Rosemary Mac Cabe

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Crystal Renn – an issue of size?

Crystal Renn is, as you all probably know, the quintessential plus-sized model. She started out as a “straight” model, but, having bowed to pressure to diet for too long, resulting in an eating disorder, then decided to embrace her curves, …

Thu, Jun 16, 2011, 12:30

   

Crystal Renn is, as you all probably know, the quintessential plus-sized model. She started out as a “straight” model, but, having bowed to pressure to diet for too long, resulting in an eating disorder, then decided to embrace her curves, and ended up being one of fashion’s most successful plus-sized models.

The last couple of years have been good for Renn, as fashion embraced “curvy”, if even as a “trend” rather than a shift in psyches. Any “curvy” issue of a particular fashion magazine was always going to be a once-off; the next month, they would return to worshipping the same aesthetic, and Renn would move on to the next magazine, the next show, the next designer willing to worship at the altar of the curvy female.

Well now Renn has seen another shift in her body type, from curvy to, well, not-so-curvy.

Here’s Renn posing for Tush magazine, shot by Ellen von Unwerth.

And here, for Vogue Mexico, by David Roemer.

I know that women have a hard job, always being appraised in terms of aesthetics, and that a woman’s body should be her own – but when a woman’s body is her commodity, that is to say, her job, her career, the topic for her book, for example, then I think it’s in the public interest to discuss said commodity.

In this case I am neither buoyed nor saddened by the news that Renn has lost weight; there’s a certain inevitability about it that, I think, Sophie Dahl covered best in her odyssey, How I Went From A Chubby Teen to a Television Cookery Host Without Anyone Guessing That I Don’t Eat. There’s no denying that Renn is a beautiful woman, regardless of her size – but I find it interesting that, a lot of the time when women gain success, they find it necessary to conform to an aesthetic ideal (or, perhaps, they end up conforming, despite themselves). For my part, I’ve always assumed that attaining said ideal will result in my being successful – so you can expect me to balloon the day I make it into Forbes.

Images via Fashion Gone Rogue.

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