Crystal Renn | Leading the Body Politics Dialogue

Crystal Renn interviewed by NYTimes Style, Jan. 14, 2010Crystal Renn was written up in yesterday’s NYTimes Style section, The Triumph of the Size 12s. The headline is very premature. Trust me — the size 12s haven’t triumphed. Once the current hoopla over V Magazine’s Jan. 2010 multi-size issue settles down, we’ll see just how much has really changed in fashion editorial.

Glamour Magazine continues their commitment to larger models, using Crystal Renn in the February 2010 issue in an editorial titled “You’d Look Even Better Naked: Crystal Renn Shows Us How to Wear the New Nudes.”

Crystal Renn Glamour Magazine, Feb. 2010Jezebel weighed in on the topic, reminding us that even the gorgeous Crystal Renn is hardly a ‘real woman’, at 5’9”, 165 pounds and a size 12.

I admit that I’ve fought long and hard for my own healthy body and the journey has made me a better woman. I agree with First Lady Michelle Obama that we must tackle the obesity epidemic in America for health reasons that have nothing to do with the fashion industry. And I refuse to write out of both sides of my mouth, as most media outlets do.

Crystal Renn, Glamour Magazine Feb. 2010At the risk of being criticized by women — and I am — I do not believe that any body weight is beautiful, but I totally embrace the idea that every woman must learn to love the one staring at her in the mirror. Once a woman loves herself, an amazing number of other challenges often fall in line — like exercise, healthy eating, being ‘nice’ to herself, stopping the relentless self-criticism of herself and renewed sensual desire.

The fashion industry, advertisers and other women — as well as our spouses, partners, lovers and dear friends — will always be trying to make a better version of us.  The self-improvement plug is hardwired in American society, and vested interests will keep it so.

Women — not everyone else — are in charge of our self-development and shopping expenditures. It’s my hope that very thin women will ask the fashion industry to return to realistic model size expectations for women, because the current ones are unattainable and truly unhealthy. 

While I love gender-bending dress, I have no desire to have a boys body. Androgyny is cool, but it shouldn’t become the primary definition of beauty.  And I’m amused by emaciated women complimenting the ‘fierce’ look on a model’s face when she couldn’t kick an ounce of butt, if she had to do so.

Note that once test-tube babies come along to solve population deficits in developed countries — because educated, middle-class women aren’t loving momhood as much these days — evolution will take care of the problem of women having hips. For now — while women are doing the birthing — females have hips.

Beyonce accepts million $ plus to perform for Colonel Gaddafi’s son in St. Barts, New Year’s Eve, 2010Whether you approve of Beyonce performing playing a private gig in St. Bart’s for Motassim Bilal “Hannibal” Gaddafi – the fifth son of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, Beyonce is ‘fierce’. When it comes to fashion models, a ‘fierce’ expression on one’s face, doesn’t make for a ‘fierce’ woman in real life.

I see an argument building that ‘real women’ means a woman can be whatever she wishes, and there should be no pressure to change. I don’t buy into that argument — knowing the health risks involved for her,  her children, the health care industry and American taxpayers. Simply stated, I lack proper political correctness credentials on this subject of any body weight — a 16 BMI or a 36 BMI is fine.

Crystal Renn hit pay dirt yesterday, the NYTimes referencing the theme of her new book: “It’s simply bizarre that ‘normal’ is the new overweight.

The Body Politics Teaparty should target this issue — healthy weights are now plus — not the “all women are just fine” pc strategy. Reality is that women are now totally unable to accurately evaluate their own image and the self-hatred accumulated and so do the calories.

Crystal Renn Glamour Mag, Feb. 2010When women are asked to pick out shadow images of their own body, out of a lineup of both larger and smaller shadow images, they always pick body shapes larger than their own.  When women see accurate images of themselves, they are confused that their own body is smaller than they believe. Whether you’re size 10 or size 24, you will pick a larger-size image of the ‘real you’.

When the fashion industry and luxury brands take the position that normal, healthy 20-25 BMIs are fat and plus-sized, then we have a big problem. Women have no comprehension of what a healthy body looks like anymore.

Another fascinating point in the NYTimes interview is Renn sharing that her photos are often photoshopped larger, giving her curves that aren’t any more real than the infamous Ralph Lauren ‘head bigger than hips’ photoshop disaster.

Ms. Renn said that she had seen images in which weight was added to make her appear to be a size 20, to be more appealing to larger customers. Jennie Runk, another size 12 model, admitted to Glamour that she sometimes wears padding for photo shoots. NYTimes

While Slimfast send us on a diet, Jennie Runk wears extra padding for photo shoots. It’s all insanity and only women can put a stop to it.

We must “just say no”. This IS possible. I learned how to “just say no” 7-8 years ago and it was the biggest hallelujah of my life. Anne

More photos of Crystal Renn at


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Crystal Renn & Keith Schofield | Brigette Magazine