Updated July 23, 2010: The sexy motherhood, intimate photos of Crystal Renn in French Vogue, Aug 2010 should end concerns that Renn is losing too much weight. She looks fabulously Smart Sensuality healthy. All photos in Private Studio.
Updated June 22, 2010 Anne here. I just watched the Crystal Renn video on this morning’s Today Show. My perspective on her situation hasn’t changed. Today Crystal Renn appeared healthy, more athletic as she appeared in the Chanel cruise show, and not at all the woman in the Nicholas Routzen photos below.
1) It’s very possible that photographer Nicholas Routzen in shooting down on Crystal Renn captured her thinnest angles. Fashion photographers (this was for charity t-shirts) are trained to find a woman’s thinnest angles and Routzen succeeds in his mission.
If I hadn’t watched the Today Show video, I would be more concerned about Crystal’s psyche. And now the Aug. 2010 French Vogue photos confirm just what a difference camera angles and what Routzen calls a small about of photoshopping achieve in making a woman look totally different.
2) Crystal’s overall ‘look’ in the Nicholas Routzen photos is gothic, a bit grungy. Her makeup and stringy hair all contribute to a ‘deathly’ look. There’s a touch of heroin chic from the 90s. All these visual clues send a message that Crystal is ill. Without trying to offend Routzen and his team, Crystal Renn doesn’t look vibrant and healthy in the photos. There’s nothing classically beautiful about her. Her styling plays into our worst fears about Crystal falling ill again.
Styling was in the eye of the photographer, his team and the charity organization. Crystal knew what she was wearing and certainly saw her makeup. I don’t think it’s fair to crucify the photographer here, except that his team should have been more sensitive to the larger issue that Crystal Renn is a spokesperson for plus-size women.
In her own words, Renn hopes to end the use of that term and classification of women.
Adding this morning (July 23, 2010) the new David Sims editorial of Crystal Renn for French Vogue, Aug 2010, I call out the reality that she looks far more powerful and Smart Sensuality healthy in the French Vogue photos.
In any photographic process, the photographer leaves his or her imprint on the model’s impression in our minds. I do believe that the David Sims photos portray a much more powerful, sensual goddess-woman, than the Nicholas Routzen photos do.
In our support of Ellen Von Unwerth as a top photographer of women, we are speaking loud and clear about the reality that some men express a subliminal desire to reduce female power in photographs, while others seek to enhance it. (See Annie Leibovitz Could Give Terry Richardson a Photography Lesson, When the Subject Is Erotic, Beautiful Women.)
3) Chrystal Renn is losing weight, and she admits it, saying that she’s now 150 pounds at 5’9”, giving her a BMI of 22.1. This is high for a model, but in the middle for a healthy-weight woman in America of BMI 20-25. The French government recommends18-25 BMI.
I agree that the visual BMI of the woman in the Routzen photos appears to be 18-20.
Being so obese collectively, American women are challenged on two fronts by Crystal Renn’s real weight loss. Because AOC is committed to the health of American women, we celebrate Crystal Renn at 165 pounds, because it keeps her in the healthy body weight range.
We do not hope that she gains the weight she used to carry, because we have reams of science on this website informing readers of the negative effects of obesity on women’s brains, libidos and longevity. And we do not want her to stop exercising.
Obesity is bad for women’s health. I’ve gone through the escalator ride of gaining weight and losing it twice. I’ve been technically obese and am now committed to a healthy weight and exercise for years. We cover all these topics in my new Sensual and Superyoung manuscript.
The American women who cry that Crystal Renn is selling out in losing weight or that she’s bowing to the pressures of the fashion industry are actually saying that she should remain unhealthy like they are.
In this case, women aren’t caring about Crystal. Nor are they facing the challenges of their own unhealthy weight — now declared a national strategic problem by the Pentagon. The following earlier post states some of these key points again. Protests against Crystal’s size came up when she looked healthy and gorgeous in the Chanel cruise show.
