Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Review: Hungry

Written by Crystal Renn, and published in 2009, a biography about a model from the US who battled with anorexia and exercise bulimia for many years before embracing her curves and then becoming the most successful plus size model in the world.

Crystal was a junior in high school when a modelling scout told her that she could be a super model - as long as she lost some weight. At 165 pounds and 5 foot 8 inches, she lost 70 pounds and endured mental and physical torture in the process over the next 2 years as a NY based model.

The early days....

Eating virtually nothing and excercising 35 hours a week. Her hair was falling out in clumps, her eyes had a blank look, constant headaches, blurred vision, gray skin, heart palpitations, aching joints, ringing in her ears etc etc.
It was no surprise that her career didnt sky rocket either.

Then on day when she literally count stand up, she decided enough was enough - she changed agencies and started to eat. Over a year, her weight arrived at a US size 12 (AU 14) & that was when the modelling world opened up to her & the work started to flood in - when she embraced her natural size and her curves. Up til that point plus size girls didnt do runway/Vogue. Crystal's presence was so mesmerising that she became the most successful plus size model in history and designers were cutting samples for her specific curves.

This was REAL success and happiness & it doesnt depend on being a size 0:

Photo below:

At the top, shot by Steven Meisel, for US Vogue April 2004 - the launch of a plus size career.
At the bottom, with Jean Paul Gaultier on the SS 2006 runway.

Covers as a plus size - wow!

The book offers an honest account through Crystal's eye's of the modelling industry, as well as an account of our weight obsessed culture. Its a story of ambition and strength that goes beyond anything a camera can capture.

It was a rivetting read - I couldnt put it down.

Anyone who is weight obsessed or glamourises the modelling industry must read this.

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