Beauty & Body Image, Crystal Renn

Crystal Renn: ‘I would have had to develop another eating disorder to stay plus-size’

111 - Crystal Renn: 'I would have had to develop another eating disorder to stay plus-size'

Even though we’ve just had an update on Crystal Renn yesterday (check out the post in case you missed it!), I thought that you guys will find this particular video interview interesting. Here are some of the things Crystal reveals:

‘I think that by placing a title on my head – which is plus size – and the picture that people have placed in their mind about what plus size is – I’ll basically fail you just with that. Because I couldn’t possibly live up to that. And at this point in my life, I would actually have to have another eating disorder to live up to that expectation. I had anorexia because ultimately, someone else set the standard for me and I wanted to follow it.’

Watch the video, then share your thoughts – but be patient, as Crystal talks about her model accomplishements in the first half and about body image in the second.

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  • i dont understand why she is a model, because she isnt really pretty and doesnt have anything special..

    • Anne

      completely agree! i think she started off when she was young and she had the right body type and height so they took her as a model, no shes just in the news alot thats how she stays relevant

      • Meghan

        I agree, I consider her face average, not even that pretty. I also think she serious eating problems, regardless of what she says. Her plus size was unhealthy, and you can tell her most recent weight is not right for her size by how gaunt her face looks. She has a larger frame and should learn to maintain a healthy diet for her body size.

        • b

          Doesn’t anyone think the drastic change is UNREAL? I vary about 10 lbs max, and it makes a world of difference. At what point is this girl considered unhealthy for the extreme variation in her size??

          • charlie

            After having an eating disorder often weight fluctuates significantly for a period of time until your body reaches its natural set-point.

      • I couldn’t have said it better.

    • s

      Not all models are supposed to be “pretty” there are plenty of top models who are not pretty.

      • louise

        yeah but they are at least interesting looking. contrary to popular belief most HF models would be considered pretty by the general population, the ones who arent are unique looking and have something to them. there are barely any average girls who model. and they hardly get recognition. the only reason she gets any is because she beat the ED drum (and imho she never even had one, if she genuinely had anorexia she wouldnt have decided, oh im sick of this im going to start eating normally today and gain weight. it would have been a process. in her interviews she basically said she started bingeing.)

        if i saw crystal in the street i can honestly say i wouldnt look twice. if i did, it would be because she’s tall. and that’s it

        • Aria

          There’s this thing with people who have addictions and disorders like anorexia called a “moment of clarity”. It’s a breaking point where you realize that what you’re doing is harmful to you and those around you. Sometimes it’s enough to knock a person back to reality, and sometimes it’s not. Crystal likely had a moment of clarity when she was anorexic and decided to start eating again. I’m sure she’s never said that it was easy from that point on. In fact, if she started binging, as you say, then she was experiencing the other extreme of disordered eating, which suggests to me that her problem was completely real.

          I don’t know why everyone is so pissed about her finally getting herself into a healthy weight range. She may be a model, but she’s also a person and has the right to feel good in her own body. Her entire message has always been about acceptance and love of oneself, not about fitting into a certain standard set by other people. It just seems like all the overweight girls thought that her message only applied to them.

        • Anne

          true,we probably wouldnt have heard about her if she wasnt in all this weight contraversy, its not like she had any major contracts like a supermodel

    • Mya

      Models are supposed to be “weird” looking. Many models look very androgenous as well. And also it kills me when people comment that gorgeous women aren’t “really pretty”…I’d love to see what you and others who comment about this look like in real life. Renn is stunning, I don’t know who you’re looking at.

      • Anne

        i dont think people who dont think shes very pretty should be judged, its our opinion, plus were talking about model standards which is a job, not about her looks in general, but her looks for modeling

      • Ellen

        Second Anne’s opinion. It took me a while on this site to learn not to comment “wtf” when someone called a celebrity I thought was drop dead gorgeous ‘unattractive’. And then I realized it was their opinion; and nothing I said would change it. I don’t think Crystal Renn is pretty at all, but that doesn’t automatically mean I’m ugly. It’s an opinion, and that’s what this site is about.

      • I agree with Mya i think she’s stunningly beautiful!

    • gg

      i am at a loss. people saying she’s not pretty and has an average face. if that’s an average face, most of you must be below average and ugly. her face is like a 9/10. i highly doubt any of you are more “pretty” than her. most of you are probably in the 5-7 range.

  • KM

    Am I the only one who doesnt care for her?

    • beatrice

      i’m with you…I just don’t get her appeal ( but then again all the high fashion models have something “ugly” about them that makes them beautiful) and she is annoying, always trying to explain her weight loss. And i hope for her self sake that she didn’t develop anorexia again, cuz she seems to be coming up with to many excuses.

  • Haley

    I cannot express how happy I am and how much I admire Crystal Renn. Some people bash her because she’s not considered “plus size” anymore. You have to realize that she’s not “straight size” either. She is trying to DROP THE LABELS, and just let models be models. She has found HER healthy weight, not a weight that someone else wants her to be. She is creating the future of modeling, which will mean a beautiful woman of ANY size can be a model, without the industry having to label “plus size” or “straight size” across their forehead.

    • Casey

      I agree with this. Crystal Renn has shown that a person can model both at a straight size, a plus-size, and now, an average size. According to how people talk, saying they want diversity, they should be celebrating her success, not criticizing it.

      I don’t think she’s all that in terms of looks, but I am happy to see her be successful.

    • True, but she was the one that started putting the labels on herself in the first place. When she was bigger size, from what I could tell she was strongly advocating the idea of plus size models (being at a bigger size than she is now) and that’s why the public are stirring up a frenzy about her size.

      I accept that she now has a new outlook on size and health and has taken a different stance on representation in modelling but when you step into a snake pit expect to get bitten. I’m surprised that she’s surprised at the reaction she’s gotten from people; doesn’t she know how PR/media works?

      • catc

        true and true nikeon

  • Grey

    Skinny, average, plus-sized, it doesn’t matter to me. She will never anything more than “that model who probably shouldn’t be a model” to me.

    • Grey

      *never be

  • Casey

    I see her point. People criticize her so much (at least on this website, I’m sure others are even worse) because she lost a weight and therefore, in their eyes, is being hypocritical because she used to be a plus-sized icon and now she’s not.

    But the truth is, you have to kind of put yourself in her shoes and kind of picture the reasoning behind her mentality and its changes. When she was plus-sized, she was preaching plus-size because it was something she need to do as part of her recovery from anorexia. You don’t get over anorexia thinking being plus-sized is horrible…you need to basically convince yourself that you’re comfortable being larger than your anorexic weight.

    Now, as she said, she’s at the point where she can once again have a healthy diet and an active lifestyle without the temptation to resort to her disordered ways, so of course she lost the weight.

    None of this is her being “hypocritical.” I’ve seen it over and over again in anorexia recoveree’s. It’s not like she had some master plan where she said, “Oh hahaha I’m going to gain a lot of weight and become popular for being plus-sized, and then screw everyone and lose the weight and just become a mainstream model!” She’s just being a human being, and yes, human beings’ opinions of themselves are subject to change depending on where they are in life.

    • Nikki

      Agree with everything, Casey. Great comment! I’m not her biggest fan of her looks, but i think people are being way to hard on her, for these exact reasons…

    • Completely agree Casey – very well said! I don’t think it’s fair for people to be so hard on her – she’s just a normal person after all, we all make mistakes sometimes and we’re not always consistent in our views. She’s young and sometimes your opinions of yourself and the world around you can change quite a bit in a short space of time – I’ve certainly experienced that myself in the past few years.

      • edith the elf

        As always, Casey – another fabulous and very accurate comment.

    • Lila


  • Haley

    Whether people like her or not, I believe it’s important to appreciate and to realize the significance of what she’s doing.

    • Laura

      What’s that?
      I’m not being rude…just curious?

      • Andie

        Me too, what is she doing that’s so significant ? She’s not setting a trend in the fashion industry, and she’s not so high up in the high fashion world. The more voluptuous straight size models are because of Lara Stone, the hf queen right now. I’m not trying to belittle her in any way, but I don’t want people to give her credit when it’s not due.
        On the other hand, it’s great to see her at a healthy weight.

        • h

          have you picked up a French vogue in the past year? It is one of the best fashion magazines in the world and miss Renn all over it. How is that not high up in the fashion world? She also does Jimmy Choo adds. I call that accomplishment. Renn is not some catalague girl or figurehead like Whitney from ANTM. She is the real deal.

          There are too many girls out there for someone to get booked solely on hype. She is a DAMN good model. A chameleon and extremely provocative in the kind of work that she choses.

          Lara is incredible, don’t get me wrong. She is also changing the fashion world because she actually looks like a woman. The fact that someone who has a large bust can be #1 on means something significant. The fashion world is beginning to change. Remember when Prada booked all the VS Angels? Another land mark.

          • andie

            Yes, I am well aware of her editorials in vogue Paris, and I commend her for that. However, she’s just modeling, and while doing a pretty okay job at it, she’s not changing anything in the fashion world. She’s making a name for herself, yes, but she’s not changing any rules and such. A Jimmy Choo campaign is nice, but it’s pretty bottom of the barrel in the fashion industry. If she gets a Chanel campaign, well, maybe my views will change.

