Crystal Renn starved herself to become a size 0 when she was a teenager, and then at size 16 she took to the catwalks as a plus-size model. She has been — much to her anger— Photoshopped so that she appears a size 2 when in fact she was a size 10, and now at size 8, she tells about the pressures to keep the kilos piled on.
Renn was a size 12 when she was discovered by a model scout when she was just 14 years old. Soon after she became anorexic having starved herself and developed an addiction to exercise that saw her workout for up to eight hours every day. At this stage she was just a ‘normal’ skinny model looking for assignments.
It was when she went up a few dress sizes that accentuated her womanly curves that Renn became a famous model wanted by the likes of Jean Paul Gautier for her Rubenesque stature.
Last year, she courted controversy by adopting a more healthy lifestyle, eating well, hiking regularly and practising yoga. And of course, the weight began to drop off her. And as it did so, the criticism came flooding on in. It seems Renn was put under as much pressure to retain her curvaciousness as skinny models are to retain their skeletal figures. The public’s expectations of her as a plus-size model almost made her develop an other eating disorder, just so she could increase her weight again.
“I feel pressure probably more than any place from the public and the media. I think by placing a title on my head — which is plus-size — and then the picture that these people have created in their mind about what plus-size actually is, I basically fail you just with that, because I couldn’t possibly live up to that.
“At this point in my life I would have to have another eating disorder to live up to that expectation. I had anorexia ultimately because someone else set the standard for me and I wanted to follow it. And if I followed what the public wanted from me or what the media wants from me I would be doing the same thing — I would have a binge eating disorder.”
Renn, is currently the face of Jimmy Choo and still a favourite of Chanel. She credits her weight loss to a healthy lifestyle and sensible exercise regime. Who knew that was the secret to a healthy weight?