This weekend I finished reading the book Hungry: A Young Model's Story of Appetite, Ambition, and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves by Crystal Renn, which I heard about via a CNN article a few weeks ago. Full confession: I have a huge girl crush on Crystal. I think she is absolutely gorgeous, wish I looked like her every time I see her picture AND I love, love, love that her NORMAL size body has graced the covers of so many magazines (Vogue, Elle, etc).
What I didn't know before reading the book was that she struggled with intense anorexia as she tried to lose enough weight to become and remain a "straight size" model. At 5'9, she was 95 pounds at one point. Eventually, having had enough with starvation, endless hours spent in the gym and criticism from people in the modeling industry, she became determined to get healthy. Ford modeling agency took her on as one of their plus-size models, which I find ridiculous since Crystal is a perfectly average size 12, but that's another rant for a different day. In this book, Crystal recounts her biography but also takes on the fashion and modeling industry. She comes to love her body for the size it wants to be instead of trying to force it to be smaller. The book made me like her even more.
I saw Crystal in ads for Lane Bryant (and didn't know who she was) but really became interested in her and her story after seeing this ad of her in a red bathing suit in Glamour magazine. It was so refreshing to see someone who wasn't a size 0 in their swimsuit photos. She has since appeared in their magazine and on their website many times. Apparently I wasn't the only one--this was one of the photos that caused many readers to write in and ultimately convinced Glamour to include more average-sized girls in their magazine, including the one of "The Girl on Page 194", which made national headlines. You can learn more about her from these clips from 20/20, Ellen, Good Morning America and Nightline.
And some more photos of Crystal: