View Full Version : Crystal: Valentine's lingerie video

10th February 2010, 07:35
From Now magazine comes an attractive new video of Crystal Renn shooting an editorial in Evans lingerie:


Or view the player alone:


I have not been fond of the latest Evans campaigns (no fault of Crystal's; the aesthetic has been kind of drab and modern), but this video is quite beautiful. It has the opulent aesthetic of her Brigitte editorial from a few months ago, and you can tell that they posed her to show whatever soft curves they could, as well as displaying her full thighs. Also, her facial expressions are a bit gentler than usual, at least in the clips in the video, and that's a good thing. There's even a nice shot of Crystal smiling.

I don't know how the stills will turn out (I hope they don't choose the ones where she looks skinniest), but the video itself is appealing.

15th February 2010, 23:52
The video is very pretty. I love what the did with Crystal's hair, and her softer poses are always welcome and refreshing.

An article about Crystal appeared in the Independent of London today:


It's the familiar story. A bit downbeat. I fondly remember the press that Crystal was getting right at the beginning of her plus career, and it seemed more...joyous. Did it have something to do with the fact that she was curvier then? I wonder. Are the curve-o-phobic bigots getting to her? I hope not.

The article repeats news that, I believe, has been posted before:

On Saturday, she will model in designer Mark Fast's show at London Fashion Week
There's a welcome bit of perspective from Crystal:

"I don't know if I'm the first," she replies modestly, when I suggest she has blazed a trail out of the plus-size commercial hinterland and into the most prestigious editorial pages of fashion magazines.The modesty is warranted. I found it a bit odd in her book that she never alluded to models like Emme, Natalie Laughlin, Kate Dillon, Barbara Brickner, etc. I mean, there wouldn't have been a plus-size industry for her to enter into if it hadn't been for those girls. The most accurate answer would have been, "I'm not the first," although she has definitely appeared more often than her predecessors.

There's this statement:

My size was irrelevant. Throw size away.Crystal says this often, but it simply isn't true. Her size is the point. She gets press because she's the plus-size model du jour. There's nothing wrong with that; it's a fact. I wish she would celebrate that about herself more, instead of wanting everyone to ignore it, as if it's something to be ashamed of.

I don't know what to think about the article's writer. She says this of straight-size models:

That is not to say she looks ill or famished or as if she's about to topple over,This suggests that she is one of the fashion insiders suffering from "collective body dysmorphia." Not only do straight-size models look ill and famished, but they do topple over -- sometimes even dying. To pretend that the anorexic waifs who dominate fashion don't look ill is itself a symptom of disordered perception.

And speaking of the size issue:

But Crystal Renn looks like a normal person, albeit a very beautiful one. And she doesn't look like a [U.K. ]size 16 [a U.S. size 12]That's the one enduring shortcoming of Crystal's success. If only she did look like a size 12. In fact, if only she looked like a size 16 -- a U.S. size 16. Then all of her accomplishments, fine as they are, would be so much more transformative, so much more powerful. She says she's "not going to be bigger for you either"; well, that's her choice, but she can't be surprised or annoyed at the fact that full-figured women will keep asking for other models who are bigger, so that they can finally have representatives who are visibly curvy, who do look to be a U.S. size 16. We don't want "all models to be size 16," but for heaven's sake, we want some!

(And some 18s+ too, thank you very much.)

Crystal says she wants "a similar thing to the Eighties: real women, personalities" -- well, I remember the '80s, and they're nothing to champion. That's when the reaction against models began, because Cindy Crawford and her ilk were already underweight, already criticized (rightly) by eating-disorder organizations for causing anorexia. Just because now the industry is even more toxic now doesn't make the '80s standard any less poisonous. There were no size 16s then either; and not even any 12s. That's no solution at all.

Then there's this passage from the article's writer.

it isn't until the industry leaders that is, the high-end brands, the directional labels and the creative innovators get on board that much attention is paid. Otherwise, it is seen as the PC lobby trying to make fashion mundane.
That refers to the horrible "real woman" bent from Brigitte and so forth, but I'm thankful that this site has been against that from the beginning. It isn't an either/or. The way to transform the industry is with plus-size beauties who are not mundane, but goddesses -- Charlotte Coyle, Kelsey Olson, etc. Not a destruction of ideals, but a higher, better ideal.

Nevertheless, the article has two passages that are quite good; two welcome examples of Crystal taking sides with plus-size models and against the straight-size fashion industry. These are more like the better parts of her book.

The furore with Fast's stylist last season hinged on one of fashion's main objections to plus-size models on the catwalk: that they do not have the requisite experience to walk on the international runways. "Teach them!" screeches Renn. "The 15-year-old from the Ukraine who doesn't speak English somehow managed to do it, it took her five minutes to learn. I ended the Gaultier show in 2005. What, because someone's big they can't walk in heels? That's insane.So true. I mean, in both Kelsey Olson's bridal videos for Torrid and Kailee O'Sullivan's Simply Be videos the models have perfect catwalk struts. Talented plus-size models are out there. It's a matter of whom the designer chooses.

