“Life Doesn’t Have to Wait Until You’re Skinny:” Plus-Size Model Crystal Renn Reveals All in New Book

Earlier this month Lizzie Miller stirred quite a buzz with her bare-it-all picture in Glamour magazine. The positive reaction from women around the world was overwhelming and left many questioning if curvy would become the new thin of the fashion world.

This question remains unanswered, but Miller isn’t the only model proving that “plus-size” is both beautiful and bankable.

Enter Crystal Renn, one of today’s most successful working models. She is a size 12.

In her new book, “Hungry,” Renn details her journey from Mississippi teenage cheerleader to international runway model and cover girl – not to mention highest paid “plus-size” model in America.

Renn, however, wasn’t always “plus-size.” Before moving to NY and ultimately signing a quarter-million-dollar modeling contract, she lost 70 pounds off of her 5 foot 9 frame. At a mere 95 pounds, however, she was still being told she wasn’t thin enough. Daily workouts of up to 8 hours and starvation weren’t enough, but Renn had had enough so she made a decision that changed her life and her career:

“I started to eat. I stopped churning mindless circles on an elliptical cross-trainer for seven or eight hours a day, my arms and legs jerking like a marionette’s. I stopped obsessing about chewing a single stick of sugar-free gum. I got heavier. I put on pounds by the dozen and leap frogged dress sizes—from 00 to 12. But I honestly didn’t mind the weight gain and the loss of my matchstick limbs. I made a choice to stop starving.”

And her choice paid off. Renn was healthy, confident, and happy again. And her career took off.

Since gaining the weight, Renn has appeared in five international editions of Vogue; she has graced the covers of international editions of Harper’s Bazaar and Elle; she has starred in a Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign and worked the runway as the final model in a Jean Paul Gaultier’s fashion show. At 165 to 170 pounds she is one of today’s most successful “plus-size” models.

To be honest, I’d never heard about Renn before Miller’s nude picture appeared in Glamour magazine earlier this month. Maybe if the picture hadn’t created such a buzz I still wouldn’t know who Renn is, but I’m glad it did and I hope that this ripple effect will continue paving the way for a new definition of beauty in this country.

Renn and Miller are proof that the thin=beauty equation can be broken. Is the world ready?

Check out Crystal Renn’s interview on ABC and a sneak peak to her new book, “Hungry.”


*I put the world “plus-size” in quotes because while I do not believe that these women should be considered “plus-size” they are considered to be so by modeling industry standards.*

Image originally from ABC.com - http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/BeautySecrets/sized-model-crystal-renn-gains-weight-finds-success/Story?id=8514206&page=2


Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago

People are meant to come in all sizes and shapes.

Tammie Chambers
Tammie Chambers4 years ago

You can be an average size and still be healthy. you can even be"overweight" and be healthy. thats is what we should strive for...being healthy, not being skinny!

Marya G.
Marya G8 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

Michael Austin
Michael Austin8 years ago

This woman is VERY sexy! I love curves on a woman, anything other than straight lines like men have. My only request, I don't care how big she is, but it would be nice if she was proportional. Meaning, her breasts protrude further than her stomach.

Katherine V.
Katherine V8 years ago

A girls should not be overwiegh due to health issues. It is well known and documented in the medical community that being over weight is unhealthy. THAT being said, being disgustingly underweight, as many models are is unhealthy too. The industry should strive to promote health in addition to beauty.

I have a problem with the whole "Big is beautiful" thing because big may be beautiful to some, but it is unhealthy to most who are big. So for the girls that are badly over weight, they shouldn't just be told "big is beautiful" and stay that way. BUT they should NOT lose the weight just so that they can look pretty. they should do it for health reasons, and stop when the Dr. says they have reached a healthy weight, not when they look annerexic.

That being said, the fact the magazines are finally showing girls that are at healthy weights is awesome, and I hope this takes off. It does nothing for the self esteem of a girl that is a healthy size 7 or 8 to see that the only way to be concidered skinny is to be under a size 4.

the term plus size needs to go! It should be used appropriately, only for those women that truely are plus size, not the women that by any normal standards would be considered skinny

Zeinab A.
Past Member 8 years ago

I so agree with this! I'm gonna put this out there right now: LADIES, YOU ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL! whether you're 150 lb. or 90 lb. or 200 lb. or anything else! life is too, too short. if you want a piece of chocolate, eat it!

I think if a person is not confident about their weight then when they exercise and they stop eating certain foods they should make their goal "I want to be healthy" not "I want to be skinny"

Also, you shouldn't bash skinny people. I'm naturally skinny...I eat right, I exercise to stay fit, and I let myself indulge sometimes. Its not fair to say skinny is ugly and curvy is beautiful. they're both beautiful.

Heylel Shalem
Heylel Shalem8 years ago

the fashion industry has a very unrealistic view on woman and weight. Not every woman is born looking like a rain thin junkie. They come in all shapes and sizes. The only thing that they are doing by rejecting more realistic and gasp "healthy" figured women, is promoting eating disorders. I personally dont think that wearing a size 12 is not "heavyset". Women are supposed to have curves..not look like they have'nt hit puberty because their breasts have shrunk from starving themselves. The fashion industry is holding this icon above regular womens heads to make them insecure and to purchase the products they peddle. its merely cruel psycology.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi8 years ago

I believe that no one should be judged by how big they are or what they look like but it happens and you cant stop it, for those of you who say " Big is in!" and things of that nature are terribly misinformed.
Big is NOT in, being overweight or obese is your own fault and only YOU can change it, I'm not saying you aren't good the way you are at all, I am just saying that if you are going to bring up what is attractive and what isn't fat is NOT attractive.
You shouldn't be advocating your obeseness by bashing others who are skinny or not as large as you portray yourself to be, because in reality being fat isn't good!

bai h.
Bai H8 years ago

Thank you, Sandra! I wish we could all just be confident, but there is so much pressure on unrealistic ideals, so much of what we should and shouldn't be..

Sofia, ha no I haven't gotten the "clothes hanger" comment before, but I wouldn't be surprised if I do. You might want to read some of the things under the 'plus-sized' models in London story, it's a lot of the same stuff.

Sofia E.
Sofia E8 years ago

bai h., I'm so much with you on this one! I measure and weight about the same as you and I've never been on a diet or deprived myself of anything in my entire life. It's just the way I am and I've been hearing the same thing since about when i was born: "you're so skinny!", "bag of bones", "clothes' hanger" (this one is probably typical from my country). So, do feel happy about yourselves, just don't do it on the expense of skinny people, we're not all anorexic and we also have the right to feel good about ourselves.