Robyn Lawley, a plus-size model from Australia, found herself the victim of cyberbullying over her weight after a photo of her body ended up on a thigh gap page online (praising women with legs so thin that their thighs do not touch).
On Wednesday’s Access Hollywood Live, the 24-year-old beauty opened up about how she found out about the posted photo and why she felt the need to respond (she did so in a blog for The Daily Beast).
“My friend told me about it. At first I didn’t think much of it… my friend then told me that there were a lot of derogatory comments and maybe I shouldn’t read it,” Robyn explained to Billy Bush and Kit Hoover. “Then, of course, I read it and after like 900 or so comments, I had to speak up.
“I tried to defend women and I tried to defend the idea that you don’t need a thigh gap to be beautiful,” she added.
Some of the comments posted regarding her photo included words like “pig,” “obese,” and “hefty,” and though Robyn said she didn’t let the mean-spirited comments bother her, she feared for young girls who may not be as comfortable in their own skin.
“I’m really confident and really content with my size, so those comments don’t really mean much to me,” she said. “It’s awesome to be able to talk about it now and show people that comments like these are cyberbullying and it has a detrimental effect on say a young girl who doesn’t have as much confidence as someone like me.”
Despite the disturbing thigh gap trend, Robyn – the first plus-size model to grace the cover of Italian Vogue – said the fashion industry is beginning to embrace curves and healthier body shapes.
“We’re making such amazing strides. This year alone has been one of my best years working – I’ve worked with so many normal companies, not as a plus-size model, just as a regular model,” she said. “And that’s a huge breakthrough. I’m really impressed with the fashion world finally taking note and finally listening and using girls like myself.”
-- Erin O’Sullivan