Plus Size Model Crystal Renn Takes On The Critics

07/22/2010 at 02:30 PM ET

Brian Zak/Sipa

Crystal Renn was returning from a photoshoot in Paris for French Vogue earlier this month when she got some troubling news. Retouched photos of the plus size model, who famously overcame anorexia and exercise bulimia 7 years ago before rising to the top of her profession, had been released showing the size 10 beauty looking shockingly thin. “You want to laugh because you know it’s not you, but then you realize everyone out there seeing these images thinks it is,” Renn tells PEOPLE. “I was obviously upset and concerned. I don’t want some girl who’s recovering from anorexia to see the picture and think I don’t think that you can be any size and be beautiful. That’s completely not what I’m about.” But Renn, 24, is the first to admit that she is slimmer now than when she first relaunched her career as a plus size model at 5’9” and 175 lbs. “Over the years I had made my way down to 165 lbs. and a size 12,” says Renn, who has walked the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier and Chanel and booked campaigns for Dolce & Gabbana. In the last year, she slimmed down to 150 lbs. and a size 10 when she finally began exercising again after 7 years during which she avoided all workouts. But discovering “fun” activities like hiking and yoga helped her take a more balanced approach to fitness in the past year, she says. “I used to workout obsessively for 8 hours a day,” she admits. “Now, I want to do something fun that’s good for my body.” For more information on Crystal Renn’s body controversy, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE on stands now. —Charlotte Triggs

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Showing 170 comments

Kemi on

Sister Odun ……. na wao for you lies ooooo…. o ti wa paro lori internet …… size 12 consider as slim in nigeria …. Where did u hear that one from ahhh ….. Big madam…..
For people that are reading this please nowhere in Nigeria they will consider size as a slim…. That one is a lie…..

HK on

In the 80s models were a size 8. She’s beautiful, and looks healthy and strong, and that’s a million times more attractive than the unhealthy scary skinny skeletors dominating the fashion industry. If heterosexual men were the fashion designers, I guarantee 00-2 sized models would NOT be popular.

vanilla on

I can’t believe they consider a 5’9 150 lb girl plus size! What is this world coming to?

micki on

It really Is Sad That The Today Show Even Put Her On The Air Complaining…Im A Size 20 What Is That A SUPER PLUS SIZE…The Size She Is Or Was Is A Normal Size…And So Does That Make Size’s 1-8 Normal?…I Don’t Think So…I Wish She Could Live In My Shoes For A Month!!!

Donna on

I definitely need to lose weight because I’m morbidly obese, but Crystal Renn certainly doesn’t. She’s beautiful and healthy.

P.S. I consider size 14 to be my “skinny” days. ;-)

Deb on

this enrages me actually, Size 10 is plus size? that is sick !! I have never seen a size 10 in ANY plus size section in ANY STORE. Sorry Crystal but ya aren’t plus!!

MT on

Plus size model? Really? She looks pretty slim to me! That’s just sad that this is considered plus size. This looks healthy. Not a puny size 0! And as one other person commented before, a size 10 is not sold on plus size racks in stores. I am a size 8 and when I shop for clothing I always see size 10 and even 12 on the racks. Plus size usually starts around a 14 or 16! Whatever! And as a mother with 3 daughters, I hate that this is what they have to try to live up to. My oldest daughter is 11 and she has a friend that is very thin. She weighs probably 80 pounds and is probably around 5 ft. tall and she is always saying she is fat. She barely eats and worries about her weight. At such a young age…that is scary!

maria on

I used to love People magazine…but you know what? You need to find some better writers for your articles…..You people are unreal: size 10 – is a plus size?? yeah, whatever! get real! and please check your spelling…jeeeez

Pego on

Size 10 is plus size only in fashion. Personally I think the industry should require their models to be average in size. I’m quite tired of ridiculous outfits that can’t be worn by anything but underweight chestless, buttless female impersonators. Crystal has T@A appeal, she’s not plus sized, she’s just bootylicious.

Megan on

Size 10 is ‘plus size’ in the fashion industry because most coutoure designers rarely even go up to a 6 or an 8.

However, in reality most plus size stores start at 14. In fashion world, she is plus. In real world, she is not.

I’m a size 12 and I’m not fat. You can barely pinch anything. I wanted to be smaller I’d have to stave myself. Some of us actually do have big bones. And one last note, being 5’9 and size 10 is very different than being 5’0 and size 10. Think about it.

Most importantly, everyone needs clothing so can it.

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