Robyn Lawley image via her Instagram.
I recently had some of my friends go help out at a ‘fat camp’ in America. They are plus models like myself and one of them was telling me about the experience she had there. The girls that were doing the camp were 12-19 years old and some were there because their parents sent them, while others had chosen to go.
At these camps they have ‘diet food’. They restrict campers’ calorie intake and they make these girls exercise all day every day. I hate diet food. Anything labelled ‘fat free’, or ‘diet’ is filled with chemicals, not nutrition. That’s not food. I believe in eating fresh, organic food.
Crash dieting on a camp is not a sustainable way to change unhealthy habits, because when you are no longer in that controlled environment it’s impossible to keep it up. Then after two months you’re sent home. It’s so hard not to rebound after that kind of structured, forced experience.
Parents are thinking they are helping the kid, but sending a 12 year old girl to a fat camp is going to bring on so many issues for her. I could never send a child to a fat camp, it’s such a shitty way to go about it. I can’t believe they even exist.
And then my friend told me something that I thought it was really scary and sad – after she told the girls how much she loved her body they all expressed that they’ve never in their lives felt that way and couldn’t imagine it. The girls all said none of them had ever felt like it was ok to be the size they were or that it was ok to be happy at any size other than “thin”.
My biggest aim in my career is to help younger women feel more secure in the body they are in right now. It’s something I feel so strongly about and I’m proud to be working with Pantene because their #shinestrong campaign is something I want to be a part of.