In case you were wondering, Robyn Lawley is as glamorous in person as she is in photos. She’s bright-eyed and statuesque and has the kind of hair that wouldn’t be out of place on a Disney Princess (or a Pantene ad, which is handy given she’s the brand’s ambassador).
But the Aussie model insists there’s one place where you won’t find her looking quite so put-together: the gym. While she loves her Lululemon leggings, Lawley says the rest of her ensemble isn’t as Insta-worthy.
“I usually just wear an old, daggy T shirt on top. I don’t know why I never wear or buy fitness tops. I’m very unglamorous working out. I’m just daggy central,” she says.
I was relieved to hear this, because I’ve never managed to look ‘good’ while exercising – and I’m perturbed by the idea that I’m supposed to. I mentioned to Robyn that a makeup line designed to be worn during workouts has just been released, and she was equally bemused by the whole thing.
“It is frustrating. I can’t be worried about looking good because I go bright red, beetroot red almost immediately when I start training. So there’s nothing I can do to hide it,” the 26-year-old says.
Watch: The Glow team shares our most embarrassing gym moments. (Post continues after video.)
“I was watching someone, she was so beautiful working out. She was just so trendy and cool and I was like, ‘Can this just be the one place where we don’t care so much about it?’ But of course it’s not.”
Phew. I’m not the only red-faced dag at the gym, then.
Here’s what else Robyn shared while she was in Sydney last week.
Did you fall for any tragic beauty fads back in the day?
“So many. Sometimes I tried to draw my eyebrows in and I don’t do a very good job — I didn’t realise you’re meant to do a light colour like a taupe or a beige, not black. I looked like Black Bird from the Muppets, and it was hilarious. I have all of those photos for life.”
What’s your top trick for keeping your hair in shape?
“I put a lot of conditioner on my hand and massage it in, then comb it through. And if I don’t comb it while the conditioner’s on my hair, it doesn’t do the same thing for some reason. It’s the weirdest thing.”
You recently hashtagged one of your photos #keepyournaturalcolour. Does that mean you have ‘virgin’ hair?
“I haven’t dyed my hair since I was a teenager. When I was 16 I was dying it platinum, so I know what it’s like to have your hair tortured. I’d have to dye it every four weeks because it grew so fast. When you’re having to do that it’s like, maybe give up the jig and just embrace it. I like my hair feeling good, and when you bleach it so much it feels like Barbie hair. It just gets so burnt. I did too much too soon.”
Your daughter Ripley just turned one. What’s something you know about parenting now that you wish you’d known a year ago?
“You’re never prepared; I thought it was going to be a bit more easy. No-one had babies around me so I didn’t really understand, and once you have a baby you have a child, you have an adult, you have a person forever. So you always have to be thinking ahead. Now it feels quite second nature. Ripley is the easiest-going baby, and when your child smiles at you your heart just goes into a million pieces. It’s a double-edged sword, and it’s worth it.” (Post continues after gallery.)
You’ve admitted it can be hard for women to love their bodies after birth. What was the most challenging aspect for you?
“As a model, I knew my body was going to change. I knew I’d get more marks, I knew the muscle might not go back, I wasn’t very good with my core before. It is hard, because everyone’s trying to be perfection after they’ve had a baby and it’s not fair to women. You just birthed a human being and you’re meant to worry about fitting in some frickin’ jeans in two months? It’s stupid. I still have a quite different body to what I did before I had a baby, the only way I get through the day to day is [thinking] this doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things, and secondly, I focus on feeling strong.”
For you, what’s the biggest issue women face in 2016?
“Definitely equal women’s rights, and that’s always going to be the dominant one for me because it’s not happening in every single country … Taking women’s rights away, and it’s 2016 – are you frickin’ kidding me? It makes my blood boil. Julia Gillard said in 100 years we’ll have female equality. That is way too long. In 100 years’ time my daughter’s meant to feel equal in the world? No way. That’s bullshit. We have to teach our boys as much as our girls that everyone should want feminism.”
Watch: Aussie celebrities share the best advice their mums gave them. (Post continues after video.)
It’s funny how some people justify not embracing feminism…
“It’s a weird mentality. A lot of my guy friends will be completely supportive of me and everything I do, until I vocalise that I’m a feminist and they get all weird. I’m like, ‘You know it just means equality, right? Just putting it out there. And the foremothers that did burn their bras to get it did have to fight, so don’t mock them either.'”
You DJ, you cook – do you have any other interests that might surprise people?
“I’m really into film. I probably know more about directors than I do about photographers and fashion designers. Not one of my favourite directors is female, and that really pisses me off. There are amazingly talented female directors, but my genre — sci fi and action — just hasn’t been explored enough.”