View Full Version : Crystal Renn: StyleList interview

26th August 2009, 15:12
Crystal Renn is currently doing a lot of promotion for Hungry, the book that she co-authored with a professional writer. I've never actually read any of the books co-written by various plus-size celebrities - not Emme's, not Delta Burke's, not Katie Arons's, not Mia Tyler's - so I don't know how this book will compare to those. One review, though, puts it very well:

"Crystal Renn's experience debunks the modern-day Cinderella story of the f** girl who loses weight to get happy. This is a new fairy tale, one in which a young woman embraces the size she's supposed to be and the world opens up for her."

That's a nice way of putting it, and that storyline could actually be adapted into size-positive books and movies of various kinds. It's a familiar tale in plus-size modelling, of course - similar to Shannon Marie's story, similar to Kate Dillon's.

This cover image for the book, the better of the two, I'd say, is fairly good:


Anyway, here's the link to the interview:


There are two items in it that, I think, make it worth noting. One is that this is the closest that I've seen Crystal come to admitting that eating disorders really are a problem in the fashion industry. In the past, she's been too much of an apologist for the industry, which really is riddled with girls who are starving to death, the way that she was (and few of those girls share her good fortune of escaping into plus-size modelling; most simply keep torturing themselves and ruin their health forever).

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.
Also, it's nice to see Crystal acknowledging the point - the fundamental Judgment of Paris theme - that the modern underweight standard is a deviation from the true historical full-figured ideal of beauty:

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...It's just a matter of time before it's brought back to mainstream.

The last statement, however, still reflects a problem with public perceptions - so many people seem to believe that fashion will just "change" its size standards on its own, as if it behaved like the weather or something. But of course, that's utterly false. Those anorexic standards were put in place by the designers and the fashion elite that dominate the industry today. It's the standard that they want, the size that they prefer, and they have shown that they don't care who suffers as a result of the imposition of their starvation ideal.

Until these industry heads (the designers, magazine editors, photographers, etc.) are FORCED to change the size standards, no change will ever happen. It certainly won't somehow magically happen on its own.