Interview: Robyn Lawley

Cosmo favourite Robyn Lawley reveals how she learnt to love her curves.

Robyn Lawley is a bit of a favourite here at Cosmo HQ (turn to page 170 in the March 2012 issue for proof!). The 22-year-old Sydney model is famous for making history with her beautiful curves and positive body love. Robyn was voted as your Rising Star in the Cosmopolitan Fun, Fearless Female Awards last year and has just signed up as the face of jewellery label Ghost & Lola. We talk to Robyn about what it’s like to be a plus-size model in the fashion industry today.

You went into plus size modeling at age 19 after dieting during your first professional years. What led to you accepting your own body shape?

I just realised the amount of effort and unhealthy dieting I had to do to maintain that 'model' weight, and that it just wasn't worth it. I just wanted to enjoy life with friends and family, not self-sabotaging myself every time I ate. If you are naturally skinny it's fine but if you're like me - naturally a 'bigger build' - the industry expects you to change so drastically it can just be a very horrible experience.

I gave up on modeling and did other things at first, but I started seeing other plus size models in magazines and catalogues so I thought I would give it a go - and I did.

Do you think labeling larger models like yourself as "plus size models" is a positive association, or has it been a burden on your career?

I think the tag is needed to a certain degree, it shows that I am not your regular model, I am actually double the size of the straight size model - and that there indicates how drastically underweight models have become, because in reality I am normal and in proportion with my weight.

Straight size models model for women sizes 0-12 and I model for women 12 and up, so the clients need to know which model fits the different categories so that's when they coined the term "plus size". I do wish though that in the future we just drop it, but that will only happen if models in a variety of sizes continue to be used.

You have become a true icon for women, showing the fashion industry that the current thin model standard is not the only, or best, option. What indications have you seen, if any, that the fashion industry might be moving towards a healthier look in models?

It is gradually changing but unfortunately it is a very slow process. It seems at this moment that designers are set in their ways of using the smallest models they can. Everyone else is on board for change, stylists, photographers, magazine editors etc, but when we notice the change on the catwalk then we can really say its getting better, but of course any inclusion of a size 16 body like myself in magazines is very important.

Your work with Ghost & Lola on their new campaign is raw and beautiful. What do you think is so intriguing about Ghost & Lola jewellery being crafted using vintage components?

Having something unique these days in a world of factor-produced items is rare. I love Ghost and Lola for that reason, I always appreciate vintage jewellery and fashion more because usually it's better built and one of a kind, not to mention you're helping the environment.

What is your favourite element of the collection itself?

I think my favourite part about the collection is how unique the pieces are, I love the feeling I have when I wear my Ghost & Lola ring because no one has seen a ring like it and it can make a boring outfit exciting. Not to mention the colours in the collection are bold and beautiful.

The Ghost & Lola Garden of Earthly Delights collection (as seen on Robyn) is available online here.