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Crystal Renn (PICTURES): Is "Plus-Size" Model Now Too Thin?

Plus size model Crystal Renn on cover of her book Hungry. She beat anorexia to challenge fashion industry norms.
Simon and Schuster
crystal renn
Crystal Renn arrives at an awards ceremony on London on November 2, 2010.
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images


(CBS) Crystal Renn starved herself to advance her modeling career. Now she says feels pressured to eat too much - in order to live up to the "plus-size" label she was given after her recovery from anorexia.

Just who is pressuring Renn, who has grown visibly thinner in recent months? The modeling industry? Her own modeling agency?

"I feel pressure more than anyplace else from the public and the media by placing a title on my head, which is plus-size," she said in a video blog. "At this point in my life I would have to have another eating disorder to live up to that expectation."

Renn, who chronicled her battle with anorexia in her 2009 memoir "Hungry," used to walk the runway as a size 12, People magazine reported. These days, she's more like a size 8 - which is far below the size 14 that many people consider about right for a plus-size model.

"I had anorexia because someone else set the standard for me, and I wanted to follow it," she said. "If I followed what the media wants from me and the public wants from me, I would be doing the same thing. I would have a binge eating disorder."

So what message does Renn have for young women in danger of being swayed into unhealthy eating habits by their fascination with models who are impossibly thin - or a bit pudgy?

"It's all about individual health," she said. "Health is different for everybody at different sizes."