Robyn Lawley is used to standing out. After all, she is a 6-foot-2½-inch tall supermodel. At first glance, she has all the markings of a typical model It girl: Long hair, gorgeous eyes, high cheekbones, amazon height. But then you realize that Robyn is not like the others. As a size 12, Robyn has transcended fashion barriers, becoming the first "plus-size" woman to model in a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition editorial shoot, and been featured in dozens of campaigns and magazine covers (seriously too many to count). She also released a cookbook, Robyn Lawley Eats, started a swimwear line, and became a mother. Oh, and she's a DJ — got all that?
Robyn stopped by BuzzFeed LA to answer your burning questions about modeling, motherhood, and everything in between. Here are her sage words of wisdom.
1. How did you become a model? —beab489721959
I became a model when I was 16. I entered a competition and unfortunately lost. Then I was signed onto the books and I tried to do regular modeling — I tried to be really skinny. I failed at that miserably because I love food! So then I started again as a plus-size model... My whole career took off.
2. What's a day in your life like? —danikaj
On a day when I'm modeling, [my life is] quite glamorous and very different than day to day. I live up in Topanga; I live in the woods, hang out with my baby — just chill, it's like 180 [degrees]. And when I'm modeling, it's very fancy, very different.
3. What are your beauty secrets? I need all of them. —Cassie Vestal (Facebook)
I love Dr. Hauschka rose cream and the biggest tip is take your makeup off at night! I've been so tired and like, "I'm not gonna do it" and every time I've not done it, I've regretted it immediately. The next day when I wake up and my eyes are glued together... So make sure you take off your makeup. I use coconut oil — it's really easy, really good for you.
4. Do you like being considered a plus-sized model? Would you rather just be called a model? —panitap
The question I always know is gonna be asked! I've spoken about this often and actually something else came up recently. Not only do you have to be a plus-size model, you have to be in brackets. They usually put "visibly plus-sized," "not visibly plus-sized." That already says to me why bother with the label — it should just be "I'm a model." And I want to model regular clothing brands, which is something that's severely lacking because plus-size models tend to only model for plus-size brands and regular models only model for regular-size brands. So for me, I just want to model for any brand. I want them to call up and go, "Hey, I want a size 12" or "I want a size 6" or "I want a size 0" — whatever they want and not have to put us in categories.
5. Who inspires you the most in your life? —Julia May (Facebook)
I think my grandma was a really big inspiration to me. She was a crusader of her time. She did everything she wanted to do: She was a dressmaker, an art teacher; she taught people in jail; she did ceramics; she believed in women's rights. She was a real champion.
6. Do you have any tips for girls struggling to love their bodies? —perfectlystruggling
If you really are struggling to love your body — and it can really get all-consuming — do something up here [points to head]. Study a thing, or do something, a hobby or a sport. I know that's really cliché to say but honestly if you feel intelligent and you feel creative and you're getting your outlet in something that you're actually making or doing, you feel a lot less worried about this whole outward, exterior aesthetic.
7. What do you consider your superpower to be? —iriephoenix
Do I have a superpower? I'm not sure if I have a superpower. I like my height — I think my height's my superpower because I walk in anywhere and I feel tall. I don't know, height feels like it gives me some kind of power and usually I'm not wearing heels so everyone looks at my feet and realizes I am 6-foot-2½.
8. How do you look good in pictures — like really? I'm so done with running away every time friends want to take a group shot. —gnandgb
Well, you're the best look you're ever going to be today, you're the youngest looking you're ever going to be, and in 10 years' time you're going to be thinking a completely different thought about yourself. I've often [thought] I don't want to be in the picture or I don't have makeup on but then I regret it because that moment's gone. So take that photo and smile!
9. What is your favorite food to eat/make? —sodancer
My French toast is pretty bomb — I love that. And I love doing a roast. But my ultimate chocolate chip cookie — that's the best one that's gotten me the most likes so far.
10. How do you balance being a mom and modeling? BTW I love you <3 —WhatTheFreak
Heart emoji back! It's a challenge I think any mother would know. I didn't realize how much I wanted to be with my baby and how much it would hurt when I would have to leave my baby. And it still hurts. I'll be leaving this week for Australia and I have to leave her unfortunately and it sucks! How do I manage it? You know, when I'm with her I try to make that time count. When I'm off, I'm really off. I'm a mom in Topanga, in the trees — I try to be with my daughter in that moment. I try to limit the phone, I try to limit TV and all that kind of stuff — and that way, when I go modeling, I get that time to myself as well. So I'll work out as much as I can or I work on my laptop, which I can't really do at home.
11. What are some of the best and worst things of being a model? —Juniderp
Some of the best things about being a model... You get to see all of the photographers' lighting, and as someone who likes to photograph girls, it's pretty awesome to be able to witness Steven Meisel, for example. And also traveling! It's that double-edged sword: Traveling is awesome and I love going everywhere, except then I have the unfortunate side of immigration and customs and getting detained — that's happened to me a few times because I travel so much. You're constantly in immigration lines, constantly having to wait for bags. Actually, I've gotten my backpacking down; I'll just take a backpack now — I won't checking anything if I [don't] have to.
12. As a female model, what’s your least favourite stereotypical interview question that you hate answering? —mvandeynze16
I feel like all the questions I get asked honestly have to do with my job, so I don't really get annoyed at any question. I do hate when photographers say like, "Do sexy," or "Do a sexy pose" — it always sounds a bit creepy from a dude staring down the barrel of the camera. But apart from that, there's no real question that bothers me too much. About the plus-size thing, people are genuinely interested and they no idea so you have to explain.
13. Have you ever lost your confidence and wanted to change how you look? Btw you’re gorgeous and I love you. —alicea40cd5aae1
That's really sweet. I think everyone does. Sometimes I get really into Instagram and then I'm like, "I don't look like this!" I think that can really take effect and take a hold of who you are and you just have to take a step back and take a break from it all. Realize everyone puts their best face on Instagram or social media and that might not be how it is behind closed doors. And if you're feeling un-confident, just try to think about empowering yourself in a different way.
14. How do you deal with the people who body shame you? —crazyxgamer001
I laugh about it sometimes and other times I'm a little offended. But to be honest, I think it is laughable because who the hell goes on the internet to troll someone, who goes on to say whatever they want about you. Have I ever gone on the internet just to hit someone about their looks? No. So my way is if good people wouldn't do that to you, these are bad people so they're not worth your time.
15. What is your opinion on the lack of representation on sizes 6-10 in the model industry? It seems like you only be small and stereotypically beautiful or large and empowered. —meganj4c838412d
I feel like we're missing out on something and I feel like that size area is where a lot of girls are. And some of my favorite models are in that size demographic and because I couldn't see it happening, I had to start my own swimwear brand. [There are girls] that are so gorgeous and so in shape and have so much to aspire to health-wise so I just had to start using them myself. I think that is greatly un-catered for, there is no girls really in high fashion that are other sizes and that's something we're trying to change and it's been a long time coming but hopefully it's going to change soon.
Questions have been edited for clarity and/or length.