Although her feature on The View
undoubtedly attracted a larger audience, Crystal Renn also appeared on this past weekend's episode of Fashion Television,
which is Canada's most-watched program devoted to the eponymous topic.
It was not possible to give the show a "plug" here, owing to the fact that it followed Miss Renn's profile with an intensely size-negative segment, and thus delivered an appallingly mixed message. Nevertheless, taken in isolation, the program's feature on Crystal was very well done, and included numerous compelling statements by the model on the topic of weight and beauty.
The segment also presented video clips from both the Gaultier show, and from that highly intriguing photo shoot which was originally promoted on The View
The dress that Miss Renn wore for this shoot is surely one of the most gorgeous creations that any plus-size model has ever exhibited. It is the very essence of the Antique style, and as such, constitutes the ideal adornment for the fuller female figure, since timeless raiment such as this was expressly created for Classical curves. And to her credit, Crystal adopted a variety of effected poses in showcasing this dress that betokened sculptural masterpieces from the golden age of Greece.
Most rewarding of all, the episode treated viewers to a glimpse of the dress from the back view. Why photographers seldom shoot models from the reverse perspective is mystifying, especially if--as in this case--the dress is even more breathtaking from the back than from the front.
Apart from utilizing a studio backdrop rather than an Arcadian landscape, this shoot is a perfect realization of that ultimate dream of every aficionado of timeless beuaty--i.e., to see plus-size models photographed in Classical attire (right down to the authentic detail of the "wet drapery").
The episode also featured behind-the-scenes clips from Miss Renn's Gaultier runway appearance, showing the designer putting some finishing touches on the model's voluminous hairstyle.
Gaultier was effusive in his praise of his curvaceous muse, lauding her "beautiful shape," and genuinely enthusing over the fact that she has "more poitrine, more bustier, more derriere" than typical runway waifs.
In fact, the segment as a whole maintained a commendably positive tone. The host referred to the model as "the voluptuous Crystal Renn," declaring her "naturally a size 14" (hear, hear!), and affirming that, for Crystal, "it was unrealistic and unhealthy to maintain her smaller size."
One industry insider was also caught admitting, on camera, that "there are people who would find someone like Crystal much, much more attractive than whoever is on the cover of Vogue right now."
And while we all know this to be true, the fact that the "fashion press" has finally acknowledged this fact is something of a breakthrough.
Nevertheless, the episode's most interesting statements were delivered by Miss Renn herself. In words that will hopefully resonate with many young girls, she revealed that, "I've never been happier, because for once in my life, I've been able to accept, 'This is who I am, I love my job, and I can do it at this size.' And it's fabulous."
Crystal also outlined, with surprising frankness, what her starvation ordeal was really like. Describing the self-inflicted torture of her underweight days, she stated, "It's just the constant, food--thinking about food. I'm shooting, I couldn't focus on what I was doing, because I'm thinking about cheeseburgers."
(We can therefore amend that favourite advertising phrase of so many readers of this forum, "Sexy girls have dessert," to encompass cheeseburgers as well.)
Miss Renn also disclosed an encouraging facet of her current shooting conditions, stating, "Photographers, they don't just try to tell me, 'Oh, suck it in.' They just say, 'Be the way that you are.'" And that fact earns both the model, and the photographers in question, an enthusiastic, "Bravo." This represents a truly promising movement in plus-size modelling today, also exhibited by Christina Schmidt, Barbara Brickner, Charlotte Coyle, and others, whereby models specifically avoid posing in ways that minimize their curves, but rather, comfortably present their figures in their natural form, with full arms, curvy midriffs, and every other trait of softness that represents true feminine beauty.
And the social impact of plus-size modelling is apparently gaining recognition. According to Crystal, it even influenced her decision to start eating normally. She recalled telling her agents: "Listen, this is how I am. I can't do this any more. I don't think it's a good example that I'm setting for other people, that I'm starving myself like this."
Today, by contrast, the example that she is setting is 100% positive.
The program also revealed--as few of Crystal's headshots ever have--just how attractive her facial features are.
Far from being "edgy," her visage is actually round and pretty and youthful. Perhaps the model is sometimes subjected to the work of gauntness-oriented makeup artists who want to create the illusion of hard features, but the natural shape of her face is simply lovely.
Oh, and as a final word of praise for this segment, the background music that was chosen to accompany the runway and photoshoot clips was the exquisite "Flower Duet" from the Delibes opera, Lakmé--thus continuing the floral imagery that has been a recurrent theme in Miss Renn's career.
How fortunate we all are that Crystal is promoting the timeless aesthetic of full-figured feminine beauty in such an effective way. Hopefully, her personal flowering will inspire other young women to allow their beauty to blossom, as well.
- Photo gallery of the Gaultier show