Crystal Renn on Weight, Modeling for Chanel, and Carine Roitfeld



The entire fashion industry has been buzzing about her—now it's model Crystal Renn's time to talk.

The Zac Posen favorite—who has been the subject of much speculation thanks to her plus-size superstardom, subsequent slimming down, and a recent modeling card that erroneously listed her as a size 2—has opened up to the Ford Models Blog about her modeling success and the hoopla over her weight fluctuations.

"When this whole weight-loss thing happened, I think that a lot of people wanted to point their finger at somebody," Renn, wearing a striped cardigan, says in a video interview. 

"I think that they wanted to find a conspiracy where there absolutely was none. A lot of people said the industry was pressuring me, my agency was pressuring me, I was pressuring me, but it was just not the case in all three cases.

"But where do I feel pressure? I feel pressure—probably more from any place—probably from the public and the media. I think that by placing a title on my head, which is 'plus-size,' and then the picture that these people have created in their mind about what plus-size actually is, I've basically failed you just with that. Because I couldn't possibly live up to that, and at this point in my life I would have to actually have another eating disorder to live up to that expectation.

"I had anorexia, ultimately, because someone else set the standard for me and I wanted to follow it. And if I followed what the public wanted from me or what the media wants from me, I'd be doing the same thing. I'd have a binge-eating disorder."

According to Ford, Renn's size is between plus (usually size 10 and above) and straight (models measuring approximately 33"-24"-35"), which is why she's listed on both the Ford+ board and the Paul Rowland board. But the brunette beauty says she wants people to accept her weight as it is, rather than make assumptions.

"I think the most important thing that we all need to know, whether you're a model, you're a normal person walking around, you're an editor, you're a photographer, you're anybody out in the world—it's about individual health," she says. "You cannot tell if someone is healthy, where they are mentally, from the outside, because health is different for everybody at different sizes."

Renn is happier talking about her recent successes, including runway and campaign turns for Chanel ("It was one of those moments where you have to say thanks to the universe for something so incredible"), having the support of photographers like Steven Meisel, and working with Carine Roitfeld.

Of Roitfeld, Renn says, "She has taught me so much just by being in her presence. All of the shoots that I have done with French Vogue had some sort of message, have wanted to challenge the reader of the magazine. And that's what I like; that's what I like about the characters that she has picked for me: They're challenging. I think we have the same outlook when it comes to the shoots that we do."

Will we see more of Renn during Fashion Week? Here's hoping …

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