According to the New York Times, when V magazine's Stephen Gan first met Crystal Renn, whom he would eventually cast in the plus size issue, he said what many of us have been thinking all along:

"You're not big," Mr. Gan said.

And it's true: It's been noted time and time again. Crystal Renn, size 12, doesn't look plus-sized, nor is she technically plus-sized. The only people who consider her plus-sized are fashion people. She's a plus-sized model, not a plus-sized person. And in the fashion industry, sometimes she's not big enough.


Writes Eric Wilson for the Times:

Photographs in the international editions of Bazaar and Vogue had so emphasized Ms. Renn's natural curves, and in some cases exaggerated them with lighting and digital manipulation, that he imagined her to be much larger, with the personality of a vixen, rather than the breathtaking but normal young woman who had come to tell him her story.

Renn says: "Because I am a plus-size model, they like to make an example… They see a roll, and they say, ‘Ooh, a roll!' And they focus on it."

While Crystal Renn's agency, Ford, describes her as the highest paid plus-size model, it's strange that the Times titled its piece about her "The Triumph Of The Size 12s." Because though she's in V, the March issue of Italian Vanity Fair, and the lead shot above is from her eight-page spread in the February issue of Glamour, Renn remains one of the only plus-size models getting mainstream recognition. The headline should be "Triumph Of One, Lone, Size 12 Everyone Keeps Talking About." And let's not forget: If the average American woman is a size 14, many, many women above a size 12 still rarely see themselves represented in fashion magazines and on fashion runways.


Still, it's refreshing to see Renn in Glamour, where she gets eight full pages to herself (in the other fashion shoot, the "straight size" model shares each page with Chace Crawford). But until other fashion magazines start using plus-size models regularly — and not just as one-off stunt, there's no "triumph" to speak of.

As Renn puts it:

"When designers and editors choose one fat girl to salivate over, and revel in her avoirdupois, I'm not sure how much it advances the cause of using girls of all sizes in a magazine," she wrote. What she would like to see, in the interest of fairness, is those photographers and magazines making a point of not showing an image of a model whose ribs are showing.

"I'm fighting for something," Ms. Renn said. "I believe fashion can be a place of diversity. It's not going to happen overnight, but do you want it to?"


The Triumph Of The Size 12s [NY Times]
You'd Look Even Better Naked: Crystal Renn Shows Us How To Wear The New Nudes [Glamour]


Earlier: So, Why Are Plus-Size Models So Often Naked, Anyway?
V Magazine Can't Put A Plus Size Model In Its Pages Without A Straight Size Model For Comparison
The Pros & Cons Of V Magazine's Plus-Size Issue
Glamour Tries Not To Make A Big Deal Of Its Plus-Size Model
Coming This Fall: More Naked Fat Ladies In Glamour!
Crystal Renn Has A Ball In Elle Canada
Crystal Renn On Being A "Plus-Size" Model
Model Crystal Renn On Self-Acceptance, Size, & The Fashion Industry
"Lettuce With A Side Of Batshit" Less Lucrative Than Actual Food

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