  • Laura

    I have read her book & personally I think she is full of crap.

  • IHeartCurvyWomn

    For once I totally agree with u Casey.

    Models don’t have to b pretty. I find a certain appeal in Miss Renn because she is very expressive with her poses and she makes the clothing look good; I’m sure that is all designers who book her care about.

    • Actually, they probably care more about her being famous…

  • st

    i don’t find her suitable for modelling, but i understand her need to feel confident with her body!

  • Jen

    I read her book too, a book she wrote to preach her philosphy, not something the media attributed to her and I think she is BS- my opinion is she has gotten more famous/more jobs and decided to loss again because she didn’t want to be known as ‘that plus size’ model and now it’s coming back to bite her in the butt- just mo

  • Natasha

    She looks absolutely gorgeous here and I think she’s well spoken but I still think she’s full of sh#t. Before I say anything else I don’t think she’s too thin and more I do think she’s healthy and at a nice size. Furthermore on the opposite side of the spectrum before she started losing weight I always thought she could stand to lose a little. In this interview she comes off at pious,self righteous and her answers seem rehearsed. This “woe is me” and I feel “pressure from the public” doesn’t convince me not one bit. Just own up to the fact that you wanted to capitalize off all the attention you were getting as “plus sized” model and decided to lose a drastic amount of weight. I remember a couple of years ago in Vogue with Scarlett Johansoon on the cover she said that she had a personal trainer. I also firmly believe that her agency is padding her measurements subsequently from the backlash she’s received from the public. I don’t think she’s a hypocrite being that she’s supposedly a “size 8” and that’s still considered a plus size model in the fashion industry. I don’t really know if this made any sense and if anyone is going to get the points I made but really but I just strongly dislike her and she’s an average model at best.

    • Natasha


  • pierre

    her voice does not match her face at all. i love looking at people like that cause theyre so interesting

  • lei

    Her face doesn’t look at all gaunt in the video, yet it does often in pictures. Clearly, she sucks in her cheeks when being photographed.

    • nope

      I think you’re probably right. Perhaps that is why she can never close her mouth in photographs — ’cause she’s sucking in her cheeks to make herself look waifish.

      • lei

        It’s funny because people always say, “Oh she must suck her cheeks in,” and I never agreed but now that I see her in motion, it really does look like she does.

  • vivi

    never found her special or model like. she sounds smart though

  • I used to criticize her for saying how she was plus size then lost weight and lost more of it so it made her look hypocritcal at the time. But I understand why she did it. I don’t see why models should have labels when they’re all doing the same thing. People should give her a break and see she’s human and we say one thing, then say something different.

  • Kimberly

    I don’t understand why people are taking it personally that Crystal lost weight. If she’s doing it in a healthy way and she’s happy with her life, why do you care?!

    • Kimberly

      Oh and one more thing. I think she looks FANTASTIC at this weight. Good for her!

  • nope

    Holy chubby cheeks, batman! Where the heck did her bone structure go? That was the only interesting thing about her face. She’s so vanilla. I don’t get why people are saying that she’s a model because she’s so interesting looking. There’s nothing interesting or unusual about her features (especially without the crazy, gaunt cheeks) — she’s totally bland.

    • Anne

      i was wondering that too, i think they went away when the photoshop and makeup went away too 😛

    • Adel

      She probably got fillers injected into her cheeks to make her look more youthful. The gaunt look, IMO, wasn’t working for her.

      As to her body/weight, I honestly don’t care. I do think there’s a chance she’s relapsed into disordered eating/exercise bulimia and if that’s the case, of course she’d be in denial over it and make numerous proclamations to the contrary, citing healthy eating and moderate exercise. Many relapsed anorexics do this.

      In any event, my biggest problem with her is her vocal insistence that whatever weight she is (whether obese, overweight, normal weight, underweight) that’s her natural healthy state. It’s only after her weight has changed that she sings a different tune.

      Ultimately I think she should just STFU about her body weight at this point and do what’ she’s paid to do, which is look vapid on celluloid.

      • Anne

        i think when she gains weight it gains in her cheeks to making them chubby, when she was anorexic they were so gaunt, i think she has them there but now that she has weight on her theyre less noticeable, so they contoured it with makeup, youd be surprised what makeup and highlighter could do

  • Mockingbird

    Everyone talks about how there are no fuller women in media for “real women” to relate to. But honestly, while plus size models are less common, they still do exist. You know what don’t exist in the media anywhere? Tall women who size 6-10. I can’t even find actresses that size.

    I’m 5’11” and a size 6-8. I know that for my height, i’m very skinny, its just that none of my other friends are over 5’6″. So when they are deciding between size 0, 2, and 4 dresses, I’m hesitant to tell them what i’m trying on, because its always going to be bigger. And yeah, it’s ridiculous, but it effects you. Maybe I just need taller friends but its nice to see someone who looks amazing and has a similar body type to me. It makes me feel better about myself. Even more feminine.

    Can we stop telling the media to find more pictures of extreme-sized women and encourage them to find pictures of more average, healthy sizes? Maybe if we did that, we wouldn’t have as extreme issues of anorexia, or even obesity, because it might set some more realistic weight loss goals. Its a lot easier to drop down to a size 8 than it is to a size 0.

    • Anne

      omg totally! i remember my 4’11 friend tellin someone she was a size two and the person was like oh wowwwww,, i just wanted to say “look how short she is! of course it easy for her to be a 2!” lolll

    • Ivory

      It’s unfortuante that that happens. I completely agree with you about needing more average sized models/actresses of every height.
      I’m 5’3″ and petit. My best friend is 6’1″ and has a body fat percentage just a bit higher than me. Whenever she asks me my height or weight I always feel bad answering, because naturally I’m much smaller than her. although she understands why, I can see it upsets her a bit. it’s really unfortunate. I wish we lived in a world where size and pounds meant nothing. They’re so subjective to genetics.
      I notice that how celebrities, even tall ones always seem to be ‘120’ pounds bugs her too. I wouldn’t be natural for her weight to be that low, it took her a while to come to terms with that.

  • Candace

    You think that all model are suppose to look like the Victoria’s Secret Models? NOPE, most models look average like everyone else.

    • Anne

      some of the victorias secert models look average like everyone else too ha!

  • ebby

    yay for crystal! she’s so beautiful when not sucking in her cheeks. like she said, you can’t assess someone’s health simply by looking at the outside. her slimmer face doesn’t mean she’s not at her natural size, its just an indication on how fat is distributed on her body.

    • jenna

      But claiming in her book that her natural size is 16, makes her look like an idiot now. 🙁

      • Adel

        Yeah, this is where I am. I saw an interview where she was very adamant that a size 16 is her body’s natural size- the result of healthy eating and exercise and that the world had to just deal with the fact that healthy eating and exercise in some people results in a body that is heavy. Now we are to believe that her body just morphed on its own as a result of “healthy eating and exercise” (yoga and gentle hiking!) into a body quite a bit smaller (at least 30 lbs.) and that the former “healthy weight” body is now disordered.

        Unless she was on a medication with a known side effect of weight gain (such as a steroid, beta blocker or certain types of antidepressants/antipsychotics) and discontinued its use, I don’t believe this weight loss of hers was unintentional. I think it’s a deliberate weight loss, which she’s certainly entitled to do, but she needs to STFU about body weight already.

        Nobody made her a poster child or representative for plus-sized women. She herself did that. Honestly, the attention whoring is a bit much.

      • Laura


      • charlie

        Give her a break.. She has obviously struggled trying to find balance and perspective with her weight/eating habits. None of us have it all figured out.

        • Adel

          None of us may have it “all figured out,” however, she’s the one writing books and giving extensive interviews where she is quite adamant about her body, and her body’s “natural, healthy weight” which she’s repeatedly claimed is a size 16. She said, again repeatedly, that a size 16 is where she is when she’s eating healthy and exercising in a balanced way. Now she claims that she wasn’t exercising when at that size, and remaining a size 16 would require binge eating disorder. Clearly there’s a disconnect somewhere.

          Body’s may change on their own , although in the absence of certain medications/illnesses, it’s doubtful they change that much without intentional calorie restriction and exercise. If that’s what she chooses to do, I have ZERO problem with it. Clearly, there’s more money, fame and work to be had if she goes through life in a smaller physique.

          But she needs to STFU about her body already. Just pose for the camera and collect the paycheck. She’s not a good poster child for ANY body size because she’s wildly inconsistent.

          I think chances are she’s disordered. However, she’ll never claim it while it’s happening. That’s why interviews such as the above are full of shit. What’s she gonna say: “Oh, hey, I’ve been on meth for awhile and it’s great for whittling down.” or “I’m back to my exercise bulimia big time!” ?

          With Crystal, she’s always gonna say “I’m eating healthy and exercising and this is what my body naturally did” whether she’s a size 2, 8, 12, or 16. You know what that means? She’s full of shit.

