There is nothing empowering about Cindy Crawford’s questionable stomach. Not even a little bit.
UPDATE 3/3/15: After the uproar about Cindy Crawford’s “inspiring” tummy, the photographer who took the picture (which you can see below) has said that it is a fake.
John Russo, who took the picture for Marie Claire Mexico back in 2013, has released a statement saying:
“It has been falsely claimed that this photograph represents an un-retouched image of Cindy Crawford. This is not true,” Russo’s statement said. “It is a fraudulent altered version of my photograph. I am grateful that this fact has been brought to the public’s attention and that corrections are being run in the media.”
Thanks for clearing that up, John. But that news does not make us feel better about our own tummies. Not even a little bit.
Last month, Mamamia wrote:
Cindy Crawford‘s untouched underwear photo scares the shit out of me. There, I said it. The world’s most gorgeous supermodel is all over the Internet, unretouched, in some sexy, black lingerie, a hat and some feathers.
And the Internet is awash with praise. Cindy Crawford, you see, is #sobrave
She is showing the world what a real over-40s body looks like, when you throw out the airbrush and embrace your stretch marks. She is inverting our ideas about what’s beautiful, and sexy, and magazine-worthy.
As Charlene White, the UK journalist who shared the image said, “”I thought I would tweet the picture because I found it incredibly empowering to see someone as beautiful and iconic as Cindy Crawford in her natural form.”
Really, Charlene? Really? Let’s not get carried away here. This photo of one of the world’s most beautiful women is not revolutionary, it is not progress, it is not empowering.
In fact, there are two absolutely terrifying things about it.
For a start, it’s a leak. When it first circulated on Twitter, White flagged the photo as being part of a shoot for Marie Claire, but according to the magazine, it was actually taken during a cover shoot in 2013 and released, unauthorised online. Marie Claire, mindful of being body-positive, have been measured in their response.
“No matter where the photo came from, it’s an enlightenment—we’ve always known Crawford was beautiful, but seeing her like this only makes us love her more.”
In that context, it’s a violation. Cindy Crawford did not consent for the world to see her like this, with bad lighting and a patchy spray tan. She may nor may not be delighted about the response to it, but her husband obviously felt the need to set the record straight, because on Valentine’s Day, the same weekend as the modelling shot invaded your newsfeed, Rande Gerber posted this pic on Instagram, captioned: “She got flowers and I got her. Happy Valentine’s Day @CindyCrawford.”
But the other reason I feel like putting the cork back in the bottle is a more personal one, and it’s this: Yes, Cindy Crawford is 48. She is absolutely, drop-dead gorgeous. She was gorgeous at 19 when she started modelling, and she’s gorgeous now.
She’s a model who’s sustained her career over 30 years, she’s a businesswoman, a mother of two and a philanthropist who has just featured in a documentary about a flying eye hospital for the disadvantaged in Peru.
But Cindy Crawford is a model. She is a woman who, by her own admission, pays an enormous amount of attention to her body, her looks and her health. It’s her livelihood.