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Plus-Sized Model Tells All

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A supermodel lets us in on the dark world of the modeling business -- and how she is teaching young girls to love themselves.

Crystal Renn

Yvette Manessis Corporon: "I was doing everything, exercising eight hours a day and multiple times a week. I was not eating, and still having someone tell me, 'Maybe you should just go on a diet.' I thought, Do you have any idea that I was at the gym for eight hours yesterday, and my only meal has been lettuce? If you only knew." If they knew, they certainly didn't care.

Discovered by a modeling scout when she was just 14, Crystal Renn began her dangerous decent into anorexia. Her relationship with her mother was difficult at best, and Crystal was being raised by her grandmother. So when the scout offered the tall, brunette cheerleader with piercing brown eyes a way to escape the confines of her difficult, small town life, Crystal jumped at the chance. "I think when a scout comes along at 14 and tells you how beautiful you are, you take it very seriously. He told me that I had to lose 9 inches on my hips, and I just thought, 'No, that doesn't seem like very much.'"

But by the time she lost those 9 inches, and 70 pounds, the once vibrant girl who loved posing in front of the camera lost so much more than just the weight -- she lost the spark that had made her so special. Crystal explains, "There was no emotion. There were no feelings. If you let yourself feel for one second when you have an eating disorder, you fall apart. I didn't have time to fall apart."

The pressure to be supermodel skinny had the 5'9" Crystal dieting down to a dangerous
95 pounds. "At 95 pounds, I have to say every part of me physically was falling apart. My hair was falling out, my skin turned gray. I felt like I was going to faint all the time. I experienced true intense pain throughout my body at all times because I was truly starving." The deprivation and disappointment left Crystal starving both physically and emotionally, but there was no one to turn to. She was told over and over again to just keep working and to keep losing weight. And in the process, Crystal tells momlogic that she also lost her will to live. "I've been to the lowest point, the absolute lowest point where you have to decide whether you want to live or not. I decided 'I can't do this,' and I chose health, chose to be proud of what I was given every day."

In that moment, Crystal's life changed forever. She began eating again, and gradually saw her body come back from a size 0 to a size 12. Crystal found her niche and a stellar career not as a skeletal mannequin, but as a beautiful and voluptuous plus-sized model. And, in an unexpected twist, she's finally starring in those high-fashion, designer campaigns she had only dreamed about.

But even with all her success, this beauty is not done yet. With her new book, HUNGRY: A Young Model's Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves, and a passion for teaching young girls about the power of positive body image, Crystal wants to make certain that young girls truly understand that beauty does indeed come in all shapes and sizes.

next: Eight Percent of Women Using Birth Control Less to Save Money
15 comments so far | Post a comment now
ThatGuy September 25, 2009, 6:25 AM

“Plus Size” is just a poor euphemism for “fat”

Barb September 25, 2009, 7:58 AM

Is that the woman in the picture up there? SHE is considered plus-sized? I think she looks GREAT. Why are people afraid of curves?

Barb September 25, 2009, 8:02 AM

Ooops, I totally missed the whole photo section. I do think she looks great, and it’s a story that just points out that some people aren’t made to be super thin. Some women may be fine and healthy at 95 pounds, but it’s not for every body type.

Wendi September 25, 2009, 1:20 PM

Good for her, it shows that models do not have to be a toothpick to be beautiful. She is not fat at all. She looks great.

Anonymous September 26, 2009, 3:28 PM

size 12 is NOT a plus size!!!!

Samantha Adams October 1, 2009, 3:44 PM

I would just like to point out that those of us who are naturally thin are judged just as harshly as women who are naturally heavier. Being a thin person I was always sneered at or made to feel bad about my size; both as a teenager and as an adult. For some reason people feel that they can comment about every aspect of your body if you are thin. It’s just recently that I have come to the realization that I do not need to “apologize” to overweight people for being thin. I can’t count the number of times people have asked me why I even worry about going to the gym or worry about what I eat. Why should I have to explain? It is rude to comment on someones body, period. No matter what size they are. Every woman is beautiful and we should embrace our bodies curves or not. And not hate others if there body’s are different no matter the size.

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