Believing that I understand intimately the mindset of being an obese woman, I personally object that women criticize Renn for taking up exercise and eating properly to be healthy. This is her key message — stated in her own words.
Crystal Renn on Today Show July 22, 2010
Crystal Renn’s Shrinking Size, written May 29, 2010
The concern among curvy women over Crystal Renn’s weight loss is as much about us as Crystal.
Just as curvy women — or the “chubby girls”, as the provocative new Lane Bryant viral video calls us — have an articulate trail blazer for women with meat on our bones, she starts losing weight.
We can focus the conversation on charges that Crystal Renn is “selling out” or succumbing again to anorexia. Or we can face the reality that as curvaceous women, we have a vested interest psychologically in not losing our beautiful standard-bearer.
Writing about Crystal Renn over on Sensuality News, after her Chanel cruise show in St. Tropez, and also about her Glamour magazine swimwear cover, I quoted Renn’s agent as saying that Crystal is fine. Her weight fluctuates normally, especially after being very active backpacking for three weeks.
We do all women a disservice, however, by not allowing for the possibility that Crystal Renn feels her healthy best, and likes her own image in the mirror as a size 10 — which is hardly emaciated, even at Crystal’s height of 5’9”.
Crystal Renn is working towards her own goals and not living for us, although Renn clearly understands that she’s a lead spokeswoman in the body image debate.
Maintaining a Healthy Relationship With the Woman in the Mirror
Medical research shows that when a woman “makes peace” with her body and the woman “in the mirror”, when she loves herself enough to nurture her physicality rather than destroy it with too little food or too much, she is likely to take action. As a woman learns to love herself, she will lose weight if her BMI is too high or gain weight, if she is malnourished.
Mother Nature is not stupid. She has developed a range of body weights and sizes, the imperfect but best system called BMI (Body Measurement Index), that carry the highest probability of best long-term health for women.
With all many versions of beauty that popular culture dishes out to us, there’s usually one we can embrace. I admit to being stuck in the Stephanie Seymour, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford group — not only because of my age — but because I like my own body as an athletic one.
Anne’s Own Weight Battle
Yes, I have muscle lust. My current BMI is a healthy 25 but I admit to being on a diet right now.
For me, a BMI of 25 makes my size 10 pants pretty snug. The concern in being a 10 is that I’m headed towards a size 12, and after that size 14 and into unhealthy weight land. Frankly, I will be totally disappointed in myself if I don’t maintain my currently healthy body.
At a size 16, my BMI is 33-34. Even though I’ve learned to love myself as a larger woman, I know that I am thrilled with my figure at a size 8 or BMI of 22-23. Many women must embrace their larger selves before finding their best selves — for them and not the rest of the world, and this was my experience.
The most challenging exercise of all is to make body image a private matter and not one for everybody else.
Letting Crystal Renn Be Her Best Self
Today’s post is devoted to reminding us curvy ladies that we must allow Crystal Renn to follow her own natural body rhythms. If Crystal Renn is thriving as a woman — forget her weight and body shape — it’s very possible that she will naturally take better care of herself with exercise and healthy eating.
Renn’s story is that of most women: how to find a healthy relationship with food. Let’s hope Crystal has arrived in such a place in her head. In that case, her body will be just fine — and so will ours — if we follow Crystal’s lead, wherever it takes us.
The end point of our body-loving journey should not be determined in advance.
For America to shrink in size would be a really good outcome for women from Georgia to Hawaii. As a woman who has fought this psychological and physical battle for decades, I think enough of myself to insist that size 8 is my best “me”, and I’m getting back there, come hell or high water. Anne
Have you seen the outrageously provocative viral video from the friends of Lane Bryant? We love it.
Crystal Renn Articles:
Read all our writing about Crystal Renn.
Two other articles will interest readers. The first was finished minutes before last week’s NYTimes article on aging French women. Weight and America’s wrestling with obesity is a key part of these two chapters from my Sensual and Superyoung manuscript.
These two articles are followed by the NYTimes comment I wrote and related materials: