The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Moonsigns  |  BandGuide  |  Blogs

The Plus Side of Being a Model?

I'm delighted that the Telegraph decided to feature Crystal Renn, an extraordinarily successful plus-size model, in a feature today. But here's what I don't get. This is how writer Judy Rumbold opens her piece:

To be honest, I expected Crystal Renn to be bigger. All right then, fatter. In the mind's eye, the term 'plus-size model' is liberally coated in doughnut batter, and I had her down as a gloriously buxom woman-mountain. Along with a name that sounds as if it's jumped off the embossed-foil cover of a Danielle Steel bodice-ripper, I'm anticipating a formidably blowsy, lipsticky package.

That's the lede that she chose to draw the reader in? Which can only mean, of course, that she assumes that we assume that any story about a plus-size model must be discussing an overweight cow who is just talented enough to be the Big Girl poster child for the commercial side of the industry. Shut The Fuck Up, please -- who are you, Rumbold, the fashion scribe version of the Pick-Up Artist? We don't need to be negged into understanding what you're talking about, lady. What a stupid, dim-witted way of getting to the point. After being told to lose 10 inches off her hips or lose out on a modeling contract, Renn became anorexic. Then:

She soon became withdrawn and neurotic, lying to her grandmother and friends about the extent to which she was starving herself. While everyone close to her thought she looked like death, the agency was thrilled. 'They were, like, "You look fabulous!"' But not quite fabulous enough. With a swimwear shoot looming, she forced herself to work out for nine hours, two days in a row - 'My body literally felt like it was crumbling' - before seeing her bookers again. 'They looked me up and down and said, "Your legs. You need to bring your legs down."'

Renn switched her contract to Ford. Since gaining back her normal weight -- she is a hot, curvy 20-something who gives ScarJo a run for her money -- she's appeared in Vogue, and, has shot ads for Saks, Nine West, and other assorted editorial campaigns. But how nice that no matter how far she's come, the Telegraph can't simply call her a size 16. They have to call her a "healthy" size 16, with the subtext of "healthy" meaning large. You know, fat. But pretty all the same!

This is gross, gross, gross, and terrible, particularly after Ali Michael was shunned over her "fat" legs in Paris last week. Thanks, Telegraph, for feeding the clusterfuck. You know things are right with the world when teenagers are giving themselves body dysmorphic disorders over five pounds.

  • nicole said:

    I agree that Rumbold's opening is a little ridiculous - but so it the term "plus-size model" itself. When someone is described as plus-sized, I know I certainly would picture someone larger than Crystal Renn. What we really need is for plus size models to lose the term "plus size" from their title, and declare models as we know them "minus-sized."

    March 6, 2008 9:41 PM

Leave a Comment

Login | Not a member yet? Click here to Join

Thursday, September 24, 2009  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group