Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I read about Crystal Renn's book Hungry several months ago. Crystal Renn is an incredibly gorgeous plus-sized model who talks in her book about her struggles with an eating disorder that she developed as a way to succeed in the fashion industry. It's not the kind of book I would typically read, but I took notice because Crystal grew up in Clinton, Mississippi.

I hadn't thought about her again until last week when I was flipping through some fashion blogs (one of my obsessions), and I saw this shot from the Chanel Resort Collection 2011.

It's Crystal Renn. And, this is not a "plus-size" show. She is on the catwalk with willowy models. How did she break through and become mainstream in the fashion industry?

I did a little googling and found this video of her promoting her book, and I picked up a copy of Hungry from our library. Watch:

I've just started the book and have read a few interviews, but here's her secret: She finally became true to herself. She let herself be the physical person she was supposed to be--without the dangerous starvation--and suddenly she landed spots in Vogue, Glamour, and all the biggest couture shows. When she was starving herself, she didn't get those kinds of jobs. Her body was never meant to look that way and it showed. She did some editorial work and walked the catwalk a few times, but it wasn't until she let herself be healthy and authentic that she found true success (both financial and emotional).

Hi. My name is Sarah Frances Hardy. And, I am a lawyer.

When I was practicing law, I was miserable. My job wasn't particularly stressful--no criminal trials or intense litigation--but I was in a state of complete dissatisfaction. I would work at the law firm everyday until around 6:00 and then I would go to my studio and try to paint until around 11:00. I wasn't doing a good job at either place, and my body reacted. My esophagus closed up, and I had to go to the hospital and have it stretched out. It was from stress.

Any of you who know me, know that I am pretty even-keeled. I'm not a walking bundle of neuroses, so I was shocked that my body reacted this way. My supportive husband told me that something had to give, and he let me choose.

No brainer. I needed to be creative. That was my authentic self.

I haven't popped a pepcid since.

As stressful as this whole trying-to-get-published ordeal is, I'm okay with it. I feel like I'm doing what I should be doing and that I'm being true to myself. If success comes with that, well, then that's just the icing . . . like Crystal, I feel like I'm letting myself have the cake.



Solvang Sherrie said...

Great post, SF! It's all about staying true to yourself. Glad you figured that out before you ate anymore Pepcid :)

Christy Raedeke said...

I love this post. LOVE it!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful story about that model - it gives hope. In fact, this entire post is enormously hopeful. :) And it's so true, we have to be true to ourselves, because our work suffers if we aren't, and we suffer if we aren't.
Thank you for posting hope. :)

Katie said...

SF, what an awesome post! Love it! It's the basis for a great KEYNOTE!!!!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Wonderful post.

What a well-spoken young woman Crystal is!

All the best to both of you.

Robin said...

Best. Post. Ever.


Jessica said...

Thanks for this post.

Kelly H-Y said...

What a fabulous post ... which I may revisit several times. It definitely hit home!

jessjordan said...

Oh, wow, Crystal is freaking GORGEOUS. I don't think I've ever seen her before, but yeah, she looked miserable and sickly before and like a completely different person now. Which she kind of is.

Hi, my name is Jessica, and I'm an attorney as well. I'm also a writer. And I'm terrified that if I keep doing both, I won't be good at either. That said ... financially, I don't have a choice right now. So my fingers are crossed that I won't lose the creative side of my brain before I can finally make the choice I really want to make.


Alexis said...

This rocked my soul!
Thank you for this post and also for sharing your story SF.

Little Ms J said...

Hello, my name is LMJ and I just did devil horns because this post rocked. Love it!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Remember when we used to force lefties to learn right-handed? The kids were miserable.

We must flow with our inner spirit or we will drown in the undertow. Grass insists on growing between the cracks. Life will find a way.

A fascinating, absorbing post. Thanks, Roland

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, I feel this. It's so true that we need to be ourselves. Why is that so hard?

Joanna said...

I want this book! Like now.

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