It didn’t take much thought for Australian model Robyn Lawley to agree to participate in body image documentary Straight/Curve. The Sports Illustrated model (she also recently directed her own doc for SI Swimsuit) was already friends with some of the women involved—including Canadian model-turned-producer Jessica Lewis—and was impressed with the team of models committed to getting the project out there. But, most importantly, she wanted to contribute to Straight/Curve’s overall conversation: giving viewers an in-depth look at the fashion industry’s depiction of body image and lack of diversity while examining how insiders are challenging the status quo.
“It’s a super important topic. Now we’re really seeing the benefits of using diversity in fashion, actually having regular people just do their thing,” Lawley says—who, at 6’3 tall and wearing over a size 10, is often considered “plus-sized” by the industry. We sat down with the 28-year-old model at the film’s Canadian premiere with FGI Toronto to chat about the doc and body positivity.
On participating in Straight/Curve
“It’s my whole career...it’s exactly that. My whole career has been based on this entire conversation of inclusivity and why the hell it hasn’t been done sooner. I was stoked to be involved.”
On how she stopped caring about what other people think about her body
“You think back to when you were 15 or 16 and you were holding yourself so accountable for not looking a certain way because every magazine you’ve ever seen just dictates to you one image. I had to stop caring. It was seeing other girls a little older than me not care, pulling me aside being like, ‘Stop caring, there’s no point. Just give it up.’”
On how she stays body positive
“For me, personally, after having my daughter, I realized that so much of this stuff doesn't matter. What matters is eating healthy, looking after your body and exercise. We’re all going to have different shapes, we’re all different people.”
On how she drowns out the haters/escapes the Instagram rabbit hole
“Whenever I’m getting too in on modelling or getting too down on myself sometimes, because I feel it too, I just go back and retreat into doing something that entertains my brain. For me, as long as I can do that, get out of being just consumed by image, I feel better about myself.”
On raising her three-year-old daughter to be body positive
“I think for me, it’s more like, am I screwing my daughter over in more temperamental areas? You know, am I too lenient, am I too hard, am I too easy going? I’m more on potty training missions right now, I haven’t thought that far ahead yet.
“But she did come home the other day and she was saying something like, ‘I’m really big, I’m heavy.’ And I was like, ‘What? You’re a perfect size!’ My heart just melted and I was like, ‘Please don’t tell me the kids are saying anything at school, because that will just kill me.’”
On what she wants people to take away from Straight/Curve
“I hope they feel inspired to not let their bodies hold them back. I want them to be empowered by the women’s messages, because there’s a lot of amazing strong women that talk in this film. And you just realize that this has been a really closed-minded view for a long time, and that just needs to go away.”
Straight/Curve is now available to rent or buy on iTunes.