Crystal and food

with 2 comments

I love a good controversy in the fashion blogosphere.  Especially when it’s about fat and food because it’s always extra juicy.  So Jezebel and Styleite so far have weighed in on the Terry Richardson photo shoot in October’s Paris Vogue featuring Crystal Renn.

For your consideration:

So “what the fuck’s the deal?” you ask.  “It’s just a smokin’ hot woman, some food and some really expensive clothes” you say.  Here’s the deal:  pretty much all the bloggers who have weighed-in, including Styleite and Jezebel, are up in arms about what they think is a tacky and grotesque shoot and beyond insensitive message.  They point out that it’s really loaded to put models and food together.  It seems every time a model is photographed with food everyone and their dog has to weigh in on the message and this shoot is no exception.  “Is she too thin?  Is she too fat?  Industry people and layfolk rattle on about what it means.  Styleite was worried that it was a joke on Crystal by the (thin) fashion people at Paris Vogue and bemoaned why she’d agree to be photographed in such a way.  The blog interpreted it was some nasty jab about her eating too much, or whatever.

Let me give you some background on why this is such a big deal.  Crystal Renn is formerly “straight sized” (which means a size 0) and once suffered from an eating disorder so severe it almost killed her.  She got help and gained about 40-50lbs through recovery and getting healthy.  She came back to the industry and from the sidelines as a newly “plus sized” model she’s broken into the mainstream (99.9% extremely thin) industry.  She’s been top of the “plus sized” game for a while, but she really blew up after being one of only a handful of non sized 0 women ever to make it big in fashion.  Now she’s basically the biggest deal ever.  And by “plus sized model” I mean a size 8-12, depending on the brand we’re measuring with, which is exactly the same size I am.   And it’s fucking huuugee in fashion-land terms.  Yeah, I know, she doesn’t look fat.  But in fashion terms she is and so am I.

She’s basically a big fucking deal y’all.  Her body and her fierce spirit is changing the world.  It’ll be a long slog before the industry desires various body types on equal footing, but she’s blazing a path and proving that you can be a size that is healthy for your body, look amazing and move product (selling shit being the whole point of the industry). She even walked in a Chanel fashion show and did an ad for the brand.   That’s a big fucking deal because the head bitch in charge over there, Karl Lagerfeld, is both one of the most influential people in the industry and a notorious Anti-Fat Nazi.

So there’s some context for you.  What do I think?  I don’t think this shoot is obscene or offensive.  Quite the contrary.  I think it’s beautiful and she looks so happy, fierce and alive. I don’t know about you, Dear Readers, but I’m fucking happy as all hell too when I’m eating good food.  Instead of being a joke on Crystal by a fat-phobic magazine, I think the message is rather more optimistic and poignant.  Here’s a woman once on the brink of death through starvation to work in the industry.  Now she’s a healthy size and eating food, not battling it, and KILLING IT on the pages on the pages of Paris fucking Vogue.   She’s practically screaming through the photograph “fuck all you bitches who told me I couldn’t eat to make it!!!!!!  I’m in Paris Vogue bbbiitcchhessss.”   No one is laughing at her.  We’re laughing with her.

I have two non-major critiques though and they’re not about the model or the message.   The first is about the photographer.  The Artiste behind the work is obvious without even noting it.  Terry Richardson…..uggggg *exaggerated eye roll*…….get some new tricks out of your bag!  For those of you unfamiliar with “Uncle Terry’s” photography, all his shoots have this signature “in your face” sexyness.  His work is often set against white backdrops with his signature very glossy, very sexy and very overtly sexual (and bordering on tacky) style.  It’s not that he’s not a good photographer, because he is, but I’d like him to step out of his comfort zone.  I’m not even going to weigh-in on all the controversy around what a sleazy pervert he apparently is.

My second issue is with the clothes.  It’s not that they’re not beautiful, because they are.  The colours and textures are amazing.  I take issue with the rockin’ bod of Crystal being covered up.  It almost, ever so slightly, looks as if they’re trying to cover up her body while she’s eating.  I may be reading too much into the styling of the shoot.  The intent with the clothes is not clear, but it is a potential issue that’s got to be put out there.

So there.  Haters gonna hate, but I love this shoot critiques and all.  I, as a not-thin woman just like Crystal, think it’s message is so poignant and needed.




Written by erinoffduty

September 29, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. […] many skinny girls on this here blarg.  This wasn’t conscious on my part.  The industry, as I moaned in another post, is really fat phobic and so it’s less easy to come by content that’s not thin.  Not […]

  2. […] I’ve written about Crystal before. […]

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