          I don’t care what her “natural” size is. The bottom line is she’s a model and in the grand scheme of things, relatively unimportant. Her “damage control” interviews annoy me.

  • Whatever

    Am I the only one that finds this girl really obnoxious and full of herself??

  • jenna

    She is being a complete hypocrite. Ive read her book 2 times and believed in the fact that everyone needs to find THEIR personal heathy wieght. Where a person usually goes about 10 pounds up or down, but typically stays in the same range. It is NOT healthy for her to have lost all that weight so fast (which she still hasnt said why she lost the weight) and for her cheeks to be so sunken in. (like the last photoshoot we have seen on this site) Even when she was anorexic, her cheeks didnt sink in like that and she sure didnt look like a crack addict, like now. She is trying to get the public to focus on her “developing” a binging disorder, if she were to stay a plus size model. In her book she was SO proud about her body and to be a plus size model and kept claiming that she was supossed to be a size 16. So… question, isnt loosing a bunch of weight and getting out of your healthy body range, something she was trying to get people to stop doing..???? Shes not healthy and she needs to back what her book is about. Because all I do now when I see new photos of her is shake my head. She was getting a TON of work as a plus size model and people loved that she was standing up for normal sized women. Now she sucks. Case closed.

  • Sanne

    I think the only reason why people want to work with her is because she gets a lot of media attention. That’s all.

  • mary

    Well, she’s not gorgeous, but I think most of the the top models out there aren’t gorgeous too. They are very well produced, that’s all( for example, Gisele). I don’t think they look gorgeous on the beach… Crystal is cute when produced and interesting looking.But this is highly subjective. Also she has a good body shape. And i don’t think she looks too thin. She’s ok now, I mean, she’s taking care of herself. There is nothing wrong in mainatning a healthy body, which can’t be a plus size if that means an excess of body fat. And I don’t see any natural plus size on her. She has a large bone structure, but that’s all. She’s not tiny, nor plus, she’s slim, and that’s ok and objective. So I don’t see what’s the big deal with her “shrinking”…

  • she looks like shes finding a happy-medium in her life now that shes growing up a little more. but from my perspective anyway i feel like it would be hard to shrink down after putting on weight from being anorexic…thats what happened to me anyway. i was severly underweight but i cant seem to lose the excessive weight ive gained back..if that makes sense??

  • jasmine

    Looks like this girl wont ever stop talking about eating disorders! I dont like her at all.

    She seems like shes an attention grabber and still obviously has issues with food. Eating disorders dont magically go away and rarely they are gone for good.

    She isnt even that pretty or high fashion either. It could just be her “eyebrows” that are so in right now.

    • anonymous

      does that mean she had a binge eating disorder when she was a heavier size 14-16 or even a 12…because people usually don’t drop 3-4 dress sizes in less than 6 months on just yoga and hiking.

  • amyyy

    I am so tired of hearing about her. To me she is just average looking and has an average body. Anyone could have her current body. The point of SUPERmodels is to have something extraordinary about them. She’s just milking this eating disorder thing to stay famous. I bet she’ll either loose a lot of weight or gain it in a couple of months just to be in the media, AGAIN.

  • nylon

    she talks like shes on drugs

  • Emily

    I think she’s quite pretty. I think you guys might be on something if you think she’s “average.” Sure, average for a model. NOT for a person. She’s symmetrical with strong features, and if you saw her on the street you wouldn’t judge so harshly. I think she talks like she’s passionate about being healthy. And I like her.

  • I think she’s stunning, facially at least. Kudos to her for not plucking her eyebrows. It may give her that stronger, more masculine look, but as she’s a model I think it works for her.

    And yes, she’s now probably on the lower end of a healthy weight ratio, but she’s certainly not rail thin (yet).

    It *is* possible for people to be happy about their weight when they’re larger and also when they’re thinner. When she was larger she may have been happy being that size, but she’s allowed to change her mind. Recovering from an ED her weight was bound to pile on first of all because her metabolism was shot to pieces by years of starvation. But instead of villifying herself for it, she celebrated it. Celebrated RECOVERING. As she herself claims, being larger was not her natural weight in the first place, but merely a result of recovering from an ED.

    So long as she really did lose the weight via HEALTHY means then I think she looks good at the weight she’s at now.

  • Sally

    Y’all are such losers, really?! & to actually put disparaging vile quotes about a stranger, who admits to struggling with eating disorder and emotional insecurities unbelievable and crude!!

  • Sally

    Y’all are such losers, really?! & to actually put disparaging vile quotes about a stranger, who admits to struggling with eating disorder and emotional insecurities unbelievable and