Hungry: A Young Model's Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves
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Hungry: A Young Model's Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  1,438 ratings  ·  239 reviews


This is a photo of me at SIXTEEN, when I signed a big modeling contract, moved to New York City, and started traveling around...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Simon & Schuster
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Crystal Renn's story is very interesting. And extremely important for people - especially young girls - to hear. (The moral of Renn's story: Be yourself, be comfortable in your own skin, and good things will happen to you.)

But this book was definitely not the best way it could be told.

It's poorly written, and just as poorly edited.

There are name errors; the popular girl at Clinton Junior High goes from being Madysson Middleton to Madysson Morgan. The chronology is unclear in many places and conf...more
I just finished reading a biography/social commentary written by supermodel Crystal Renn, a.k.a. the most famous plus-sized model in the fashion world right now. As someone who has often struggled with personal body image and self-loathing, it was a poignant book for me to read. To read how Crystal starved and exercised herself to skeletal results, and later embraced health and happiness by accepting her body was an eye-opener. While her story skipped around and seemed like a jumbled autobiograp...more
Liked but didn't love, but I wasn't expecting to love it. I think this is an important book for all women and especially teenage girls. Renn's story is interesting, shocking, and ultimately inspiring. The writing is nothing special; her thoughts from paragraph to paragraph are choppy at times, but this isn't supposed to be great literature. By the end, I was only left wondering about her mom. She talks about her a lot through the first half or so of the book, but leaves her out completely during...more
Kelsey Bailey
It’s no secret that, in recent decades, the overwhelming majority of models in the fashion industry have been and still are incredibly, shockingly underweight. This wasn’t always the case, but once it became the norm for models to appear emaciated as they posed for photos and sauntered down the runway, we as a society became desensitized to the (usually) unhealthy nature of their size. As we began to expect this of them, we stopped thinking about the lengths that must be taken to adhere to this...more
Part memoir of an American girlhood, part modeling-industry expose, and part manifesto pleading for a healthier and more diverse view of female beauty, Crystal Renn's story of how she starved herself to get a modeling career, but found success only when she allowed her figure to assume its healthy, larger size is hard to put down. Written with the smart and savvy writer Marjorie Ingall, Renn tells her story with candor and good humor, but also with bite.
The first two-thirds of Hungry, wherein she discusses her descent into anorexia and then her recovery in linear, focused fashioned makes it rise to the top of the masses of eating disorder memoirs on the market. Without a doubt this is one of the better written memoirs on the subject, and it has something a lot sorely lack: a sense of humor. Also, there's the feeling while reading (and who knows how accurate this is, but for her sake, I hope it's authentic) that Renn truly is in recovery from he...more
I don't read many memoirs or autobiographies, I tend to find them poorly written. Usually the person writing it is not a writer, so the less than stellar writing skills make sense. That is also the case with this book.

I loved her story, and for the most part it was told well...but there were editing mistakes that were bothersome, such as "This event happened on Christmas Eve and the next day at school...." There were also parts where I kept thinking "She sounds so young" and then remembered that...more
My love of fashion led me to this autobiography by Crystal Renn and Marjorie Ingall (who used to work for "Sassy", one of the best magazines ever). Renn is a plus sized model who started in the industry as a "regular" model. She describes how unhappy and unhealthy she was at 5'9" and 95 pounds (and even then being told she was too fat). At some point she realized that she just couldn't do it anymore, and she found a way to become a healthier and happier woman at size 12. I enjoyed her insights i...more
I didn't realize the author of this book is famous (which I think is kind of funny. She sounds a little self-important in the book). I thought the book was going to be mostly a memoir of the author's struggle with an eating disorder, but it was more like a full auto-biography. The bulk of the story was split between her eating disorder (which, for better or worse, is fascinating to me) and the modeling industry (which, for better or worse, has absolutely no appeal to me). Then there were a handf...more
Rosalind Wiseman
Book: Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves
I am probably not the first to tell you that Hungry is a must-read this fall. The book is a first-person narrative of plus-sized model Crystal Renn and her struggles and triumphs with the modeling industry and the relentless pursuit of weight perfection. Renn was a teenager in small-town Mississippi when a talent scout gave her the opportunity to move to New York–as soon as she lost 10 inches off her wais...more
WORN Fashion Journal
I must admit, I’ve never been one to keep up with models. I adore Heidi Klum for her often ridiculous critiques on Project Runway, but otherwise no one model has won me over as a big fan. However, I have recently become enamored with Crystal Renn. Not only do I find her beautiful, her lack of sexy-face brings something new and interesting to the table. Of course, she is known for more than just her expressive photographs; Renn is a size 12 and the leading “plus-size” model working in the industr...more
When Hungry was first released it went straight on my Amazon wishlist, however, as the months whiled by and other books came and went, eventually it fell by the wayside. However, when I spied a copy of it in a charity shop for just £2.50, I kind of had to buy it. The subject matter of Hungry is incredibly important and eye-opening, but for me, there were times when the messages that came through the novel were rather mixed (as a disclaimer, I am in no way a 'plus size').

Hungry tells Crystal Renn...more
Aimee Stacy
I saw so much of myself in this book. I have fought the battle of the body image my entire life. I had my bout with anorexia--the size 0's being too big, exercising maniacally, my hair falling out in clumps--and have worked hard to get healthy again. A few weeks ago, I called my younger sister a bitch for being skinnier than I am after two kids when I've had none. She (rightfully) took umbrage, and I tried to explain to her that the highest compliment a woman can give another woman is to call he...more
Summer Lewis
A quick, easy read that is also inspiring and refreshing. Renn writes in a down-to-earth manner that feels very personal.

