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A picture of Cindy Crawford’s loose, wrinkly tummy has been burning up the internet all week. And part of me loved looking at it. I mean, finding out that a supermodel doesn’t still have a perfect body, even at 48 years old and after having two kids? Yes, there was a little schadenfreude involved, I admit it.
The picture was tweeted out a few days ago by a British journalist named Charlene White, and the picture’s origins are…not clear. Ms. White claimed that it was from an upcoming spread in Marie Claire Magazine that would appear untouched, but Marie Claire says it was actually leaked from a shoot that Cindy Crawford did for Marie Claire Mexico. Ms. White claims that she found it on some fashion blog that she now can’t remember. The whole thing sounds fishy.
I had mixed feelings about embedding the original tweet here. At first I figured it couldn’t hurt, since the picture has already been posted everywhere. But in the end I just didn’t feel right about it. You can see the original tweet here.
So, women around the world have been saying that the picture is empowering, that it makes them feel “normal” for having their own body flaws, etc. But there’s one person who hasn’t chimed in: Cindy Crawford.
Empowering and honest, sure. But how does she feel having that picture out there? If someone posted a picture of my bare stomach without my permission I’d be livid, and I don’t make money from pictures of my body!
It’s easy for us to sit back and thank her for taking one for the team, but as far as I can tell she had nothing to do with this picture being out there. Instead of congratulating her on her honesty, shouldn’t we be questioning why we’re all seeing the picture in the first place?
The next day, her husband posted a picture of Crawford in a bikini with her stomach looking much more like we all imagine it looks – smooth and tight. Was that photo retouched, or was the lighting and her position (lying down) just more flattering? Did he post it as an attempt at damage control? Did having the other picture out there make her feel bad, and she wanted the world to see this picture instead?
I think the almost universally positive reaction to the picture should be a lesson to fashion magazines: Women like to see flaws. It makes us feel better about ourselves, since we don’t get to appear airbrushed in our daily lives. But if that picture embarrasses Cindy Crawford, then I’m sorry I saw it, even if it did make me feel good for a few seconds.