When we first heard that Crystal Renn would be featured on The View
today (Dec. 20), we felt considerble trepidation about how the appearance would turn out. But thankfully, the presentation was altogether successful, and free of any mixed messages. And it seems fitting that Miss Renn would appear on this show in particular, since it was The View
's scathing denunciation of the use of faux-plus models, several years ago, that helped turn the industry back towards using visibly curvaceous talent.
The appearance was short, with Miss Renn discussing the ordeal of starvation and exercise-torture that she suffered, in conforming to the rigors of straight-size modelling. Her statements were utterly heart-rending--as similar admissions by Kate Dillon, Shannon Marie, and Charlotte Coyle have been. One likes to think that such revelations make even the most curve-o-phobic individuals realize that beautiful young girls should never subject themselves to this kind of physical torment.
Although Miss Renn dressed very conservatively for this appearance, the show treated viewers to several behind-the-scenes glimpses of a photo shoot (presumably a future campaign or editorial) in which the model was robed in a breathtakingly gorgeous dress--a dress so classically inspired, that it could have been taken directly from a Greek maiden in an Antique sculpture:
Adding to the sensuality of this photo shoot is its evocation of the "wet look." This, too, is an element of timeless beauty, as "wet drapery" is the term that art historians use to describe the sheer, gossamer dresses that adorn the figures of sculpted goddesses in Classical artworks.
But the most captivating moments in this program were two brief video clips showing Crystal's unforgettable appearance in the Spring/Summer 2006 Gaultier runway show.
The View's co-hosts emitted gasps of astonishment at these clips, and enthusiastically applauded the beauty of it all. (As well they should.)
It was a particular treat to watch that symbolic moment when Jean-Paul Gaultier, the archetypal Parisian fashion designer, kissed the hand of his unmodern muse, and in so doing paid homage to the timeless beauty that his industry has suppressed, for so long:
We hope to convert these runway vignettes into a short Web video, in the near future.
One must applaud the producers of The View for spotlighting a plus-size model on their program. Let us hope that many young girls will watch this episode, and that it will convince them that they do not need to starve, or kill themselves with exercise-torture, in order to become world-famous supermodels.
Perhaps Crystal's own renascence can help other young women to allow their beauty to bloom naturally, and to lead happier and healthier lives.
- One of two new Crystal Renn galleries