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Hungry – Crystal Renn

“We can always find each other, we girls with secrets.” 

An inspiring and cautionary tale for women of all ages, Hungry is an uplifting memoir with a universal message about body image, beauty and self-confidence. [From: Amazon.co.uk]

This is a photo of me at sixteen, when I signed a big modeling contract, moved to New York City, and started traveling around the world. It is also when I developed a ferocious case of anorexia and exercise bulimia, and began to lose my hair, develop frequent bruises, and experience frequent heart palpitations. And still my body refused to remain a size zero. As my weight rebelled, my mania escalated. I experimented with diet drugs and fainted between casting calls, slumping to the sidewalk of Madison Avenue.

Until one day I realized that if I wanted to live, I could no longer starve. I had to get off the crazy-making treadmill. I had to nourish my body and feed my soul. So I ate. And ate. And I returned to my natural size 12 — the size of the average American and the size I was when I really made it big.

This is a photo of me at eighteen, when I became one of the most successful models in the industry today.

Hungry charts the rise, fall, and rise of Crystal Renn, offering a behind-the-scenes peek into the modeling industry, as well as a trenchant look at our weight-obsessed culture. In this testament to the power of authenticity, Renn illustrates the ways in which the fashion industry is slowly changing and exposes the cold truths about size and size ism.

An inspiring and cautionary tale, Hungry will resonate with anyone who has battled society’s small-minded definitions of beauty. [From: Books.google.com.ph]

“During the shoot in November 2003, I was vaguely aware of the stylist’s sulky demeanor and eye-rolling vibe, but I blocked her out. Some fashion people are snotty drama queens; this is not news. Whatever was going on with her, I was determined to be positive and not get infected by her energy. Later, Fiorella told me that the entire time I was in makeup, the stylist had been clomping up and down the hall, sputtering into her cell phone, “I can’t believe I have to style a FAT GIRL!”

Believe it, bitch. ” 

You might not know her name, but you probably recognize the face and body on this book’s cover. Crystal Renn is arguably the most successful plus-size model in history, the first such model to grace the front cover of Harper’s Bazaar. In her memoir Hungry, she does far more than flaunt her seven-figure annual earnings. Instead, she shares an all too-common-story of a young woman struggling with weight and body image issues. [From: Barnesandnoble.com]

“We women are a lot more powerful if we see ourselves as fighters on the same side. But it’s easier to judge others – their choices and their bodies – than to think about the struggles we share.” 

In today’s society, models are not often considered appropriate role models for young girls; they are criticized (arguably, with good reason) as creating false images of what a woman ought to be, leading only to disappoint and insecurity.

However–recently published novel Hungry by plus-size model Crystal Renn is an intelligent slap in the face to all the stick-thin models and modeling agencies that promote the above description. Not only does Renn successfully tackle the issue of body image and its detrimental affect on herself and other professional models, but she also brings up statistics pertaining to obesity and eating disorders.

Renn is a very successful plus-size model. Her book grabs your attention right away, with a half-nude, gorgeous, and curvy image of her gracing the cover. It’s obvious that she is not a size zero, but her confidence, beauty, and modeling ability make it clear that that does not matter. The novel itself is well-written (she received help from writer Marjorie Ingall), and justifies the message one receives from the cover—that your natural healthy weight is the best weight for you. Renn didn’t start out as a plus-size model. When she was scouted at the age of fourteen, she was told she couldn’t join the “Agency” until she lost about 70 pounds. Already having an obsessive personality as well as ADHD, Renn soon became obsessed with losing weight and keeping the weight off in order to become a model. It wasn’t until two years later that her body started to reject the anorexia and she realized she couldn’t do it anymore; she decided to model as “plus-size” (Renn is size 12, the average size of women in the United States), signed with Ford, and her career really took off. [From: Akmayhew.com]

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