Australian Story: Aug 14

Monday’s Australian Story profiles supermodel Robyn Lawley and an update on her agent Chelsea Bonner, both of whom are out to prove that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

The fashion high end did not take us seriously at all. They just thought, no we’re not going to use curvy girls.” Robyn Lawley, model

“Advertisers, retailers and designers have been reinforcing this idea of beauty. It’s not working. Diversity is beautiful.” Chelsea Bonner, model agent.

“Chelsea had a vision and Robyn came along and that was the vision being able to take off.” Jennifer Lawley, Robyn Lawley’s sister.

Supermodel Robyn Lawley and her agent Chelsea Bonner live on opposite sides of the world but they’re united in their mission: to change the way women are represented in the fashion industry.

As teenagers, both were rejected by mainstream model agencies for being too curvy.

Robyn Lawley, who’s six-foot-one and a size 14, had almost given up on her dreams of modelling when she crossed paths with agent Chelsea Bonner, who’d been looking for “the one” to break through the fashion media’s ‘skinny’ obsession.

Nearly a decade later, the two have blazed a trail for curvier models through the international halls of high fashion, with Lawley becoming the first plus-size model to feature on the covers of Italian Vogue, and French Elle, and land a contract with a top-end label Ralph Lauren.

This update of our popular profile on Chelsea Bonner charts Robyn Lawley’s success in New York where she has become a high-profile advocate for promoting realistic images of women, including her own stretchmarks.

“I got called a pig and hefty. That’s fine because I love my body.” Robyn Lawley to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres

In parallel stories, both women share the adolescent battles with body image that shaped them.

“They’ve both got this drive to succeed and they’ve both got a chip on their shoulder. They both want to do this because they’ve both had so much rejection.” Jennifer Lawley, Robyn’s sister

Now based in New York, Robyn Lawley is shifting her focus to behind the camera to show that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

8pm Monday on ABC.

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