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Robyn Lawley tried to be a "regular" model for a few years.

But she decided to become a so-called "plus-size" model when she realized being stick thin wasn't in her future. "It just wasn't working," Lawley tells E! News, explaining, "You're fighting against your natural body type. I'm broad and muscly and curvy all at the same time."

The size 12 stunner appears in this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue after becoming the first of her body type to be featured in the mag last year. We caught up with Lawley yesterday as she got ready for the Swimsuit Issue party in New York City.

She says the issue's editor MJ Day told her she'd like to use more women like her and Ashley Graham, who is one of this year's cover models. "It's hard to get curvier girls because the modeling world is so stuck on this one type of body," Lawley said.

Robyn Lawley, Sports Illustrated Party

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

However, Lawley is not a fan of the "plus-size" label. "It was given to me because models are literally half my size," she says. "Compared to regular models, who are incredibly skinny, I look plus to them. But to the average every day person, I'm just like them. So it's a tag we don't really need."

She thinks the fashion world needs a reality check. "You know, I'm a regular size 12 and that's quite a common size," Lawley said. "That's a size that sells out usually the most. My swimwear line that's out, it's one of the highest selling sizes."

While the modeling world needs to catch up, Lawley advises women who may be struggling with body image issues to try their best "to accept your natural body weight...Accept that and work with what you have."

Exercise, particularly kickboxing, is also a key to Lawley's happiness. "Do something fun that you love," she said. "I think when you exercise you start loving your body more because you feel strong and that's a good feeling to have."