I'm not really sure what to write here. I've just finished reading Hungry a fabulous eye opening book by successful plus size model Crystal Renn. It talks about the realities behind the modelling industry and our "obese" nation. She inspired me with her success in campaigning and pioneering the introduction of alternative body types into the fashion world and mainstream media. And her transformation from anorexia to being comfortable and confident in her fluctuating size 12-16 skin, a big feat. She gave me hope for the future of the young and older impressionable generation. That which we are all part of. I finished the book feeling happy; happy to still be hungry after lunch, and eating something more. Because I hadn't eaten enough for me, a growing teenager. Happy that most peoples shape, size and weight is generally determined by their genetics and that I am therefore naturally on the slimmer side commonly at a size 6-8 ( UK size) whilst as Renn is naturally a "plus sized model" at an average of a dress size 16 (UK size). Not that dress sizes matter of course.
When I came home, I couldn''t wait to google Crystal and goggle at her success and impact. I was excited to see how rigid and strong she had been with her revolutionary actions. After all she really did have the power to make a difference. But I was shocked and disappointed. Since the release of the book in 2009 she had lost weight. Apparently fluctuating between a 6 and a 10. And she had divorced her husband - though my disappointment with this is purely due to romantic reasons, they seemed to truly be in love. Or so the book made it seem anyway.
Renn had a big burden to hold. She is an icon to many people, however I think her weight loss will affect a lot of her followers. If some-one with her self confidence and beauty feels the need to lose weight then what about us? The people who don't have a modelling contract. Who aren't "special".
This is were I think Renn's biggest message has been by passed. Getting through her eating disorder gave her confidence. I love this quote from Renn which taken in the wrong way could be controversial
" Women should be able to look to me and think: She's beautiful. But also: I can look like that"
- Crystal Renn
I read this quote and believe she is hoping people who see her to notice how confident and comfortable with herself she is and aspire to make themselves just as happy. And that is your challenge this weekend. Find some-one you look up to. Or some-one you don't. But has took a chance, made something of their lives, created something, delivers major speeches, acts, directs, sings, makes life changing decisions or is just constantly happy and loving and realise that their success is down to their confidence.
And finally here is Crystal herself responding to the variety of distress in the public: