View Full Version : Two new Crystal Renn articles

27th September 2009, 19:22



28th September 2009, 07:24
Thank you for the links. Both articles have similar content, except the first is longer and more detailed, and therefore better.

I especially love its pro-indulgence passages:

I am sitting with one of the world's most successful models in an Italian restaurant in New York, and the model is eating. First she demolishes the contents of the bread basket – hunks of chewy yeasty dough, the kind of crusts Manhattan dentists cite in lawsuits. Then she sets upon a prosciutto, polenta and smoked mozzarella starter that, by my estimate, must surely be 764 calories of creamy, fat-laden comfort food, followed by a main dish of red snapper. I'm all for skipping pudding but she's a fan of the crème brûlée. She orders two, one for me, one for her. She gives the brittle topping a brisk whack with her spoon. "Isn't that just the best bit?" she says.A week later she signed on with Ford, an agency which has always had a reputation for supporting the careers of plus-size models, and she started to eat again. "Pizza, peanut butter, chocolate mud cakes. I ate a lot of those." She describes how she would sit on the sofa watching daytime television eating cheesecake every day. "Those first few months. It was absolutely amazing. It was heaven."...She says: "Each pound was a discovery. I liked it. I felt myself becoming more who I am. I had a cleavage suddenly. I started wearing heels, short dresses, colour. I was becoming the weight I naturally am. It felt like I was a woman finally."
*Sigh* I adore those paragraphs. This could be Crystal's finest contribution to size-celebration - showing girls that they don't need to deprive themselves, don't need to deny themselves food, but can eat whatever they want, and as much as they want. And best of all, as Crystal indicates in the second paragraph, by doing so they become more beautiful.

The article effectively contrasts Renn's comfortable relationship with food today with the horrifying, corpse-like state that she was in during her anorexic years - a state that was not only unhealthy, but (and for girls, this is the most important point) intensely unattractive:

In photographs she is pasty, gaunt. She looks as though she has a near-fatal illness – which she did have.

"I see someone who has nothing inside, who is unfeeling, incapable of understanding what is happening to them. I talk about it as if it is a separate person. I don't feel that I am that person in any way. I am startled by the way my body looks when I don't eat. I think that is a picture of someone who looks like they are dying. "
She is so right. Contrast the empty shell that Crystal was while anorexic with the vibrant person she is now, when she eats. I can't imagine how any girl could not prefer to emulate the latter, rather than the former.

The author of the article singles out the best parts of Crystal's book, Hungry, which are its criticisms of the state of fashion today:

I can't imagine the book will sit particularly well with the mainstream modelling industry. She is devastating about what the business is like for the young women who dream of being the next Kate Moss or Liya Kebede: the pressure to stay thin, the unspoken camaraderie among anorexics, the shared apartments that sound more like coops for battery hens. For anyone who is at all thoughtful about women and weight...it is a revealing portrayal.
The only shortcoming of the articles is Crystal's stated displeasure that many fans would prefer that she were fuller-figured. I really wish she would empathize with why they feel this way. As the article itself notes:

If Renn had remained as thin as many of her fellow models, we would never have met. She would not be one of the world's most successful models. She might, by her own admission, not even be alive.
The whole point of Crystal's career is that she is plus-size. Saying that fans should simply accept a size 12 limit on the models who represent them is the same as saying that fans should accept a size 2 limit on the models who represent them. Just as Crystal understands why women want models to be fuller-figured than a size 2, she should be able to appreciate why women want models to be above a size 12.

If she herself would prefer not to be larger, or if her agency doesn't permit it, then so be it, but she can't be surprised if people will then wish to be represented by other plus-size models who are larger than a size 12.

Other than the size issue, the articles are quite good, especially in their wonderful passages about food. Similarly, it was Kailee O'Sullivan's enthusiasm for food in her interview on this site that was one of the things that I appreciated most about her. Young women need to hear such things from their role models, so that they become comfortable with their natural appetites, lose any society-induced guilt about food - even take pleasure in it, as Kailee and Crystal so wonderfully do - and live in harmony with their natural inclinations.

M. Lopez
2nd October 2009, 06:33
Crystal was on ABC's Nightline last night (Oct. 1st). The video is on YouTube:


I like the fact that Crystal stresses that she was (a) NOT beautiful and (b) NOT successful at her anorexic size. Girls need to hear that starvation for the fashion industry is not a recipe for success. Far from it - they could be killing themselves for nothing.

What's bad, though, is that so many of these TV programs feature Crystal's underweight pictures almost exclusively. They should show fewer of those, and more of her plus-size work - especially those pictures (like the great Luis Sanchis shoot, or her Torrid ads of a few years ago) that show her actually looking full-figured.

Focussing on her anorexic pictures inevitably makes mimicry by young girls possible - indeed likely - regardless of what context those images are put into.

26th October 2009, 04:09
There's also a brand-new interview with Crystal posted on the Time magazine Web site:


It's short, but at least it's free of any mixed messages.

I especially like this passage:

Do you still worry about your weight now?

When it comes to food, I've been through such a deep dark place with my body, that I associate dieting and hating my body with extreme un-health. I was losing my hair, I had no energy and I was extremely depressed. I don't really watch my weight at all now. I do make sure that I eat as healthy as I can for energy purposes, but I no longer restrict my calorie intake to feel better about myself.
Bravo! Now, that's a message that I hope every girl takes to heart from Crystal's experience.

Diet-starvation and exercise-torture, those are the unhealthy activities.

Instead, Crystal's example shows that girls do not need to watch their weight - "at all," she adds, and I love the fact that she's very clear on that point. Also, she states unambiguously that girls do not need to restrict their calorie intake.

In her best interviews, she strikes the size-positive tone of the finest sections of her book. Applause for that!

I wonder if this interview will be in the print issue of Time as well?

27th October 2009, 19:20
"When it comes to food, I've been through such a deep dark place with my body, that I associate dieting and hating my body with extreme un-health. I was losing my hair, I had no energy and I was extremely depressed. I don't really watch my weight at all now...I no longer restrict my calorie intake to feel better about myself.
Crystal Renn has done so much for size celebration. This article mimics the mindset of Hungry at its finest. The best points are how it is dieting that is unhealthy, and eating without restraint that is healthy. So many people in the media excuse their thin-worship and starvation with a concern about "health." Crystal debunks that fabrication in one fell swoop.

Not that it should be anything less than obvious. Minus-size models look like concentration-camp victims. Plus-size models' faces and figures glow with health.

9th November 2009, 16:51
A bit about Crystal was included in a report on CBS's Sunday Morning program yesterday:


It's interesting. She claims that the Ford plus-size board goes up to a size 20. Well, I'd LOVE to see size-20 plus-size models. They'd be gorgeous. But I don't see any models that curvy on the current Ford board.

The clips of Crystal in sleepwear, both at a fashion shoot, and on the runway, are very pretty, and constitute some of the best footage of her modelling work I've yet seen. In those clips, she actually looks somewhat full-figured, which is a very good thing.