In another passage, Crystal contradicts the article's writer on an important point.

The other barrier...is that models are required to be as close to a walking clothes-hanger as possible...Which means no wobbly bits and nothing, absolutely nothing, that could count as vaguely erotic, thereby rendering a sheer chiffon blouse obscene. If someone thinks anything "vaguely erotic" is "obscene," there is something very wrong with them, and they have no business foisting their issues with womanly bodies on the public. Plus, it's a hilariously hypocritical argument when you consider the gratuitous nudity that the fashion world regularly thrusts in readers' faces. It's not the "erotic" that fashion has a problem with, it's plus-size erotic.

Crystal's rebuttal is quite effective:

"If I wanted to see them on a hanger, I would just look at the garments in my closet," Renn counters. "Those clothes are going to be on these women." She gestures around the packed bar..."These aren't hangers. They should be able to see variety up there and get an idea of who they are, and not feel pressure to change. It would be a huge boost economically the amount of money that could be made from women feeling empowered and beautiful? I think it would start a surge of shopping."
Well stated. The trouble is, of course, that the "bottom line" isn't the bottom line for designers, which is why economic arguments (Emme is fond of these) always fail. Designers put their size bigotry over any financial motive. That's the kind of people they are.

The most worrying parts of the article are both Crystal's and the writer's absolution of fashion-industry responsibility for eating disorders. It's like the Jezebel article recently posted on this forum states: deny, deny, deny. Sure no one put a gun to Crystal's head to make her anorexic, but she and all models are forced to do this or lose their jobs. Crystal got lucky to make it as a plus-size; but for most models, escaping anorexia would mean the end of their careers.

What if she had been one of those "15-year-olds from the Ukraine who don't speak English"? Then it would be a case of either you starve yourself to death for your job, or you're unemployed, unemployable, bankrupt, and a continent away from home. And contrary to what the article's writer claims (based on anecdotes), study after study have proven that images of underweight models DO trigger eating disorders.

Bluntly, the fashion industry has blood on its hands, and people need to stop making excuses for it, based solely on their own experiences. Think about what those other anorexic models (let alone the countless eating-disorder sufferers whose diseases have been triggered by these images) are going through.

So all in all, a mixed article. Some great points by Crystal, but some that are not as pro-plus as they could have been. When she does defend curvy women from their critics, she's admirable. I wish she did it more often.

M. Lopez
18th February 2010, 00:41
Nevertheless, the article has two passages that are quite good; two welcome examples of Crystal taking sides with plus-size models and against the straight-size fashion industry. These are more like the better parts of her book.
I agree that those are by far the best parts of the article. It's too bad that it is undermined by so many mixed messages, because if Crystal could maintain a clear pro-plus stance, as she does in those two fine points (stating that models should NOT look like "hangers," and that they are perfectly capable of walking on the runway), and if she were more aggressive in slamming the fashion industry for its abuses, she'd be a much more effective spokesperson for curvy women.

In another commendable passage, she debunked one of the talking points of the other side, the resentment-of-all-beauty crowd:

While Crystal Renn is a [U.K.] size 16, she is no lumpen hag. There is a difference, I suggest, between being beautiful and feeling beautiful. Some people will always look better than others, and some people will feel that more keenly. "Oh, that's life!" She laughs. "Sorry! It was hard for me too when I learned that!...there'll always be someone prettier"
That's an admirably realistic perspective on her part about her own appearance, and an altogether fine statement.

It also thankfully separates the size issue from the other distractions that tend to weaken the push for more naturally proportioned models. The beauty-resenters try to lump together all sorts of political agendas (age, race, beauty, etc. etc.), and the result is a watered down, unfocussed message that gets no traction.

The problem is not age, and it certainly isn't beauty. The industry could be using teenage models, if it didn't require them to be skeletal. And if anything, the odd thing about fashion is not the presence of beauty, but its relative absence.

The issue is size, and size alone. If the industry didn't require models to look like walking corpses, it would have no other problems, because all of its abuses arise from this one grotesque standard. If teen models didn't have to ruin their health and put their lives at risk by starving themselves, there would be nothing wrong with featuring young models.

And as Crystal points out, it's not the beauty of the models that has a damaging impact on girls. (If anything, girls should learn not to resent those who have superior gifts of any kind - beauty being one of them.) It's the fact that a "model appearance" is presented as a starved look.

If models were just as young as they are today, just as beautiful as the few are who actually do have pretty faces, but were full-figured not anorexic looking, then models would have a positive rather than negative influence on girls. There would be no issue.

The crux is size, and size alone. It's the only issue that actually needs reforming - and of course, it's the one issue that fashion refuses to budge on. They will keep pushing anorexia until they are forced not to do so.