Plus-Size Model 'Shocked' by Altered Pics
The photos in question, shot by photographer Nicholas Routzen, show a suddenly svelte Renn in a tank top benefiting Fashion for Passion, a charity that funds arts education for children.
"When I first saw the pictures, I have to say I was absolutely shocked. I think I sat in silence for a good five minutes," Renn said today on NBC's "Today" show. "I don't think it's an accurate portrayal of my body in any way. I'm a size 10, and that is more like a size 2."
at Jezebel.com, where readers traced Renn's original frame and superimposed it on her whittled-down one.
"It's striking to see how much she's been downsized all over -- from the shoulders to the hips to the thighs," Jezebel wrote.
Compounding the "scandal," Renn, who has graced the covers of Glamour and Harper's Bazaar, was accused of abandoning her "plus size and proud" message, after encouraging women to love their bodies at all sizes in her memoir, "Hungry," which chronicled her battles with eating disorders. The New York Post wondered whether her perceived weight loss proved her message to be a "big fat lie."
Though she set the record straight, Renn said she, too, was concerned about young women feeling like they had lost her as a role model.
"I want them to know I'm healthy," she told "Today." "Beauty is not a pants size and that's what I'm about."
Routzen defended his alteration of the photos, telling Glamour magazine he shot Renn from a high angle with a wide lens, factors that would make her appear thinner. And he copped to retouching them.
"I shaped her. ... I did nothing that I wouldn't do to anyone," he said. "I'm paid to make women look beautiful."
Renn said that as far as she was concerned, she already was.
"I understand a reasonable amount of retouching, if there's a zit for instance," she told "Today." "But to change my body completely, that's not what I'm about. That's not my message."