OK, this post will probably get me into trouble, but hey that’s never stopped me before. It’s just I am feeling a little unsettled by something and I had get some things off my chest. You see, there’s this image of super model Cindy Crawford doing the rounds on the internet at the moment. It is for an old cover shoot for Marie Claire and it has supposedly been leaked. The reason why it’s getting so much attention is because it’s been untouched, no photoshopping.
There is no doubt about it, Cindy Crawford is spectacularly gorgeous. And this photo is yet another example of her stunning beauty. Seeing her un-photoshopped shows her body, although exquisitely supermodelish, is still a little lumpy, wrinkly, sun damaged and worn as any woman her age, who has spent a lot of time outdoors and who has had children. Yes, she is normal and is not as smooth-skinned as her images normally suggest. Apparently, this is a revelation. Apparently, many intelligent, media savvy people around the world are shocked at Cindy’s realness and she is now being hailed as an even more amazing woman than before when she was just plain amazing*.
Look at how gorgeous she is, normal body and all, they all cry. I love her even more than I did before, they rejoice. Look how normal she is, they cheer. She is so awesome, they all proclaim, nodding their heads in agreement. She is my hero, some suggest.
I’m sorry, this photo has instead done the opposite for me. I feel a little cheated. I feel lied to and played. I feel that Cindy has made a living out of letting the world see her unrealistic self in the pages of glossy magazines and rather than being a brilliant role model for women, she is playing a part in taking advantage of their insecurities. And she is loaded because of it.
I do not know what sort of person she is. I am sure she is a loving mother and a great friend. She probably does a lot for her community and in her real life is a wonderful role model. I do not admire her because she is beautiful and because I do not know her, I can not make a judgement on her personal attributes.
I do know she is a savvy, astute businesswoman who has built on empire on her looks. An empire built on smoke on mirrors. She has navigated this world with professionalism and with her eyes firmly open. Some could say she has been taken advantage of, but I reckon she is too smart for that, she has played her role perfectly. She has obviously worked hard to keep herself looking as perfect as she can and has let the graphic designers and photographers do their jobs. She plays the role of the unattainable goddess perfectly. I admire her business acumen.
But I refuse to judge her more favourably because someone leaked some photos of her true body. She didn’t make that decision to call out the beauty industry, someone else made that decision for her.
The day she refuses to play into the notion that women look more beautiful when they’ve been smoothed out and made to look perfect, is the day I’ll like her more. Until then she is doing her job and that is sell stuff to women who feel so insecure about their bodies that they chase an unattainable reality. They look at the women in the magazines and judge them to be better than themselves because they are prettier than them. They spend hours trying to rub the advertised creams into their wobbly bellies and smearing the advertised foundation onto their sun-kissed skins, so they too can look as beautiful as the Cindy Crawfords of the world. If she can look so perfect after having kids and being nearly 50 than why can’t they? There are women who spend their whole lives chasing a myth.
When she and her fellow supermodels tell their magazine editors and advertisers that they’ll no longer play the game, then I will stand up and applaud her. Until then, I will think of her as I did before – an exceptionally beautiful and smart woman, who has made a living off looking unattainable. A woman who is not a role model, yet instead plays the role of model perfectly because even she can’t look the way she does in the magazines.
What are your thoughts on this?
*Amazing is based on the fact she is beautiful.