Robin Lawley made history this week by being the first “plus-size” model to be featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
Lawley, who is a size 12, ignited a debate over what constitutes “plus size” when the average American woman is a size 14.
Twitter was a buzz in defence of Lawley’s size, and now even the model is speaking out against the “plus-size” label.
In a Facebook post on Friday, Lawley wrote that “it’s ludicrous to call me plus size”:
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 have 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
While Lawley frequently works as a “plus-size” model, Sports Illustrated has never referred to her as such. The magazine assures that Lawley’s inclusion in the issue is as a model rather than as a plus-size model.
“She sort of embodies the classic SI girl — she’s interesting, she’s beautiful, she has an incredible body, and I felt that she would make a great addition to the issue,” MJ Day, assistant managing editor of Sports Illustrated, told Time. “It was simple as that.”
When Lawley met with Day last year for a casting, the model says, “I was told to stay healthy and exactly as I am.”
On a personal note, Day added: “To be totally honest, I am a size 12. I’m not saying I see myself in [Lawley] because my body doesn’t look as good as hers, but I knew that when I found the right person who could represent that, she would be in the issue.”
For her part, Lawley said to Time: “I don’t know if I consider myself as a plus-size model or not. I just consider myself a model because I’m trying to help women in general accept their bodies.”
“I can see the ramifications on young women if their body is similar or larger than mine and they see a ‘plus size’ label,’ Lawley told Daily Mail Australia. “I just see no reason in any labels really, I just want women [to be] happy with their bodies.”
Regardless, Lawley, who is represented by Wilhelmina Models, is happy to be included in this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
She told Time: “I never thought that this would happen to me, so this is a milestone. When I started my career 10 years ago, I had to painfully go to castings and people would look at you and say, ‘What the hell are you doing here?’… I want to be there for the regular girls who are my size.”
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