Plus size model Crystal Renn and fashion's newest face, Jacquelyn Jablonski, 17 are featured side by side in this month's issue of V Magazine wearing identical outfits. They are both 5'9", but Renn is more curvy at a size 16. Both models are beautiful, but Crystal is serving it...and I'll take what she's having. Top fashion photographer Terry Richardson, photographed them for V Magazine's Size Issue in several high-fashion looks in this latest in a string of campaigns for designers and magazines to use models with more varied looks and sizes. More dueling photos after the jump.
But before you witness more of the fabulousness that is Crystal Renn, I just want to say how much seeing these images and reading about Crystal's journey as an anorexic size 0, teen model to a top model at a natural size 16 has encouraged me to re-purpose my weight loss goals. Do I still want to be thin? Of course (just keepin' it real), but I struggle with letting go of my obsession with thinness that started when I was barely 13.
I've been 6ft tall for as long as I can remember. During my teenage years I was a very skinny girl. In junior high school (at the start of Tyra Banks' modeling career), I was encouraged to model by my classmates and some family members. So I started buying Teen magazine and trying my best to look like Tyra and all the other teen models back then. That's when the damage was done, I think.
My sophomore year in college ( I gained about 5 lbs my freshman year), I remember being in a dressing room with a friend of mine. I was obsessing over how I looked in a party dress. There I was (pictured to the left), 6ft tall, in a backless, junior size 9 gown obsessing over the bulge that my control-top pantyhose (the only undergarment I was wearing) made on my waistline. I remember pinching at the flesh and telling my friend that I thought I was too fat to wear the dress and her looking at me like I was insane, because control-top pantyhose would create a bulge on anybody, of course. She talked me into buying the dress, but the whole night I was self-conscious about my waistline. I'm pictured there, a few months after that in jeans, at 145lbs (after losing 10lbs on a strict diet and exercise routine).I thought I was fat then too.
That picture to the left is me, 1.5 years ago at a size 16. Twenty years, a baby and 80lbs after 7th grade, I'm STILL obsessing over (way more substantial) bulges, as well as getting back into jeans I wore when I was 18 (yes, I still have all my jeans from college). I didn't have an eating disorder, but I was definitely holding myself to standards that I now know are unreasonable. Do I still want to be thin? Of course (again, just keepin' it real). Could I get back into my college jeans? Sure. Will I ever stop with the pinching and obsessing with the bulges? Maybe, but it's going to take a LOT of work.
I know it's going to take a lot of work, because I look at these awesome pictures of Crystal Renn and have two thoughts:
1. Alone in this spread, Jacquelyn would have been par for the course for a fashion model, but next to Crystal she looks every bit of a 17 year old girl playing dress-up. And
2. Crystal looks great in a size 16, but I look like a cow.
Insecurity is so unattractive, no matter what size you are. I'm trying daily to do and feel better. It's a journey.
That said, let me end this post on a light note. Behold Crystal Renn and do not fight the urge to bow down. lol