While doing my best to read Paris VOGUE today, I was inspired by the story of American model Crystal Renn. Aside from her obvious beauty and the gorgeous photographs by Steven Meisel, I was curious to learn more about her because try as I might, I couldn’t quite get the gist of the VOGUE article (I guess it would be easier if I were fluent?) so I decided to Google Crystal and I discovered quite a lot about her.
Crystal grew up in Mississippi and has been modeling since the age of 14. She has appeared in (among others) American, Italian and Paris VOGUE, GLAMOUR, V and ELLE. But what makes Crystal different from Giselle, Daria and Kate is that she is categorised as plus-size. I really don’t like that term – “Plus-Sized” – what does it mean really? Is it that anyone size 10 or above is considered to be out of the regular sizing chart, because if that is the case, then that’s a load of crap. We size 10 and above women are “the norm”, are we not? We are the most popular sizes because our sizes are the first to go in stores. I don’t know what our sizes should be called (if anything) I just wish that the term plus-size didn’t exist because it is a farce.
“I’m known for my body and I’m proud of my body.”
On the catwalk for Jean-Paul Gaultier.
Renn was not always a plus-size model. When she was first discovered at 13 she was told to drop so much weight that she eventually became anorexic. A size zero (I still cannot comprehend that such a size exists) on a 5’9″ woman must have been terribly difficult to maintain and as a result Crystal decided to give up on the starvation and extreme exercise and embrace her curves. She is now hired extensively because of them, featuring in the pages of many high-end fashion magazines and in advertisements for Dolce and Gabbana and Chanel. Not an easy feat for most models, let alone one who is not the standard size zero.
On the catwalk for Chanel for the cruise collection in April.
Recently Renn admitted that she has started to lose weight, but insists it is through healthy exercise as opposed to the desperate desire to be skinny that once plagued her.
“I started an exercise routine after seven years,” she said. “I thought it was a great time to take care of myself and start exercise again. It used to be that eight hours a day of hard, gruelling exercise a day was the norm.”
“I’m at a place now where I feel I can do it in a healthy way.”
I think Crystal has a fantastic attitude. We are seeing curvier models and actors in magazines, advertising and television, I hope it is not just a trend but a movement toward truth and what is a positive reflection on real women because let’s face it, aren’t we the ones buying the clothes?