Some quotes from the book that spoke to me:
All people are entitled to natural, healthy food that tastes good. It’s a sin that organic, local food isn’t available to everyone at every income level. I wish everyone could eat closer to the land, not because of concerns about weight or even health but because we’re players in a bigger picture. We’re members of a community and cit...more
I have finally finished this book that I picked up months ago at a Barnes & Noble. It was $15 but I bought it, which is strange for me since I rarely buy books, most of the time I go to the library. I was right though, this book was worth it twice over. This was an amazing book and I'm happy that Crystal Renn decided to write her story down. From anorexia at 14 to the point of dying at 17 due to a diet of lettuce and steamed vegetables for three years.. This story is about that struggle for...more
I finished reading this at 3am during a fit of insomnia. After reading Andre Agassi’s book, Open, last week I wanted to stay away from autobiographies for awhile, because it would be hard to find one just as good. I had requested Crystal Renn’s book from the library awhile ago, and it happened to come in just when I’d sworn to read something like a novel, or Vikings: A History (to go with my Swedish themed 2010). The book on vikings didn’t work out, so I tip-toed into this, and ended up devourin...more
I was super excited to read this, then I actually started it and I was kind of let down. I thought the voice, and the story, at the beginning were kind of... hm. Not what I was hoping for? I guess that's the best way to put it. But after I got into the second chapter something shifted and I really got into her story.

This is a wonderful book. It's a fascinating glimpse into the world of modeling for those of us who only see the end product, it has humor and witty asides all over the place, and t...more
What is shocking is not Renn's story - it is probably the story of thousands of aspiring models and an estimated 8 million Americans have eating disorders. What is shocking, even to a fashion lover, is how models are seen as commodities, and the lack of care their agencies have about them as humans. Renn can get a self-aggrandizing here - it is her book, so I guess she has the right to do that. I particularly dislike her constant declarations that she went back to her natural body size to be "he...more
As someone who has struggled with body issues and weight issues for basically my whole life, with a teenage past in modeling, I related so much to this book. I expected more of a memoir than an educational-type of read, but most of the second half is the startling statistics about body image, weight, how women feel about themselves, and the flaws of the fashion industry.

I knew most of the "educational" facts in this book, having been a Women's Studies minor, so I personally didn't get a whole lo...more
I first noticed Crystal Renn last summer when Glammor magazine did the unusual thing of using a plus (or nomal) size model for an editorial swimsuit photo shoot. I was really impressed and thought what a great role model she is for a healthy body image. When her book came out, I was sure she was worth knowing about so I picked it up. I was not disappointed. Renn tells the story of her discovery, followed by her battle with eating disorders and her triumph over her self image and her career. I lo...more
Crystal Renn and her co author, Marjorie Ingall (who used to write for Sassy magazine!) constructed a really powerful memoir about Renn's journey from anorexia to a healthy weight and very successful modeling career. Model memoirs can be terrible, but this one is surprisingly smart, well researched, and moving. Renn is challenging the modeling industry to shift the standards of beauty to include a wide range of diversity (weights, ages, races), but adds that society has to want that shift as wel...more
Oct 02, 2009 Rakisha rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenage girls with body image issues
Shelves: fat
I didn't particularly care for this memoir. It was written dully and since I had heard so much about Crystal Renn's story through magazine interviews that I didn't learn anything new. However, it you're new to how fat is demonized in this country even when studies prove it isn't as bad as the "Media" makes it out to be, you'll gleam a lot of info from this book. I'd gift this book to any teenage or preteen girl who feels like she has an imperfect body. Crystal Renn writes directly to that audien...more
I have to admit, I skimmed some pages of this book. It got boring and weird at parts. It kind of felt like a braggy blog or something, but I guess when it's an autobiography that happens? I can't tell. Anyway, she seems like she's figured things out for herself, so that's really great, and also great that she is able to withstand all the harsh criticism that is the fashion/beauty industry (or, even New York City in general?). So, good for her, but don't really recommend this book.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really liked this, in part because it exceeded my expectations. In addition to telling us about her own life (which gets reallllly cheesy when she talks about her husband), Crystal also editorializes about the society, media, and individuals that affect how we look at weight. Recommended for all the ladies out there who think about or wrestle with body image issues (so all of us, pretty much).
A quick read, this book was a pretty well-done memoir of anorexia. The author took great care in trying to not let the book become a trigger. And she also peppered the book w/ research regarding set point, which I thought was interesting. And I loved the inclusion of pictures.
Meghan Rief
This book was a huge disappointment! Crystal has an interesting story to tell, but she needed much more help telling it. The writing was abysmal -- it distracted me from the story. I only finished it out of a self-imposed sense of obligation.
I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I don't read biographies, but for some reason I wanted to read this one and it was really good. It deffanitly changed my veiw on how a see my body.
The life story of a plus sized model who learned to be herself and revel in her curves.
Well, years later she has dieted herself down to tiny, so I'm not sure how much of the reveling was real.
Apologies to the author, but I couldn't get into this. Her vocabulary isn't very advanced and her tone sounds very immature from the gate.
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“We can always find each other, we girls with secrets.” 10 likes
“During the shoot in November 2003, I was vaguely aware of the stylist’s sulky demeanor and eye-rolling vibe, but I blocked her out. Some fashion people are snotty drama queens; this is not news. Whatever was going on with her, I was determined to be positive and not get infected by her energy. Later, Fiorella told me that the entire time I was in makeup, the stylist had been clomping up and down the hall, sputtering into her cell phone, “I can’t believe I have to style a FAT GIRL!”

Believe it, bitch. ”
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