Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

August 16, 2010

Random Musings on Crystal Renn, Photoshop, Etc

Filed under: Models — Miss Plumcake @ 3:41 pm

I’ve had a bunch of people ask me –since I am apparently the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador to Fatlandia– about this whole Crystal Renn photoshop thing in Glamour magazine.

Basically, she posed for Glamour, whose photoshoppers are notoriously shrink happy and she was shocked she got the photosuction treatment.

You know, frankly I’m just glad she’s wearing panties.

It seems like every other shot I’ve seen of her lately has been sans knickers, and whatever, it’s editorial so okay and hell, I’d let Carine Roitfeld personally style my panty garden if it meant I got an editorial spread in Paris Vogue but there is an extremely limited list of people whose trouser topiary I want to see and Ms Renn isn’t on that list, even as an extra.

Plus it’s part of my Fat Models Without Clothes problem.

You can’t just hire a plus-size model and use her like a straight-sized model (although Ms Renn IS a straight size. She wears an 10/12) you’ve got the strip them down and make a REALLY BIG DEAL about it.  “LOOK! LOOK! There’s body fat! Do you see that?! Do you see how cool and progressive we are?! LOOK THERE IS A TEENSY ROLL OF FLESH! We are EMPOWERING YOU, now keep reading so you can hate your body the way we want.


Wake me up when there’s a size 12/14 model featured fully clothed, without fanfare or press releases or *gag* the world “real woman” involved, in an editorial spread.

Anyway, I’m kind of surprised that Ms Renn, who seems like a canny girl, was shocked at her retouched image. I mean Glamour has the worst photoshoppers this side of a flyover-state toddler beauty pageant (confidential to M. Carey –you owe me one.)

Remember what they did to America Ferrera?


But it’s not even about that. She is a great model, I mean a GREAT model. I don’t mean she’s that especially gorgeous –although she’s a good looking gal– but she models like a dream and works her body like who…Verushka maybe? Incredible.


I don’t know, she’s being shot from above, and she’s working her body in “thin” ways, plus she’s lost some weight recently.  And yeah, she was definitely trimmed a bit, but I don’t think it was a photo hack job as much as some folks do.

I also don’t think Renn owes it to the fat community to be a certain size. She’s a size 10 now. So? Good for her if that’s her natural comfortable weight. She’d be a great model at a 10 and a great model at a 16.  If her body is happy at one place, shouldn’t she be allowed to let it sit there?

Yeah I’d like there to be a true plus size model or two (or twelve) out there getting big editorials, but that’s not where we are right now. Oh well.

Also ALSO, I suspect that in many cases, Renn gets shopped the other way, making her bigger than she really is. I know when I modeled,  straight size girls –about a 10– would pad their middles so they’d look bigger.  This was before Photoshop made it the work of an instant, but I still know girls pad today.

Finally, I found Nicholas Routzen‘s –the photographer who also “shaped” Renn’s photos after the shoot– blog pretty interesting (and not just because he pretty much agreed with me).

Read it for  yourself.


  1. verrrry eeeenteresting.
    side note: no Monday hottness?

    Comment by Heather — August 16, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

  2. @Heather, they’re all in my shoeblogs email, and I don’t have access to it. Looks like we’ll have to have September be the return of Monday Hotness.

    Comment by Plumcake — August 16, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

  3. this – coupled with “HORRORS” – the ‘obesity epidemic’ means yet more excuses for others and ourselves to not accept our bodies (significant personal struggle for me).

    Comment by g-dog — August 16, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

  4. I get your annoyance at the “real woman” moniker, but one thing I’ve always liked about those spreads is not just the (slightly) more diverse body types. It’s also the more natural-looking makeup and the (appearance of) happy faces and cheerful sanity. Even in that infamous Glamour cover with the three supposedly diverse models all looking pretty much the same as each other. But they look happy and healthy, which I dig.

    That photo shoot of Crystal Renn would bug me whether they photoshopped her thinner or not. I detest that “heroin chic” thing.

    Comment by wildflower — August 17, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

  5. I saw an interview with Renn just after the pictures came out on the View. She said even when she was at her biggest, she was never a size 16, which is, to me, where “plus-size” begins. She said it’s all about pretty relative terms. Straight size models don’t go over a 6 or MAYBE an 8, so if you’re a 10, you’re a plus-sized model in the fashion industry. I think she said she was a small-ish 12 at the time of the shoot due to health reasons (she had lost some weight during an illness). It’s such a relative phrase. It seems to me, that it would be easier if they just used the phrases that are prevailing in the culture, but that may be too easy!

    I know when I worked at Lane Bryant, we’d take a size 14 (the smallest size available) and then pin it to the mannequins, which essentially took off a size or two, so even a fashion industry corporation aimed at traditionally named plus sized women marketed their clothes by showing them much smaller than they actually are.

    Comment by Emi!y — August 18, 2010 @ 9:46 pm

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