Robyn Lawley is 6"1'. She is just shy of 13 stone and she is a size 14 and she is a model for Ralph Lauren. They have had a 'plus-size' (eugh) line for over 5 years now and have never had a model for the clothes. She is the first plus sized model since Sophie Dahl in the nineties to be hired for a major high-end ad campaign. I have been waiting for something to write about that wasn't just about fashion or just about looking like a real human being. I have heard the argument that people want models to look like a fantasy too many times because I'm telling you now that you can look like someone that eats bread and also look like sex on a stick. Mention Nigella Lawson to any adult male and you will get a guttural primal reaction that proves the theory false. People want to see boobs and arse and hips and believe it or not thighs that touch.
She has been a model since she was 16, and until 2 years ago had been consuming no more than 1,000 calories a day.
'I think I got down to a size 8. I couldn’t get any further,” Lawley remembered. “It was horrible. You don’t want to go out with friends because you don’t want to eat food. You end up alone because you don’t want people to know. I was miserable.'
'I definitely had an eating disorder,” she said, “but it was forced on me. It wasn’t by choice. It’s bizarre to me that girls are being told to lose weight and they’re so young, 15 or 16. I would never let my girl model because of that. Being really skinny is not the look for everyone. I don’t want to attain that look. I’d rather look like Beyonce.'
She outwardly criticises an industry that demands a certain body type.
“It is crazy to make me have to change my body to fit fashion. Fashion should be changed to shape people’s bodies. If I was a designer, I would definitely pick a range of different sized girls. If you’re going to be confident in your clothes, then they should look good on different sized people.”
She makes me want to cry. I have done more googling of her name in the last 2 hours than I have done of Jon Hamm's penis in my entire life time. She is a small step forward, she is in my special box of happiness with a plus-sized model winning America's Next Top Model and The Times exclusively using models that are a size 12 or over in their fashion pieces. I love her a bit more than my best friend, I bet she'd text me back more often than he does.
Last night I spent an hour reporting pro-ana and thinspo pictures on We Heart It to the administrator, tonight I will go to sleep smiling that something has been done. Someone who is in charge, someone of influence has said 'I am going to hire someone who looks like they would like some cheesecake'.
I do want more. I want a clothing company other than A Wear to make clothes that go from a Size 6 to a 18. I don't want sizes over 18 to come exclusively from specialist magazines advertised by women having TOO MUCH FUN ON THE BEACH. I would like to walk into a Topshop, ask if they have a size 16 and not a. be looked like I've asked for a dead baby or b. have to have it ordered in from their warehouse while I swim in a sea of size 8s. I'd like to walk in to Topshop and NOT HAVE TO ASK FOR A 16.
I dream big and Robyn Lawley is part of that dream.