Plus-size model Robyn Lawley is familiar with “fat shaming.” The 24-year-old Ralph Lauren and Vogue model crusades against unhealthy body image. When her image appeared on a pro “thigh gap” Facebook page, she was dismayed not so much by the page, but by the comments left by users. In a Daily Beastessay that she wrote:
There is now a disturbing breed of thinspiration that pressures women and girls to pursue a thigh gap, which is defined as the space between one’s thighs. Everywhere online, users are posting aspirational pictures of thigh gaps, used as inspiration for weight loss and dieting. I want the thigh gap. Right now, I could start a fire b/t my thighs, one userlaments on Pinterest.‘No goal was ever achieved without thigh gap.'”
Her reaction to being featured on the thigh-gap Facebook page:
You can image [sic] my surprise when, a year ago, I was featured on a pro thigh gap Facebook page. The page displayed an un-retouched photo of me in lingerie. From the photograph, there appeared to be a gap between my thighs. Degrading and humiliating comments followed. I was called too hefty to be featured. The word ‘PIG’ was often used to describe my appearance and my thigh gap was said to be not big enough. In the end I couldn’t keep silent, and after 900 or so comments about my body, I decided to chime in.
Her response to her critics (after thanking her supporters):
You sit behind a computer screen objectifying my body, judging it and insulting it, without even knowing it.