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In her memoir, Hungry, 23-year-old Crystal Renn chronicles her battle with anorexia and exercise bulimia as she struggled to make it as the skinniest of supermodels. It wasn’t until she embraced her curves and became a plus-size model (that’s the modeling industry’s term for models over size 6) that her career skyrocketed. We asked the size-12 beauty how she learned to love her body and how you can too.
First, what inspired you to write Hungry?
I want women and the fashion industry to hear me and think, You know what—maybe there should be all different body types up on the runway, maybe that’s a really a great idea. I want women to be happy with who they are because I think that once they do that, all opportunities in their lives will get even bigger and better for them. Doors will be opened to them because they will be ready for it. Think about it: If you hate yourself, you don’t like your relationships, you don’t do as well at work, you don’t take all the chances that you want in your life. I would like to see women overcome that and take it to the next level.
I want women to be empowered, to be confident, to love life, and that’s why I chose the title Hungry for my book. Because it’s hungry for everything. And that’s what I want women to take away from it—to love themselves but also to accomplish your dreams.
Loving your body is one of those things that’s easier said than done. What advice do you have for women to put the thought into action?
Instead of focusing on all the bad things like, “Oh my gosh, I hate my thighs,” I say let’s look at the hair and say, “Oh wow, I’m having such a great hair day.” Or “Oh wow, my eyes are so clear today…I really like my lips….” And then eventually your mind will start to change and think of the positive things when you look in the mirror instead of focusing on the negative. It definitely takes time—it’s a habit—but just like anything else, over time, you can change the way your mind works.
So when you’re having a bad day and look in the mirror, what part of your body do you embrace to change your thought process?
There are a few things I look at on those days: I say, “Wow, I have full, great, healthy hair,” because now I eat healthy and I can see my health in my hair. That’s one thing. I also say, “Wow, I have great cheekbones. Let’s play them up, put some bronzer on them.” And then I might say, “Oh wow, I have a great waist; I’m going to show it off by belting my dress today.” Or I’ll put on some red lipstick and see how great I feel. I love wearing lipstick. It’s my feel-good-immediately move.