Sports Illustrated Includes First 'Plus-Sized' Model

Allie Rooney '16 Sports Editor

This year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition came out this past Monday and for the first time in history, a plus-size model was featured in it. 25-year-old Robyn Lawley is 6’2 and a size 12 and in the highly anticipated edition, she is wearing a bikini from her own line.

Even though Lawley will appear in the “Rookies” section of the magazine, this is not the first time in the spotlight for Lawley. She was  featured in Vogue Italia’s June 2011 issue, Elle France, and Australia’s Cosmopolitan, as well as appearing in ad campaigns for Ralph Lauren and Barneys.

What some may not realize is that while Lawley did the SI swimsuit shoot, she was in her first trimester of her pregnancy. As the edition is just coming out, she is currently nine months pregnant.

Lawley also wrote a cookbook called “Robyn Lawley Eats” and has a food blog with the same name. As mentioned, during the shoot, she wore one of her own bikinis. The model has an entire line of bathing suits made for different body types.

Lawley has both acknowledged and accepted the fact that she is considered “plus-size” in the fashion industry. She wrote two articles on body image and stated, “I just consider myself a model because I’m trying to help women in general accept their bodies.”

Lawley’s appearance as the first ever plus-size model featured in the swimsuit edition has sparked much debate as to what truly defines a plus-size model.

The debate started when Sports Illustrated launched an ad campaign featuring a size 16 model, Ashley Graham. In the advertisement, she is shown “flaunting her curves.” However, she was not featured in the magazine. Instead, Lawley was the one who landed the gig.

People are hopeful that this event will lead to more acceptance of different body types within the high fashion industry.