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Aussie Robyn Lawley has a lingerie campaign, covered Vogue Italia last year and is one of the newest faces of Ralph Lauren. She hopes to aspire a generation.

This is significant since Robyn, as a size 12 (U.S.), is considered a plus size model in today’s fashion world. Lawley welcomes that designation.

“I had to go through my own self-love, self-hate to get to where I am,” the 23-year-old says. “It took me years to watch plus-size models be so confident.”

“But then I realized that I could use my voice to be a positive role model for girls. When I found plus-size modeling, it was such a relief to be just me.”

Jennifer Lopez in Bandage Dress
Photo via Michael Wright/

At age 16, Lawley entered a modeling competition, eventually signing with an agency at 19. Now, she’s a Wilhelmina model, traveling the globe to shoot ads.

“It feels really good,” the stunner says of her recent success. “I feel it’s been a really long time coming, but it feels like it was meant to happen now.”

In her earlier days, Lawley admits she was pressured to lose weight. “I was told I’d be a huge success,” she says. “I was told to eat less, exercise more.”

“But the thing with my body is that I’m big-boned; I have broad shoulders, I’m really tall, have big hips – it’s just not my body. And I love food!”

“I don’t want to give it up for something that would make me unhappy.”

Indeed; the model runs a mouth-watering food blog, full of photos of kitchen creations and on-set snacks. She says it’s all about sending the right message.

Inspired by “strong, not-too-skinny” models of the 1990s, like Linda Evangelista, Lawley hopes she can be a source of inspiration for others, as well.

“I do try to respond to comments I receive on Facebook,” she says. “Some girls struggle with confidence, so it’s nice to be able to talk to them.”

“When I signed on as a plus-size model my friends were shocked because I’m a normal girl. My friends are my size. If people can relate to me, it’s a good thing.”