Today on Good Morning America Crystal Renn discussed Hungry, her memoir on overcoming anorexia and becoming a plus-size model (clip at left). Renn says larger models "with nary a jutting collarbone in sight" are now coming into vogue.
Renn, who is America's highest-paid plus-size model, was discovered by a modeling agent at age 13 and told she could be on the cover of Vogue... if she just lost 70 pounds. She starved herself down to a size 0 and secured a modeling contract, but was still told she was too fat. On Sunday, she told The Guardian:
"I did everything: I didn't eat, I exercised, but I couldn't make myself the shape they insisted on. Eventually someone suggested I become a plus-size model."
She found greater success after regaining the weight. First, Anna Wintour asked her to appear in Vogue (in the "shape issue," of course). The shoot led to a non-weight related appearance in Italian Vogue, then several other Italian fashion magazines and four international editions of Vogue. In addition to being featured in several ad campaigns, she walked down the runway with Jean-Paul Gualtier for the finale to his prêt-à-porter 2006 collection in Paris. Most recently, she appeared in Glamour's May bathing suit spread:
She'll also be featured in the magazine's "naked fat girl extravaganza" in November.
Renn says people in the fashion world are becoming more interested in showing "the natural shapes a woman's body takes when it's not being deprived of food," but we're skeptical, as one fashion spread featuring plus-size models in their underwear does not a revolution make. However, Renn's agent Gary Dakin of Ford Models, tells The Guardian there is reason to believe that this time things will be different:
"I have been in this business for 11 years and I have seen this debate ripple through the fashion world a number of times," he said. "This time, though, the momentum of the debate feels different."
Big Is Now Beautiful For Models On The Catwalk [The Guardian]