Maggie Jankuloska
November 10, 2013 6:00 pm

I love Tumblr, but the insidious world of thinspiration and the glorification of thigh gaps leaves women and young girls pinning over impossible to attain and manipulated ‘perfect bodies.’ If you weren’t aware, a ‘thigh gap’ is gap between a women’s thighs directly below the vagina, often diamond shaped when the thighs are together. Thinspiration= thin + inspiration, an inspiration to motivate you to be thin, often in the shape of Kate Moss or other models.

24-year-old Australian plus-size model Robyn Lawley who has just become the first plus-size model to be featured in GQ Australia and Vogue Australia, has spoken against the proliferation of thigh gaps (crudely referred to as ‘box gaps’) after photos of the model were used in a pro-thigh gap Facebook page. The image received hundreds of mainly negative comments, including “pig” and “hefty.”

Lawley is an in-demand model who frequently features in bikini spreads and was personally chosen by Ralph Lauren to be the first plus-size model for his label. When you look at her photographs, you see a tall and statuesque woman who is at a healthy weight, is confident and beautiful. Her size 12-14 (Australian) body is voluptuous and feminine in an industry where waifish figures are favoured.

“The truth is, I couldn’t care less about needing a supposed ‘thigh gap.’ It’s just another tool of manipulation that other people are trying to use to keep me from loving my body. Why would I want to starve and weaken my natural body size? I’m not saying women who have it naturally are unattractive. But I would have to change my entire frame just to achieve something that seems so trivial,” Lawley commented on the ‘thigh gap’ phenomenon, which she has been aware of from an early age.

“The last thing I would want for my future daughter would be to starve herself because she thought a ‘thigh gap’ was necessary to be deemed attractive,” Lawley added in an essay for The Daily Beast, and undoubtedly we can all agree.

In addition, Lawley prides herself on being a real woman with a real body and her swimwear range caters to everyday women. Lawley has also slammed the juxtaposition within the terms ‘plus-sized’ or ‘curvy’  when used to shame other women for being too thin or not looking womanly. “Curves don’t epitomize a woman. Saying, ‘Skinny is ugly’ should be no more acceptable than saying fat is.”

In an effort to stop and expose the unhealthy fascination with limbs and dangerously unrealistic bodies, she says, “I find all this stuff a very controlling and effective way of making women obsess over their weight, instead of exploiting their more important attributes, such as intellect, strength and power.”

Lawley’s refreshing and candid campaign for body acceptance comes at a time where the fashion industry is slowly changing and more realistic or ‘plus-sized models’ show a diversity of bodies and womanhood.

Featured image via wherethestyledthingsare.com

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