Photo Credit: Duffy-Marie Arnoult
CNN just declared 2010 “The Year of Plus.” Big(ger) girls have been popping up everywhere, from Glamour to V magazine. Sometimes, their size is loudly touted (as in V, with its “Curves Ahead” title); other times it’s been more subtle (like Glamour’s current “You’d look better naked” spread.)
Model Crystal Renn stands tall at the forefront of the movement. Her book, Hungry: A Young Model's Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves, has been selling wildly. In it, she shares her journey from miserably anorexic straight-sized model -- her career began at age 14, after losing almost one-third of her body weight to make it happen -- to joyous and proud size-12 cover model and virtual leader of the plus-sized movement.
Over at jezebel.com, Renn told this story about what happened when, while still struggling to maintain an emaciated frame (including paying for two separate gym memberships), she started gaining a bit of weight as her metabolism rebelled:
Crystal Renn: I was working on a commercial with this girl who was 6' tall, and there's me, who's 5'9". We wore the same bathing suit and the stylist said, ‘Oh honey, it's OK. You just have a fat ass!'
CR: That's what he said. So I go into the bathroom. I have a fucking fit in the bathroom. I am so angry, I'm like -- steaming hot tears are pouring down my face. I'm like, this freaking guy, has just pushed my wrong button.
Jezebel: Let me find your weak point and jam it in there!
CR: You just have a fat ass.
Jezebel: That's disgusting. That he would say that. To anyone.
CR: I just remember being like, dying inside. And then I had to go be on camera in a bathing suit. I have never felt so disgusted with myself or with everyone around me.
Here at NeverSayDiet, we’re lucky to have nabbed an interview as well. Crystal agreed to answer a few questions for us. Read on to see what she has to say:
NeverSayDiet: How do you cope with the pressure of serving as the poster woman for curvy or plus models?
CR: I love what I do and am extremely passionate about my message, 'Beauty comes in a variety of sizes.' I love being able to speak up for women and the issues that they deal with, because I think change is possible, and I find great satisfaction from this.
NSD: Do you miss anything from your former modeling days?
CR: There is nothing to miss. The place I am in now is so much better then any day in the past when I was sick, mentally and physically. When you have an eating disorder, you live with self-hatred on a daily basis, never satisfied with your body. My mindset is in a much healthier state and my professional career has taken off because I am comfortable with who I am and can show it through my work infront of the camera. Also, because of my story that a lot of women can relate to, I have a voice to help others, which brings me great joy.
NSD: Do you still have bad body image days? If so, what are some of the things you struggle with and how do you pull yourself out?
CR: Of course I have bad days, but not a bad body image. That comes with being human. It is how I deal with those 'bad days' that is remarkably different then when I was sick. When I am feeling low, I find that looking to the positives in my life is what gets me through. Throwing on some red lipstick always helps! Every one has bad days. Some days I will have a breakout and think, 'My skin is not looking great', but then I might look at my hair and think, 'but I am having a fantastic hair day! Wooo hoo!' Eventually, when you start to train your mind to this way of thinking, those days become rare.
NSD: What was the most fun or outrageous item you've ever gotten to model?
CR: I have worn a couture skirt that has taken up an entire set. Also, I have been [Evil Red Riding Hood] for a shoot. That is what I love about my job, it is ever-changing. I can be a different character everyday.