Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

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She’s become the poster girl for curvy girls everywhere, but Robyn Lawley, who’s been dubbed the ‘supermodel you’ve never heard of’ by The Guardian, has hit international headlines once again for blasting the ‘real women have curves’ movement as patronising and unhelpful.

“People use me as a figurehead, and to me that misses the point and is blatantly offensive to thin women – my sister, for one,” she told The Gaurdian.

“Curves don't epitomize a woman. Saying, 'Skinny is ugly' should be no more acceptable than saying fat is. 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.

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“We could be getting angry about unequal pay and unequal opportunities, but we're too busy being told we're not thin enough or curvy enough. We're holding ourselves back."

Unequal pay is a topic Robyn is able to speak with some authority on – she recently discovered that she is earning much less than the ‘straight sized’ girl on the same job.

"There's a sense of, 'Oh, she won't expect as much money.' I am not accepting that."

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The size 14 model, who will be back in the country next week to launch her own range of swimwear for sizes 12 – 22, first hit headlines in 2011 when she became the first plus size model to appear on the cover of Vogue, along with with Tara Lynn and Candice Huffine.

"No one there had ever worked with anyone even close to our size before. No one knew what to do with us," she said, adding that the the $30,000 Dior and Gucci dresses they wore "had to be cut up on the day because none of them fitted us".

GALLERY: Robyn's model moments
Robyn teamed up with Bond-Eye Australia to launch a range of swimwear that will be stocked in David Jones. Photography: RobynLawley.com.au

"I feel terrible for the size 22s, 24s, who never see a woman in the public eye who represents their size, or modeling the clothes they're being asked to buy,” says the 24 year old who also has her own food blog robynlawleyeats.tumblr.com. “I hate it, but I have to remind myself that this is a start. I'm helping in a small way to move things on."

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But Robyn insists her problem isn’t just with skinny – it’s with the lack of diversity.

"Look at fashion shows. We need a range of ages and ethnicities. There are just very thin, white, 16-year-old girls on the catwalk and that has to change."

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"I've seen the magazines, the TV shows, the celebrity articles, the same as everyone else. I'm not immune just because I'm a model. And I know they have a devastating effect on young girls. Don't use the words fat, skinny or diet. Tell your daughter constantly that you love her body the way it is."

What do you think? Are the labels 'plus size' or skinny dis-empowering women? Let us know by joining the conversation on Y7 Lifestyle Facebook page.

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