weighing in on Crystal Renn

Crystal Renn is a well known name in the fashion industry- she is currently the world's most famous "plus size" model. i put that term in quotations because, frankly, it's bullshit. a "plus" in the modeling world is anyone who is larger than a size 6, depending on height. that's right- 8 and up, people. and for the record, there is no such thing as plus size modeling for men.

at the start of her career, Crystal Renn was a "model" and suffered from anorexia, taking her down to a dangerous weight. she is a 00/0 in this picture, and in her teens.

she then bounced back as a plus size model- and became the most famous one in the world. here she is with Gaultier in full size glory. she's about a 12-14 here.

now she's getting in trouble because of the pictures below, taken recently, she's now 24. 
people went apeshit, because she looks so thin. now. these pictures have been retouched- which Renn blamed for her thin appearance but the photographer has defended them by saying that that amount of retouching that went into them for the ad was no more than industry standard. look in any magazine and see this much work. or, look at this-

i have to agree with him on this as far as "normal" airbrushing, as far as how things go now. which is so screwed up, but that aside- if you look at the originals, you can see where her legs have been thinned- and homegirl ain't no size 12-14 anymore. i would have preferred if Renn had just said that she has gotten to a healthier weight and not blamed the photog- she did it to save face and keep her fans who accused her of selling out.
but here's the thing- the problem here is that the entire perception of women's bodies, particularly in modeling, is totally skewed. neither Renn at her thinnest nor Renn at her heaviest was HEALTHY. she looks healthy now (in the untouched pictures)- and it doesn't take a doctor to see that. where it gets incongruent is that 1- the rules are not the same for models (she's still smaller than the average american woman, who is a 14) and 2- why why why do we continue to qualify our bodies this way? women's sizes are not consistent. my body will never fit into clothes off the rack without alterations (thank god i can do them myself) and most people are this way. and your body will never be my body will never be Crystal Renn's or anyone else's. and therein is the crux of the matter- if we focused as much energy on being healthy and finding the size that is best for us from a health perspective as we do on fitting into a bullshit construction of beauty, we'd all be happier. 

and i guarantee you, the happier you are, the more beautiful you are.

but this is not a new idea, nor is it really mine. and that's what infuriates me about this entire subject- why is this something that people come back to over and over and over like it's a new idea? just be happy with your body! just be healthy! we're all different! it's on talk shows, in books, in discussions, and on blogs like this one- but why then, do people have this conversation and then turn around and buy clothes from designers who only book 00s, insist on fitting into the smallest size they possibly can (which makes you look fatter than wearing your size, by the way, size up and tear out the tag if you must), and tauting the beauty of only super slim girls and photogs who retouch.

i don't have the answer to this. all i can say is that i try to live my life according to my view of being healthy- which means eating as well as i can, exercising and being active, and making sure that in my work, all of my clients are made to feel confident and beautiful, regardless of size.
and that's the best i can do.

bitch- i love you.



anastasia said...

The reason is money. As long as the fashion/food/pharma/etc. industries can convince women that they are not right, and that they need the MAGIC PRODUCT to make them right, the industry wins. Even better if the product doesn't do a damn thing to fix the nonexistent problem... women will continue buying into the perfection-through-diet/clothes/makeup/exercise myth.

blindhope said...

excellent point. i also think it's that people are not satisfied in their lives, and rather than finding fulfillment in themselves and their own lives- which fits in nicely with what you are saying. it's fine to be interested in magazines, makeup, fashion, etc. but when you are only happy when you BUY something, that's a problem. it's all intertwined with consumerism for pleasure.