Monday, January 31, 2011

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book - Book Review of Hungry by Crystal Renn

Here's my first book review of 2011! I'm actually reviewing a book I read in 2010. But there are no rules right?

I don't know if ya'll remember (my best little Southern accent there) but back in October of last year I was visiting the blog of one of my favorite bloggers, Anny of and she was doing a book review of the book by model Crystal Renn entitled, Hungry, A Young Models Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves.

Anny had decided to do a giveaway and give the book to one of the readers who commented on the post. Hey, I love a giveaway and I love books so it's a no-brainer...I commented.

What I said was, "Count me in. I love to read and if I get it then I can mail it to Della when I'm done as I just won a giveaway she hosted and I have her address :-)" (Della was the person who had commented right before me.)

Anny in her infinite wisdom came up with the brilliant idea of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Book. She mailed it to me to read and now I'm going to send it to Della, then Della will send it to the person who commented before her which was Mandi. From there...who knows where it will end up.

I did a post on the whole idea that you can read about HERE. JarieLyn from Write Place! Write Chick! left a really wonderful comment on that post and I want to share it with everyone, she said, "Wow, this is a fantastic idea. I especially like that everyone will sign it too. It's kind of like leaving your imprint in this world, a history in the making." Thanks JarieLyn!

So now that you know the history and how this book came to be in my greedy, little, book-loving hands, let me tell you what I thought of the book.

I enjoyed reading this book. It wasn't exactly one of those books that you pick up and you can't do anything else or think of anything else until you finish reading it, but it was enjoyable and I loved the pictures in the center of the book. I think those were my favorite part!

Crystal was just your average teenage girl, going to high school, cheer leading, playing in sports. One day while at charm school she was introduced to a fashion industry scout and the first words out of his mouth were, Oh my God, you're gonna be a supermodel!" Then he said, "There's just one thing, you'd have to lose a bit of weight." And like most young girls she joined the obsession with weight and body image. Especially as portrayed by the fashion industry in the bazillion photos of super models, uber-thin super models!

From that moment on her weight became an obsession. It was all she thought about, all she lived for. She went from being a normal 14 year old girl to becoming a 5 foot 9 inch, 98 pounds by the age of 16! She developed anorexia and exercise bulimia and even began to lose her hair. She lost all joy in everything she was doing. She was traveling the world as a model and not even enjoying where she was.

The book is the story of Crystal finally coming to grips with her body and listening to it, feeding it and enjoying it! In the picture above you can see Crystal on the right at her thinnest and on the left as she is now...a plus size model.

My whole life I've struggled with my weight. Going up and down; trying every diet known to man or woman.
In high school I even convinced my mom by constantly begging and whining to take me to a doctor to get diet pills. I don't know how we did it but we convinced him to give me diet pills at age 15! I did lose weight but it was never enough. I still felt like I was huge in high school and couldn't wear the same clothes the other girls did. I learned later in life that it wasn't that I was heavy...I'm short-waisted so I just had to learn how to clothe my body type.

Crystal eventually learned to allow herself to eat. She moved to another modeling agency and became a plus-size model. She starts her book by discussing this photo.

She says, "It shows the naked back of a curvy woman, her dark hair curling into tendrils at the nape of her neck. Her body is half draped in rich red fabric. She's gazing off in the distance, lit from the side in a soft northern light. She looks like a Greek goddess or an Old Master painting - a Vermeer, a Titan. There's an eye-catching weightiness to her. As she leans slightly to her right, two modest folds of flesh collect at her waist. (If you were a snarky sort, you might call this lush abundance, "back fat".) The picture was taken by photographer Ruven Afanador for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. It was a public service ad, designed to look timeless but also of the moment. The objective was to show beauty and strength, to offer hope of a healthy future for all women. It ran in every major women's magazine, from Vogue to O to Bond Appetit to Prevention. The woman in the photograph is me."

I would recommend reading this book if you get the chance and if you can get it for free like I did, otherwise I would not pay $25.00 for it.


  1. I guess she's getting some flak now because she's lost a bunch of weight and is not considered a "plus size" model anymore. Doesn't seem like she can win. I agree. I don't think I'd go out of my way to buy this book. The story has been told many times before.

  2. Jen - I had never heard about her prior to this book, but yep...she can't win, but that's what happens when your in the public eye, constant critiquing!

  3. Oh.. back fat.. that stuff that pops out when you bra is too tight.. hehe

    I think health with weight loss should be priority, after that, I think when you can feel happy in your own skin, who cares what others think.. easy to say, hard to practice. If I was her, I wouldn't read any of the tabloids, who are they anyway, they don't define us.. sorry.. for the rant.

  4. Anny is a nice blogger friend. :)

    Thanks for sharing about the book. It sounds interesting I will for sure read it. :)

    What models do to be successful? Wt loss etc..

  5. i love paris - It would be really hard to ignore what's said about one in the tabloids. But yeah...I would just not read them.

    That back fat is a

  6. Chandrika Shubham - I sometimes wonder how models and actors do it. You see them on the red carpet and they are almost cartoonishly tiny. It doesn't seem normal that anyone could be that thin!

  7. Weight loss and eating disorders(anorexia, boulimia) are a constant topic in magazines, books and in the Media in general.
    It is due to the fact that they relate to three major aspects in our life: Health, Beauty, Fame.

    I like the pictures, and your honest and charming way of reviwing the book.

  8. I'm sending you a Versatile Blogger award and I hope you accept it. It's on my next post.


Please leave a comment.I would love to know your thoughts!