I was reading the headlines today that Ralph Lauren signed Robyn Lawley as his first plus-size model. Robyn is gorgeous…has that familiar Ralph Lauren face which exudes east coast sophistication, summers in the Hamptons, with an equestrian type of vibe, but she’s also 6’2 and a size 12.
According to various sources; Mayo Clinic, Fit Information, BMI Chart to name a few, a woman of her height should weigh somewhere between 144 – 165 pounds. Her size 12, on a 6’2 woman is considered slim. So this brings me to my question…how in the Hell is a size 12, 6’2 woman considered plus-size? I know the fashion industry lives in a world of their own design (no pun intended) and anyone who has actually eaten since the 90’s is considered harpoon ready, but this is ridiculous.
I applaud Ralph Lauren for putting a woman in his campaign that we all don’t want to tie to a chair and feed her butter, but trying to pawn this young woman off as a leader in changing the image of models in an industry that worships eating disorders, is disingenuous. She is well above the average height for American women and just about all women in general. Her size 12 would truly be plus-size on someone 4’11 but on her, it looks natural. Mind you, she doesn’t have that hungry, mad and emaciated look, but in the photos, if you weren’t told that she was “plus-size”, you couldn’t tell.
So this brings me to the last part of my complete bewilderment: Is this what we’ve become as a society? Do we really want our little girls to grow up thinking that if they’re a normal size, then there must be something wrong that needs fixing? I have a god-daughter and three nieces and I for one, do not want them thinking that their value and self-esteem is tied up in how they look.
I don’t want them to look at celebrities, models, magazines, the media, social networking sites and damn near every other commercial on TV, instructing them on how to be beautiful and skinny forever. That feat is impossible no matter how much money you have and how much cosmetic surgery you do, we are not designed to stay frozen in time. But what is extremely disturbing and frightening is that there are all sorts of subliminal and outright blatant messages being sent to young girls earlier and earlier that beauty, not brains, is all that matters. If you’re beautiful, you’ve got it made…hands down.
Then there’s the other layer…the parents who’ve drank the Kool Aid and are pushing their daughters to insanity with their criticisms and their own pursuit of perfection. Oh yes, I’ve witnessed those mothers…giving their daughters breast enhancements and tummy tucks at 16 for birthday presents, criticizing their kids in front of other people about their weight, wanting to live vicariously through their daughters because of their own failed careers in acting, modeling and beauty pageants. And, these are the very people who would find any and everything wrong with Ralph Lauren using Robyn in his campaign because she doesn’t fit the image of a beautiful, sexy, desirable woman. Why…because they’ve been brainwashed so much over the years on what women are SUPPOSE to look like, they’ve forgotten what we ACTUALLY look like.
As I said before, even Robyn isn’t necessarily “normal” according to popular standards and that has more to do with her height than anything else. But at this moment, we’ve got to take what we can get and what we’re getting is a lot better than what we’ve had.
Robyn Lawley Becomes First Plus Size Ralph Lauren Model
Posted: 09/19/2012 3:06 pm Updated: 09/19/2012 5:57 pm
Plus-size shapes have been inching further and further into the mainstream, from magazine covers like Vogue Italia and Glamour to high-end designer lines like Burberry. But Robyn Lawley, one of the most successful plus-size models in the biz, is going where no plus-size stunner has gone before: Ralph Lauren.
Lawley announced her new gig as the first plus-size model for Ralph Lauren on “Good Morning America” today. The size 12 model, who stands at a statuesque 6 feet 2 inches tall, spoke to “GMA” about her journey to get here — how she initially worked as a “straight” model at age 16, felt the pressure to diet and change her body, and eventually hit her stride as a plus-size mode at 19.
Now she’s starring in a new Ralph Lauren campaign, not to mention landingmagazine covers and lingerie ads. (This after her splashy start on the cover of Vogue Italia‘s famous plus-size issue.)
The majority of the industry may still select skinnier-than-thou models, but at age 23, Lawley is representative of the potential success a plus-size model can have. “There are so many plus-size models in New York doing so well at the moment,” she tells “GMA,” “and it’s only going to get better.”
We hope so — if Ralph Lauren could come all this way, we bet other brands can too.
See the gorgeous Aussie in the video above and in her new ads below.