s a big deal.
Lawley, 24, is the first plus-size model to ever appear on GQ Australia as the magazine’s “It Girl of the Week.” At 6’2” and a size 14/16, Lawley is quite the change — and one people seem to be loving.
“[This] is the fashion shoot we’ve been waiting for,” Huffington Post wrote. They went on to quote a piece of Lawley’s interview for the November issue, in which she says, “I’ve got big hips and a big body. I’m double, triple the size of other models – and I embrace that – I own it.”
Perhaps it’s that confidence that has led to Lawley’s success. Though she’s sometimes been criticized for not actually being “plus-size” and on the contrary being quite slender, the fact is, she’s a “big girl” in the modeling industry. And she deserves props for making it as far as she has.
At The Gloss, Ashley Cardff wrote, “Lawley looks right at home.” The Herald Sun's Daniel Strudwick praises her as well, saying, “[She] changes the shape of fashion in a hot GQ shoot.” The positive responses keep rolling in.
There have been the occasional tweet here and there criticizing GQ or publications like HuffPo for referring to Lawley as plus-size in the first place, such as:
But you can kind of get where the girl is coming from. It’d be amazing to see someone like Tess Munster, founder of #effyourbeautystandards, as the "It Girl" in a major magazine. But the reality is that we’re still not there yet. And it’s probably going to take a few more models like Lawley, who aren’t necessarily what most people would think of when they think “plus-size” before getting anyone over a size 16 out there — or anyone who actually looks like a size 16.
Those worried that calling women “plus-size” when they are as tall and slim as Lawley will hinder the plus-size acceptance movement in some way need not fret. The modeling industry is arguably one of the hardest to crack. It would’ve been considered preposterous to feature a girl over a size six not too long ago. That someone who is a size 16 can make it isn’t something to turn your nose up at.
Whether or not Lawley should be called plus-size may just be irrelevant. The fact is, she’s proven to be a grounded, fun girl. Lawley runs the blog Robyn Lawley Eats, where she features recipes and talks about how much she loves food. The model has has managed to celebrate food and health in an industry that perhaps doesn’t always do so. And she quotes George Bernard Shaw whilst doing it. I mean, come on, this chick is cool.