Robyn Law­ley: ‘I’ve learnt to love ev­ery inch’ … here’s why you should too


Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Con­tents -

Robyn Law­ley is a force to be reck­oned with. The Aussie model has been fly­ing the body­love flag since long be­fore the Kar­dashi­ans were a brand. She’s used her celeb sta­tus to pro­mote healthy curves on the run­way, in fash­ion cam­paigns and on the cov­ers of glossy mags around the world. But surely tire­lessly cam­paign­ing for real bod­ies to be recog­nised as just that – real – gets old af­ter a while? Turns out, when you’re that pas­sion­ate about some­thing, it doesn’t.

Amongst chin­wag­ging about the reg­u­lar stuff like her gor­geous two­anda­half­year­old daugh­ter, Ri­p­ley, and the screen­play she’s cur­rently work­ing on, our con­ver­sa­tion nat­u­rally turns to body im­age and the strug­gles women face in a world where size six reigns supreme. When I bring up re­cent com­ments by medical pro­fes­sion­als, who say that curvy mod­els pro­mote obe­sity, she scoffs, ‘Oh, that’s in­fu­ri­at­ing’. Her Aussie twang (she was born and raised in Syd­ney) still very much in­tact de­spite her liv­ing in LA and New York since she was 18, she goes on: ‘It’s to­tal bol­locks. Some of my curvi­est friends are the fittest I know, whereas there are skinny girls who smoke and starve them­selves – what’s healthy about that?’ I go to agree but Robyn’s on a roll. ‘Women want to see them­selves rep­re­sented in the me­dia and in fash­ion. If they don’t, it has a di­rect re­sult on their self­es­teem.’

Her no­BS take on the fash­ion in­dus­try makes the 28­year­old stand out in an im­age­ob­sessed world – and is quite frankly why we’re so ob­sessed with her. She’s a fierce cru­sader for ‘real’

girls. Although nowa­days Robyn prefers to wear a one­piece be­cause she ‘has an ac­tive daugh­ter who’s likely to pull a bikini top down’, she’s equal mea­sures shocked and sad­dened to hear four in five women in Cosmo’s re­cent body sur­vey don’t feel con­fi­dent wear­ing a bikini (news­flash: ev­ery body is a bikini body).

‘Some­times I don’t feel 100 per cent con­fi­dent, so I can com­pletely un­der­stand where they’re com­ing from, but we can’t let that stand in the way of what we want to do. We can’t just sit on the beach and not swim with our friends be­cause we’re wor­ried what other peo­ple think,’ she says. ‘You need to know that, no mat­ter what your body shape or size, you have just as much right to go out there and wear what­ever the hell you want!’ Mic drop. Just kid­ding, she’s got loads more to say…

When did you first start to love your body?

‘When my ca­reer started to take off, around age 18/19, I re­ally be­gan to em­brace my curvier model sta­tus. It cer­tainly took me a while and it didn’t hap­pen overnight. I didn’t wake up one day and think, Oh yeah, I’ve got this body and I’m go­ing to rock it. But be­ing around other curvy mod­els like Crystal Renn and Tara Lynn, who were con­fi­dent and had no in­hi­bi­tions, had such a pos­i­tive ef­fect on me.’

Do you still have bleugh days? ‘I do, although I have more mum brain now where I’ll walk out of the house, catch my re­flec­tion and then

do a dou­ble take, think­ing, What are you wear­ing? But yes, mod­els are peo­ple too and we have our ups and downs. I work in an in­dus­try where I get judged ev­ery sin­gle day purely for how I look, but I just try to put it be­low me and know it’s not the be all and end all. That might sound strange com­ing from a model, but looks only mat­ter to a cer­tain point – it’s al­ways go­ing to be your per­son­al­ity that matters more in the end.’

Is there any par­tic­u­lar part of your body you’re not con­fi­dent about? ‘Iron­i­cally, when the butt move­ment was re­ally pop­u­lar I felt kind of self­con­scious about my lack of boun­ti­ful booty, but I try to fo­cus on my best at­tributes.’

You’ve pre­vi­ously said you’re at risk of not book­ing as many jobs any­more be­cause de­sign­ers want su­per skinny or su­per curvy and you’re in be­tween – is that frus­trat­ing? ‘It used to be I’m not “size zero” enough, now it’s I’m not “curvy” enough! It just stresses me out. It’s also a bit hu­mil­i­at­ing to pi­o­neer for curvy mod­els for so long, only to be told you’re not curvy enough. I guess it’s a good thing in a weird way [be­cause they want su­per-curvy girls] but I just don’t un­der­stand what’s so wrong with di­ver­sity.’

What do you do re­li­giously to feel good about your body? ‘I used to love the gym but I don’t go as much any­more – though throw­ing my 50pound (23kg) daugh­ter up in the air 20 times a day is

the equiv­a­lent of a medicine ball work­out. If I ever feel sad or an­gry, I’ll do some­thing that I know I’m good at that has does noth­ing to do with my body, like DJing or writ­ing. I’ve made a deal with my­self that if I think neg­a­tive thoughts, I have to write 100 words on my screen­play. It’s about turn­ing a neg­a­tive into a pos­i­tive.’

How do you deal with body sham­ing online?

‘I strug­gle with it be­cause, as a model, I’m con­stantly putting [my body] out there, es­pe­cially on so­cial me­dia. When pho­tos of me first started ap­pear­ing [online] I got ripped apart, peo­ple called me a pig and a heifer – thank­fully we’ve come a long way since then. I read the com­ments on my pho­tos and gen­er­ally they’re great. I’ve got my girl­friends for when­ever it gets tough. I can call them to vent and just let it all out.’ Does so­cial me­dia ever make you feel in­ad­e­quate?

‘I’m guilty of get­ting sucked in for sure. Those videos that play au­to­mat­i­cally al­ways get me. I end up watch­ing clips of fe­male body­builders and feel in­ad­e­quate, think­ing, I can’t do any of that. That’s when I stop, log off and fo­cus on some­thing else.’

When you work out, is your aim to be fit or to lose weight? ‘Fit all the way. I love fit girls. I’ve got such a girl crush on all the Ama­zon women in Won­der Wo­man. I had the biggest grin on my face in the scene where they were all work­ing out.’

Did be­com­ing a mum change your view of your body? ‘One hun­dred per cent. Mak­ing a baby is a huge thing to do, and af­ter­wards your body needs to re­cover – women are much stronger than they think they are. Of course, my body has changed a bit too but there’s noth­ing I can do about that so I’ve just got to em­brace it.’

Are there words you avoid using around your daugh­ter in terms of body im­age?

‘I’m def­i­nitely con­scious of not putting my­self down in front of her. I hate princessy things, so she doesn’t have Bar­bie dolls. I try to use words like “strong”, and I make sure the word “girl” isn’t used in a deroga­tory way, like, “Oh, she’s such a girl.” I want her to be em­pow­ered by be­ing a girl.’

What mes­sage do you want to give to Cosmo read­ers? ‘My ad­vice would be to be em­pow­ered with how you look right now, stop wait­ing for it to just hap­pen, be­cause the longer you wait, the more you’re miss­ing out on in life. Peo­ple are go­ing to love you more when you just own you. You’re born with your body, dude – rock it!’

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