But Renn, who documented her battle with anorexia in the 2009 memoir Hungry, says in a new interview on the Ford Models blog that these days, the public is far more interested in her weight than she is – and she's not willing to change her figure just to live up to other people's expectations.
"I think that by placing a title on my head, which is 'plus-size,' and then the picture that these people have created in their mind about what plus-size actually is, I've basically failed [your expectations] just with that," she said.
Renn, who once walked the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier at a size 12, told PEOPLE that these days she's more like a size 8, and would prefer a world where models could work at any size – without being designated "regular" or "plus-size."
But one thing she's not willing to do is gain weight to live up to traditional "plus-size" standards (typically size 14 and above). "I would have to have another eating disorder to live up to that expectation," she says on the Ford Models blog. "I had anorexia because someone else set the standard for me and I wanted to follow it."
Now, "if I followed what the public wanted from me," she says, "I'd be doing the same thing. I'd have a binge eating disorder."
"It's about individual health," she added. "You cannot tell if someone is healthy from the outside, because health is different for everybody at different sizes."