The leaked unretouched photo of Cindy Crawford in Marie Claire Mexico December 2013
An unretouched photo of Cindy Crawford in lingerie is going viral. But it’s not for the reasons you might expect. What’s causing the stir isn’t the 48-year old supermodel’s sexy pose, but the surprise of seeing what an un-Photoshopped body looks like (albeit a pretty amazing one). The photo, leaked on Twitter from a 2013 Marie Claire Mexico and Latin America cover story, shows the mother-of-two looking gorgeous, but not flawless. And unfortunately, for many people that’s a shock.
We are so used to seeing heavily retouched photos that the sight of a woman’s body without airbrushing feels revelatory. Twitter has exploded with fans praising Crawford and labeling her and the pictures as inspiring. There was even a rumor that Crawford had specifically asked the magazine to publish the raw photos. Not the case. Marie Claire weighed in yesterday, calling the leaked image one that is “…revealing a body that defies expectations—it is real, it is honest, and it is gorgeous.” The post goes on to say, “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.” True, but the problem is their statement and actions are at odds.
Photos of Cindy Crawford that actually ran in December 2013 Marie Claire Mexico
The fact is Marie Claire originally chose not to publish the photo (airbrushed or not). The only reason it’s seeing the light is because of a leak. While yesterday Marie Claire sang praises, those aren’t the kinds of pictures that they (or any other magazine) ever print. Thanks to Photoshop, in magazines women over 40 are usually made to look like they are 20 (maybe 30) with the click of a button. Sagging skin and extra pounds all vanish. But the truth is, even with working out, a great diet, and killer genes—having children and growing older changes your body. It’s normal to have a little cellulite, stretch marks, and some looser skin. It’s a sign of a life well lived. If anything, the online response to the picture shows that people are thrilled to see reality, not just fantasy.
A bikini photo of Cindy Crawford posted by her husband Rande Gerber on Instagram on Valentine’s Day. Photo: @randegerber
Crawford has remained silent on the issue. But her husband Rande Gerber has weighed in—kind of. For Valentine’s Day, he posted an amazing bikini-clad pic of his wife, looking…perfect. What’s the message? Maybe that the lighting at the photoshoot majorly enhanced Crawford’s so-called imperfections. Or maybe, that the only image they want you to see is Crawford looking flawless.