Sports Illustrated’s Newest Model, Robyn Lawley. Credit: James Macari/Sports Illustrated
Fresh off the heels of the news that plus-size model Ashley Graham’s “Swimsuits for All” ad campaign will be featured in the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, comes news that an actual plus-size model is being featured inside the magazine. Australian Robyn Lawley has been named one of the magazine’s rookies of the year, a huge deal in the world of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit modeling (Kate Upton was a rookie in 2011, then she landed the cover).
The thing is, when you look at Robyn Lawley, who is 6’2” and wears a size 12, you hardly see a plus sized woman. Lawley has a banging body. Not “a great plus size body” or “a great skinny body,” she just has a great body! And while plus size should not be taken as an insult, it’s just ridiculous to call this woman “plus size.” Even though Lawley has built a career as a plus size model, she has expressed that she dislikes the term, “In the beginning, I didn’t mind getting called (plus size), but I am not a plus-size person,” she said in a press release earlier this year, “I don’t think anyone should be called plus size.”
While it’s great to see that Sports Illustrated is embracing—I guess?—so-called different body types, it’s sad that a woman with a healthy body is making the news because… she looks healthy? Also what does it say about women in our culture, that we are looking for empowerment from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue? Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know.