Crystal Renn Frustrated By Plus-Size Label

In a candid new interview on the Ford Models blog, Crystal Renn discusses her frustration with the public scrutiny of her weight and being labeled.

"I feel pressure from — more than anyplace — 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. I couldn't possibly live up to that."


Renn stresses that she would have to have a "binge eating disorder" in order to live up to the public's expectations.

Of course, the truth is, most of us don't want Renn to be anything except who she is. Why should we care if she is a size 12 or a size 6 or a size 2? What we should care about is what kinds of images fashion magazines place on a pedestal as a standard of beauty. We should care about body diversity in the pages we consume. We should care about women feeling that they have to adhere to one strict body type in order to be considered attractive (or acceptable).

Image for article titled Crystal Renn Frustrated By Plus-Size Label

When Crystal Renn appeared in Glamour's swimsuit spread in April 2009, her photograph (seen at left) leaped off the page. Not only because she is stunningly beautiful, but because her body was markedly different from the women you usually see modeling swimsuits in a ladymag. It was refreshing to see an unapologetically curvy body — one decidely not the usual size 4 (or, usually, 2).

Which is to say: It's not disappointing that Crystal Renn has since lost weight. It is disappointing that magazines and advertisers don't consistently embrace models of different shapes and sizes. There are plenty of plus-size models on this planet, and we'd love to see another woman earn the kind of respect and fame Renn has enjoyed. She worked with Karl Lagerfeld!


In the end, Renn reminds that individual health is what's most important. "You cannot tell if someone is healthy, where they are mentally, from what's going on on the outside."

Crystal Renn Interview Special [Ford Models]


Sorcia MacNasty

Ugh, and can we please get away from descriptions like "plus sized" or even "petite?" I always think they're unnecessarily judgey. I mean, you must have a particular size in mind to comparatively call someone "plus" that size or "petite" (i.e. smaller than that size). It's just one more way we're slyly told that perfection is a certain number. Blech.