So apparently everyone is up in arms over a recent instagram photo of plus-sized model Robyn Lawley. And by “everyone,” I mean my Facebook newsfeed, where photos of abandoned cats have suddenly given way to angry diatribes about Robyn Lawley’s bikini selfie, and why she has the nerve to call herself a plus-size model.
Here’s the thing, though. She never called herself a plus-size model. Her IG caption read: “New sexier cuts coming to #robynlawleyswimwear that still offer the same support”
Annnnnd that’s it.
The term “plus-size” came into play when the media collectively decided she’d done something “brave” by sharing an unretouched bikini photo. But they weren’t calling her fat. They were calling her a plus-size model. Because, um, that’s her job description. In fact, for the past few years, she’s been one of the most successful plus-size models in the industry.
Here’s a shot of Robyn for Vogue Italia, and the recent bikini photo.
Obviously she’s gotten a little leaner between the two photos. (Leaner, as in muscle, not thigh gap.) But until she announces she’s becoming a fitness model or a swimsuit model or whatever, her title is “plus size model.” It’s a term with no real meaning outside the modeling industry, so why get enraged over it? Michael Jordan hasn’t played professional basketball in awhile, but would you be furious if someone called him a basketball star? Who cares how the modeling industry labels her? And why are people attacking her, personally, for the way her promotional photo was covered by Fox “News”?
If she lost a few pounds, that’s her business. She went into plus-size modeling because she couldn’t conform to the impossible ideals of runway modeling. And rather than seeing the positive in that, we’re fuming that she doesn’t conform to our ideals of plus-size modeling. Maybe we should stop creating imaginary benchmarks for women and just see this instagram for what it is: A comfy-looking pink bikini.
I give her credit — she rocks her stretch marks so well that she has the Internet Comment Army seeing red and declaring war. Someday I hope to rock my own stretch marks that well.