After overcoming disordered eating in her teens, Crystal Renn rose to fame as a plus size model and author of the book Hungry, a memoir about starving herself thin to fulfill her dream of modeling, her recovery, and venture into the world of plus size modeling.
Crystal gained fame for embracing her curves and modeling at a size 14-16. Gorgeous and voluptuous, I found her inspiring. Here was a woman truly celebrating her curvaceous body at a weight well above what is commonly seen on the pages of fashion magazines. The thing is, I never would have considered her “plus size.” I found her size 14 figure aspirational, as I was still near the beginning of my weight loss when I discovered her. I thought I would stop there, when my body was about that size. And I did pause there for a bit. I feel like I was very close to Crystal Renn’s size 14 shape when I was a size 12/14 at around 180 lb. I’m about 1 inch shorter than her.
Her weight is now lower than it was then and she’s wearing a size 8/10. I am also wearing a size 8/10. She is criticized from many angles for her weight loss. People accuse her of selling out. They say she no longer represents them because her body is smaller.
I find this highly hypocritical. It is every person’s choice to care for her body in the way she chooses. He way I care for my body has caused my weight to drop even lower than it had ever been before. I don’t take care of myself this way because I desire to be skinny. Like I said, I liked the way I looked at 180 pounds. And I like the way I look at 164. But I exercise and eat cleanly and moderately because it gives me so many benefits like feeling physically and mentally healthy. If the result of that is some further weight loss and reshaping of my body, that’s just cause and effect. But it doesn’t mean I’m feeling like I need to change how I look now. It’s just a natural result of my actions. I relate to how it feels to be judged for what you weigh and having people assume there is something negative and punishing about weight loss, especially when you are what they consider “fine just the way you are.”
“Whether I lose or gain weight, someone will always criticize me.” -Crystal Renn
How true it is. That’s why I decided long ago that my body is mine and mine alone and that what it looks like is really none of anyone else’s damned business.
We tend to see women’s bodies, especially famous women’s bodies, as our visual property, to pick apart with every weight fluctuation. To gaze upon in awe of unattainable perfection or to gloat over when the paparazzi capture a photo of normally hidden flaws. I am guilty of this too. I find it very difficult not to draw comparisons between my body and the bodies of women around me, especially women who are my own height. And I know other women look at me. Many of them have commented on how I have changed. It think this is just be a natural thing to do to some extent. But it doesn’t have to be venomous, judgmental or jealously-ridden. I try to keep it in the realm of matter-of-fact observation, and I always keep it to myself.
Read more about what Crystal Renn has to say about her body and the reaction to her weight changes here.