"When I was 14, my mother put me in a beauty school because she thought that'd be good for me," says Renn, clad in a flannel, thick framed glasses and a messy ponytail. "I was anti-beauty school, so of course she put me in it. One day I walked in and there was a scout there."
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"I remember him saying 'You are going to be a supermodel.' And I just thought, that's the strangest thing. I don't even know what a supermodel is. And he pulled out a picture and said 'This is what a model is,' and it was Gisele. And I thought, 'Wow, you think I can do something like that?" and he said, 'Yes, but you have to loose 9-inches off of your hips.' So I did."
Of course, we all know what happened after that, Renn developed an eating disorder that shrunk her from 175 lbs to 95 lbs, had her working out up to 8 hours a day, losing her hair and spiraling into depression.
"Basically I was risking my life," she tells Modelinia. "I put my body through hell. At that time I didn't know about plus-size modeling, which basically all that means, is it's above a 6. You can make an amazing living and I've done it being who I am."
Now that she's chronicled her story in the book 'Hungry,' she's ready to put her past behind her and move forward with her career.
"I love doing editorial. It's my passion. it's kind of an outlet for me to try to show many sides of my personality," says Renn.
However, at the same time, she's open to stepping outside of modeling. While she's recently blogged about New York Fashion Week for Glamour.com, she says she's also open to doing a fashion line (which we're sure would be inclusive of all sizes).
"If I could design a line, if I could style for shoots, that's something that I really enjoy," she says.
And we're pretty sure we'd enjoy that, too.
To hear more of Renn's story, and her take on Gemma Ward's weight gain criticism, keep clicking for StyleList's exclusive interview.