When it comes to the world of fashion it seems that thin is always “in”. Skinny models grace the cover of Vogue and Glamour magazine in expensive, size double zero, designer clothes. While others pose on large billboards with their flawless toothpick legs, rapped in designer jeans, and stare right back at you on your drive home from work. Not that I think that these models aren’t gorgeous, I will admit that I am right there sighing in jealousy with the rest of us, but is this how real women look? Obviously not, yet designers argue that with a thinner model we concentrate more on the designs and less on the models size. As if we’re not all thinking “get this poor girl a Big Mac” as she walks down the runway. Either way, if you are tired of hearing about the growing epidemic of Anorexia or you just want to eat a slice of cheese pizza without feeling bad, I’m glad to report that curvy women are making a comeback. Pictures of plus-size models are recently being featured in magazines and are receiving positive revues. Alongside the fact, that one of the most successful models working today is a size twelve.
Crystal Renn is gorgeous, sexy and at the top of her game in the world of plus-size modeling. Signing a quarter of a million dollar modeling contract at just the young age of fourteen, Crystal Renn had a dream of becoming a super model and gracing the cover of Vogue. However, to obtain her dream there was only one problem; she would have to lose 70 pounds from her healthy teenage body. Shockingly, she managed to do so in just one year by excessive exercise and starving herself. The beautiful 5,9 model managed to find herself at a mire 95 pounds and was still continuously pressured to lose more weight. She claims that at her very petite size, “even though I was accomplishing my dream, I was absolutely miserable” in a recent interview on Good Morning America. Yet Renn realized that she couldn’t keep the weight off without her body rebelling against her and she found out the very thing she thought she had to get rid of would be the key to her success. Now she’s an international runway model and cover girl, plus-sized.
The irony in Renn’s story is that while she was out exercising and struggling to lose weight, her career was at a standstill. Her prestigious career only took off once she gained weight and started to love her body. She signed on with ford as a plus-size model, landed an impressive Dolce & Gabanna add campaign and is the first plus size model to be featured in six issues of Vogue. She is also proud to have been featured in Glamour’s November 2009 issue, alongside Amy Lemons, Ashley Graham, Kate Dillon and other beautiful plus-size models, on a quest for this body image revolution to catch on.
However in recent months, controversial pictures of Reen seem to have hit news stands, claiming that she has lost weight and that she is no longer a plus size. But she claims that the pictures have been retouched and that she remains at a healthy plus-size weight. In People magazine’s July 2010 issue she says, “You want to laugh because you know it’s not you, but then you realize everyone out there seeing these images thinks it is.” Renn tells People “I was obviously upset and concerned. I don’t want some girl who’s recovering from anorexia to see the picture and think I don’t think that you can be any size and be beautiful. That’s completely not what I’m about.” Still at the age of 23 she admits that she has lost some weight since the beginning of her career but in a completely healthy way. “Over the years I had made my way down to 165 lbs. and a size twelve,” says Renn, and even more so in the last year through exercise, she has dropped down to 150 pounds and a size ten. Seven years after her battle with anorexia, during which she avoided all workouts, she has finally discovered fun activities such as hiking and yoga which now have her taking a more balanced approach to fitness in the last year. She says. “I used to workout obsessively for 8 hours a day,” she admits. “Now, I want to do something fun that’s good for my body.”
Renn has also published her own book named “Hungry – A Young Model’s Story: Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves” about her journey in the modeling world. Her own battles with eating disorders and body confidence issues are what inspired her to share her story in a book. “I’d like to see everyone take on the attitude that there are women of all different shapes and sizes as `the beauty ideal,’ and that it’s not one type or another” Renn said. “All women bring something different to the table and we have to appreciate them all.” The truth that this cover girl is able to find in beauty is what has inspired many women and giving them the confidence to love themselves. Renn exploits the fashion industry on the ups and downs of being a model and associates this industry with body issues that people face.
Renn’s new book, prestigious career and inspiring story is what has got me thinking that the fashion industry changing. Women shouldn’t have to starve themselves to fit into designer clothes and it seems that designers are starting to understand. I’m anxiously waiting for the topic of eating disorders to become a thing of the past. Renn is hopeful and claims that she has seen many positive changes “It’s only a matter of time before plus size becomes mainstream again, as it was a hundred years ago.” The fashion industry is constantly changing and Renn believes “it’s a cycle and I think that women want to see themselves in the pictures — they want to see their size, color and height. I think if that happens, it’ll make women feel more empowered and they’ll love themselves more.”
As for this plus-size model, she is not only taking the fashion industry by storm, she is revolutionizing it. Her story has sparked debates, inspired millions and has caused a body image revolution. Having been labeled one of the most successful models of our time, Crystal Renn is ambitious, smart, confident, sexy and eats cake,