A Sports Illustrated swimsuit model is calling for a boycott of Victoria’s Secret until the brand starts using more diverse and size-inclusive models.
Robyn Lawley, who’s considered plus size by industry standards, shared on her Instagram Wednesday that she created an online petition and is encouraging others to not watch the lingerie company’s famous fashion show.
“Let’s help change the minds of Victoria’s Secret to be more diverse and inclusive of body shapes and sizes on their runways! Victoria Secret have dominated the space for almost 30 years by telling women there is only one kind of body beautiful,” Lawley wrote.
“Until Victoria’s Secret commits to representing ALL women on stage, I am calling for a complete boycott of this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. It’s time Victoria’s Secret recognized the buying power and influence of women of ALL ages, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities,” she continued.
The highly publicized annual event, scheduled for Nov. 8 this year, will be seen by more than 500 million people across 158 countries. Fifty models were cast to walk in it, but in the show’s 23-year history, none of them have ever been curvy or plus-size, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
The 29-year-old Australian, who has been featured in Vogue Italia and Cosmopolitan Australia, told The Herald that watching all the thin models on the runway makes her feel bad about her own body, and she doesn’t want that for her young daughter, Ripley.
“I’ve felt like s--t every year looking at that show. I shouldn’t have to feel that way. Ripley is going to have my body shape and my body size, it’s already (genetically) set and she’s three. The fact that it affected me so much growing up and we are all compared to what is deemed ‘perfection,’ I don’t want her to have to experience that,” she said.
Lawley said that constantly seeing only extremely thin body types portrayed as beautiful drove her to unhealthy practices in hopes of achieving the unattainable “ideal.”
“Even at my lightest, I just couldn't get there. I genuinely really tried. I was counting calories, I was taking diet pills, I was dabbling in starvation,” she said. “I thought you had to be skinny to be beautiful. And I thought I would never be beautiful at this size.”
By calling out Victoria’s Secret, Lawley hopes the brand will take notice and start casting a wider range of body types to represent the brand.
“Where’s the inclusivity? Where’s the diversity? The perfection is intense,” she said. “I want actual cellulite on a catwalk, I want girls to be relatable. Women want to see diversity. I want to see women like me. Women are beautiful at different sizes, short or tall. We’re the ones who are buying the products so put your money where your mouth is.”