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

3.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,847 Ratings  ·  261 Reviews
Now available in paperback, Hungry is an uplifting memoir with a universal message about body image, beauty, and self-confidence, and an inspiring, cautionary tale for women of all ages.

At fourteen, I was a regular junior high school student in Clinton, Mississippi, when a modeling scout told me: You could be a supermodel...but you'll have to lose a little weight.

For glamo
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Dec 19, 2010 Aubrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2014 Kelsey Bailey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 21, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women
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.
Aug 28, 2015 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Crystal Renn is a successful editorial model known for being one of the first plus-size women in her industry to walk high-fashion runways and book covers of leading fashion magazines. An outspoken advocate of embracing natural beauty, Renn’s history of anorexia has been widely reported. In Hungry, Renn tells her story, from a childhood in Miami with an absent mother to being “discovered” as a Middle Schooler in rural Mississippi, and from her most unhealthy days, existing on plain lettuce and s ...more
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
Jan 27, 2010 Erin rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, 2010
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
Jun 23, 2011 Sylvia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 04, 2015 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Het stereotype luidt dat modellen dom zijn, maar sommigen van ons zijn gewoon uitgehongerd."

Crystal Renn doet een boekje open over haar strijd tegen anorexia, haar modellen carrière als gewoon en plussizemodel en de modewereld.

De eerste paar hoofdstukken over haar jeugd waren wat van de hak op de tak en rommelig geschreven, maar de schrijfstijl verbetert daarna gelukkig wel.
Renn vertelt open en eerlijk en met een goede dosis humor over de moeilijke periode waarin ze worstelde met haar ziekte
Jul 26, 2010 Keri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-pg13
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
Jun 20, 2013 Rosalind Wiseman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
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
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
Sep 14, 2012 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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'
Aimee Stacy
Dec 06, 2009 Aimee Stacy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 19, 2010 Summer Lewis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: body
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
May 01, 2011 Esmeralda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 14, 2010 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic, 2010
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
Nov 10, 2009 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Dec 14, 2009 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir-biography
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
While Crystal (and probably her ghost-writer) are not, you know the best writers to walk the Earth, I did like this book. Crystal does have some valuable insights and lessons to teach girls interested in the world of modeling. Everyone else also. While I don't agree with all her theories, I appreciate her opinion and was willing to think about it.
Personally, I have, as many other young women, had some problems with *eating* and *dieting*, so her positive messages really spoke to me.
Dec 01, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, that's not the cover I got. Maybe because we're in conservative Cleveland? Anyway, readable and surprisingly insightful. Serious & fun. She was so young when it was published (23) that I kept wondering if she'd have written a different book if she'd waited a few more years. I hope not.
Dec 19, 2009 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 01, 2009 Juliette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
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 it was ok  ·  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
Sep 29, 2010 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 07, 2009 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 11, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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).
Alice Oz
Apr 28, 2015 Alice Oz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone trying to recover from an eating disorder
honestly, i loved this book. i didn't think that i would enjoy it as much as i did, but it was fantastic. a mix of memoir and social commentary. well thought out, well researched, well written and very funny at times.

by the end of this book i wished i could be friends with the fabulous miss crystal renn. in fact, reading her book was like having her sitting across the couch from me, telling me about her life and occasionally cracking jokes. a fun read, but also incredibly thought provoking. of
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Share This Book

“We can always find each other, we girls with secrets.” 21 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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