Plus Uber Model Crystal Renn

(Re-Posted from StyleList however, I’ve added some of my favorite CR photos)

Crystal Renn

Photo: Ruven Afanador

Exclusive! Plus-Size Model Crystal Renn Talks to StyleList About Her New Book ‘Hungry’ and the Fashion Industry’s Obsession with Size Zero
 by Katie Hintz-Zambrano

 When Crystal Renn aspired to be a model as a 14-year-old in Mississippi, an agent (not from Ford) told her she had to lose 9 inches off of her hips first.

Renn ended up doing that, and then some, going from 175 lbs and 5′ 8″ to 95 lbs and an inch and a half taller in two years, eventually moving to New York City and launching a successful modeling career.

After conquering the eating disorder that transformed her body, Renn, now 23, is happy to call herself a size 12 plus-size model, who, with her new curvy figure has walked the runway for Gaultier, graced the pages of Vogue and starred in ads for Dolce & Gabbana.

Crystal Renn Runway

Renn’s new book about her intriguing journey, titled “Hungry,” comes out September 8 (pre-order it at Amazon.com).

We landed an exclusive interview with Renn in which the beauty opens up to StyleList about the dark side of modeling, accepting her body and coming out on top.

StyleList: Why did you decide to write this book?
Crystal Renn: I could only reach a certain number of people through magazine interviews and I wanted to take it to the next level and go into greater depths about my story. One of the messages I wanted to get out was that no matter who you are or where you are, you can accomplish your dreams. I’m a girl from Clinton, Mississippi, and here I am in New York. I also wanted to talk about body acceptance and help women feel empowered.

Crystal

SL: How did your eating disorder develop once you were trying to achieve the model shape?
CR: It started gradually. I switched to whole wheat bread or eating eggs instead of beef. Just making everything lower in fat. Then it came to cutting out desserts completely. I ended up losing 30 lbs in 2 months, but then I plateaued. That’s when it got pretty serious. I started exercising everyday between 1 hour and 8 hours. I wouldn’t eat above a thousand calories. And the weight started coming off again. And this was all before I was even modeling yet. I was 15.

SL: Once you were in New York booking jobs and maintaining a weight between 105 and 95 lbs, did your agency and the people around you know what was happening?
CR: I think you had to be aware that something was wrong — the veins coming out of my arms, the lack of energy, the hair falling out, being in a sullen dark place all the time. That’s not normal for a 16-year-old girl. But they pushed me harder and even set me up with a very expensive trainer. I think they turned the other way.

SL: Did you notice the same issues happening with the models around you?
CR: The thing about anorexia is it’s a really private thing. People who share openly think they are going to be judged. But I did meet other girls that I knew were suffering with it. I had a roommate and we were eating disorder buddies. And at shoots girls would share tips and it was really quite twisted. One girl said, “When I really want dessert I just eat fat-free Jell-o and I just eat tons of it.” Or there were tips on drinking Diet Coke or eating just the peel of apples.

SL: What was your own diet like?
CR: I was probably eating 600 or 700 calories a day. I would steam vegetables and eat them with fat-free dressing for breakfast, for lunch it was lettuce with balsamic vinegar, for dinner maybe the same thing. Everything was always fat-free or sugar-free.

 

SL: What made you stop?
CR: At 17 my body completely rebelled. I couldn’t loose more weight and I realized I was going to die for a job. The next day I was completely chastised by my agency for my size and one agent pulled me aside and said, “There’s an option for you. You can either go plus-size or do commercial work.” And I asked, “What’s plus-size modeling? I’ve never heard of that.” And she said, “Well it means you can be whatever size you want and model.” But she said it was for old women! But for whatever reason, everything made sense and I knew this was the route I had to take. I went and had a salad with salmon and walnuts and olive oil. I gave into what my body needed. I could be healthy and happy and still model.

Model Crystal Renn

SL: Then you switched agencies to Ford’s plus-size division and you’ve had a successful career. Do you think the enduring waif aesthetic in fashion will ever change?
CR: I believe it’ll change because fashion is always changing. A hundred years ago, heavier women were more ideal and now it’s a size 0. I think it’s a cycle and I think that women want to see themselves in the pictures — they want to see their size, color and height. I think if that happens, it’ll make women feel more empowered and they’ll love themselves more. In fashion, it starts with the sample sizes and I think designers are becoming more aware. But I think there have been many positive changes. I’ve done all of the Vogue’s and Dolce & Gabbana ads. It’s just a matter of time before it’s brought back to mainstream.

Plus SuperModel Crystal Renn

Crystal Renn sets the bar for plus modeling. 

I am a big fan of Auto Biographies and this is definitely a book that I am looking forward to reading. 

XOXO,

Mia

 

13 Responses to “Plus Uber Model Crystal Renn”

  1. YAAAAAAAAAAY for Crystal Renn!

  2. What a beautiful woman! This is the shape I would like to see modelling anything and everything. Please stay well and healthy and be happy.

  3. so beautiful… my GOD!

  4. Rita Kress Says:

    You are soo beautiful , Crystal Ren, inside and out! Thank you for sharing your passion for empowering women to love themselves as they are meant to be. God made us all unique sizes, and there could never be a more beautiful you.

  5. well done for you,other models should look up to you and embrace their curves 😛

  6. A true appealing woman among skinny sick looking models.

  7. Absolutely INSPIRING !!!

  8. About time: what a truly BEAUTIFUL woman. I hope this sends a message to the rest of the world but especially here in America: a woman or any size, but with her natural curves is more attractive than anything plastic implants or other cosmetic surgeries try to create. I always wished I had grown up during the 50s pinup times when many women were real women in America in all their striking natural beauty, I hope I will not have to wish for this any longer. Women, be yourselves and love what your momma gave ya!

  9. About time: what a truly BEAUTIFUL woman. I hope this sends a message to the rest of the world but especially here in America: a woman of any size, but with her natural curves is more attractive than anything plastic implants or other cosmetic surgeries try to create.

    I always wished I had grown up during the 50s pinup times when many women were real women in America in all their striking natural beauty (full hips and buttocks and real breasts), I hope I will not have to wish for this any longer. Women, be yourselves and love what your momma gave ya!

  10. Wow, she is sooooo amazingly beautiful! Other designers need to snap her up, she is stunning!

    I hope that this is the beginning for healthier model appearances on the runway. Realistic sizes need to be the norm!!

  11. Plus size, are you serious? Look at a BMI chart – for her height and weight, she is a 25 – which is normal!! At her previous “fat” modeling weight of 105, she is a 15 – severely underweight and at 95 lbs. she is so underweight, she isn’t even on the chart! I truly hope her inspiring story does encourage some changes in the fashion industry. She is a beautiful, tall woman who looks ten times more glamorous than all the other models in runway clothes. Go Crystal!

  12. I do a presentation talking about body image and how influenced we are as consumers to achieve the “perfect size.” My message is that you already are if you’re healthy. I will be buying this book because I admire someone who isn’t a cookie cutter.

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