Renn's story is detailed in her new memoir, Hungry. She is interviewed by Salon's Kate Harding this week:
Since I was 14 years old, I had a dream: I want to be in Vogue. I want to travel the world doing editorials, and working in high fashion. That is why I starved myself. That is why I almost lost my life. Because I wanted it that bad.
So when my body wouldn't allow me to do that, I decided I'd rather not lose my life, and I would like to continue my dream. I thought, you know what? I'm gonna keep the dream, different path. I didn't lose hope, I didn't lose confidence, I just said let's channel it differently. I think that's why I've accomplished the things I have, even at this size, because I never gave up.
What's especially inspiring about Renn's experience is that she found happiness and success by letting go of her obsession with weight. Whether you are in the fashion industry or not, that is a lesson every woman can learn from. It's hard to fight the pervasive message that there is a magic number on the scale that is the key to our confidence. But when we take the focus away from weight, it's amazing how much easier it is to find health and fulfillment in all aspects of our lives.