Health, Ingall-Marjorie, inspirational, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Renn-Crystal, social commentary

#571 Hungry by Crystal Renn

Hungry by Crystal RennHungry by Crystal Renn

Crystal Renn is a model, but she’s not your average stick-thin model, she’s considered a plus-size model, even though she’s only a size 12, an average size. Crystal didn’t always want to be a model nor was she always her current size. This is Crystal’s story.

Crystal’s mother left her to her grandmother to raise from a young age. Crystal called her grandmother “Mom” and her great-grandmother “Grandma.” Crystal speaks of her life growing up in Miami, Florida. It wasn’t the easiest place to grow up, but Crystal didn’t feel that out of sorts there. All young people feel out of sorts at some point in their lives, but Crystal didn’t experience much out-of-sort-ness in Miami.

It wasn’t until Crystal and her mother moved to be close to Crystal’s biological mother that Crystal felt out of sorts. She didn’t fit in with the blonde-headed kids at her school. She wasn’t quite as small as they were. Crystal didn’t fit in. She tried. She went out for cheer-leading and tried her best at her life.

It wasn’t until a model scout saw her that her world changed. He told her that she could be a mode, if she lost weight. Crystal dieted, exercised, and starved herself down to around a 100 pounds. She was signed as a model for being thin and pretty. Modeling turned out to be heck for Crystal. She spent every minute she wasn’t on a job working out. She worked out for hours and hours each day. She ate hardly anything. She would cut her vegetables into small pieces. She looked sick. Not many people wanted to work with Crystal because she didn’t have much of a personality.

One day Crystal was done. She was tired of starving herself and tired of having an eating disorder. She talked to her agent. The agent said she could do plus modeling. Crystal decided she would do it. She gained weight back and even went up to a size 16 for a while but came back to be around a size 12. Crystal started getting jobs. She got into Vogue, which is the magazine Crystal had dreamed about modeling for. More jobs flowed in. She had a personality now. She wasn’t so worried about keeping her weight down.

Crystal’s life seemed to blossom after she decided not to starve herself anymore. She didn’t spend all her time working out. She had time for other things, friends and romance. Crystal met a man she admired. Crystal got married. Crystal feels good in her skin, but she’s always careful not to slide back into her old ways.

What I liked

Crystal’s story is amazing. She saw skinny and skinny wasn’t good to her, so she went back to her natural body size. Crystal doesn’t look overweight, she looks fine. The photos of her skinny look ghastly. There are a few included in the book, so if you want to see, you’ll get a chance when you read the book. Crystal is very body-positive and there is a lot of research included in her book. She cites studies. She cites surveys and so on. Crystal is an average size and she is healthy. The majority of people considered obese in America are also around Crystal’s size, but according to BMI, they’re unhealthy, when in fact, studies have shown people in that weight range are just fine and healthier than their skinny counterparts. It’s only when people get into the super-obese category that real health problems are a concern.

Crystal was obviously not meant to weigh a hundred pounds. She looked sick. She looks great now. I’m glad she can feel confident in her own skin. We need books like Crystal’s because of the epidemic that has seized women. We are told, “Be thin, or else.” The “or else” is a lot of things. We think we have to weigh 110 lbs to do anything in life, when in truth, a lot of us would look awfully sick at 110 lbs. I don’t care who you are or what you say, some people just aren’t meant to be that skinny.

This book gives us a glance into Crystal’s inner mania while she was thin. She had to work all day long, every day, to stay that way. That is no kind of life.

In truth, there is prejudice and discrimination for people who might even be the slightest bit overweight. Get the heck over it. It’s no different from being a different race or a different sex, neither of which you’re supposed to discriminate against. There is a difference in being healthy and being emaciated. If you’re overweight enough to have problems as a result, then you know you’re too heavy. If you’re overweight and you don’t have any problems, your body is fine with where you’re at, maybe not forever, but for now, it is. The thing is, skinny people have health problems too and it’s definitely not because they’re overweight. Not every ill in society can be attributed to being overweight. It would be great if people would stop thinking that being overweight is the root of all evil.

With all this said, there is such a thing as “too much.” Nobody is meant to weigh so much that they have a plethora of health problems as a result or their knees ache every second of the day. Also, flip side of this people–you’re not meant to be so skinny that you have health problems because of it and you obsess over it every second of the day. Capisce?

What I didn’t like

I thought Crystal’s story was great, what does give me a little concern is that she doesn’t mention getting any psychological help for any of this. I don’t know if she actually did or not, but if she did, she should have put it in the book so girls would know that they might need some counseling to deal with eating disorders.


Crystal is definitely someone to be admired.

Weigh In

Do you think Crystal’s obsessive behavior over being thin could ever be condoned? Why or why not?

Do you believe we discriminate based on weight?


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