Bravo to Cindy Crawford for showing her still attractive lingerie-clad body in a posed photo, complete with un-doctored stretch marks, cellulite and other age-related imperfections, rather than the perfect timeless pictures often displayed of celebrities.In the apparently leaked photo that appeared on the Internet, Crawford, who will turn 49 next week, demonstrated that women of all ages can look real (i.e. imperfect) and still be beautiful.
Photo retouching is normally so prevalent in fashion publications and advertising that most models appear to be completely free of any skin blemishes or imperfections. The results have long been criticized for creating unrealistic and unattainable images. But the photo that hit the social media this weekend of Crawford and her sun-kissed, now imperfect torso is remarkable and noteworthy for showing the former top-echelon model in a realistic light.
To Crawford’s credit, she has long pushed to be seen realistically. Initially, believe it or not, her trademark facial mole was airbrushed out of photos when she started modeling in the 1980s. But the model refused to get it removed and the mole became part of her signature look. Twenty years ago, Crawford was the highest paid model around. She stopped modeling full time in 2000 at age 34, around the time she had her first child.
The un-retouched photo that came out now shows the model in lacy black underwear. She is confidently showing off a body that bears the normal marks of a mother of two her age, albeit one in great shape and far more slender than most. The picture, and the social media reaction to it, underscores how unrealistic celebrity pictures in the media often are. Celebrities of all ages, but particularly those over-40, are almost always shown with perfect, pucker-free skin. At worst, the shots may give a hint of crow’s feet or aging around the neck, but otherwise time seems to stand still on the otherwise miraculously lineless faces.
The new photo of Crawford that came out – and went viral – was apparently from a photo shoot she did for Marie Claire magazine in 2013. According to the magazine, the picture originated from a December 2013 cover story that appeared in Marie Claire’s Mexico and Latin America edition. It may not have been intended to be released, much less released untouched. The magazine made a statement online that “It appears that this unretouched version is a leak,” which implies that they would not have run it unaltered.
Whether intended to be shared, the chatter on the Internet has been largely supportive and implied that people believe Crawford approved the release of the leaked photo. “Women come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes,” on reported commented. “I think it’s important to see all sorts of body shapes … so that people have a true reflection of what people look like.” Others concurred, including actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who shared an image of herself clad in underwear on Twitter.
Of course, there were negatives comments too, particularly for people who did not approve of an older woman showing off skin. One commented, “There comes a time when it’s no longer appropriate to show your body.” But most clearly applauded how great Cindy Crawford looked in the un-doctored lingerie photo that clearly shows both her age and her timeless beauty.
By Dyanne Weiss