Plus-size model Crystal Renn (and as clarification, plus-size models are models who are "plus" the size of standard-size models) has gone public to tell the world that she's still a size 10 -- and she's not happy about recent photos that she says were altered to make her look much smaller.
The photos were shot for the charity Fashion for Passion, but when they were released, the Internet lit up with comments about what appeared to be a shocking amount of weight loss for Renn.
“I didn’t think it was an accurate portrayal of my body in any way,” she told Meredith Vieira on NBC's Today show yesterday. “I’m a size 10, and that’s more like a size 2.”
Why is this issue so personal for Renn? There's one very important reason.
As a fledgling model seven years ago, Renn once suffered from eating disorders and sought help only when her hair began falling out. Last year, she wrote a book about the experience and she has devoted her life and career to portraying a healthy body image alongside her emaciated counterparts.
Photographer Nicholas Routzen insists the photos weren't retouched in any way that wasn't standard for the industry -- but if I were Crystal, I would have been angry about these photos, too. For someone who's made her mark as a model with a realistic body size, these photos could lead anyone to believe that she had fallen back into her old habits.
Once Crystal came forward publicly to talk about the altered photos, fashion blog The Cut found video of the shoot. An unretouched still from that video clearly shows a normal-sized Renn alongside her starved-looking retouched image.
If these kinds of photographic alterations truly are standard as the photographer claims, and models are routinely whittled down until they're as thin and gaunt as heroin addicts, it makes me very, very sad.
And I really don't think we should stand for it.
Good for Crystal for going public.
Image via Fashion for Passion