“THERE’S NOT A SINGLE PICTURE, EVEN AN UNRETOUCHED ONE, THAT HASN’T BEEN EDITED. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A REAL PHOTOGRAPH.”
parents had got divorced, but we all want to believe in the movie version of love. It was crushing, and it made me realize that I had to look at relationships realistically. You have to put that vanity version of a relationship aside—that’s like playing dress-up. I went to a relationship therapist and she asked me a great question: ‘Are you looking for a soulmate or a husband? They’re not necessarily the same thing. A husband is the guy who is solid, and you know you want to have children with him and you know he’s going to be there.’ In my younger years, I was attracted to the more intense kind of relationships that are very draining. When I was first with Rande, I thought he was so solid, but then I wondered ‘Wait, where’s all the drama? Maybe this isn’t good. Maybe this isn’t real!’ The relationship therapist helped me to appreciate the solidity—the foundations. I’ve been with Rande for close to 20 years, and he’s now my soulmate. We were able to grow together.” LESSON N ˚ 4 KNOW YOUR TRUTH. In 1993, Crawford was photographed shaving k. d. lang for the cover of Vanity Fair. It fuelled the public’s obsession with her marriage and her sexuality. In 1994, Crawford and Gere published an ad in The Times of London asking for the press to be “responsible, truthful and kind.” “My ex-husband would say ‘If people call you a cow and you know you’re a giraffe, you’re still a giraffe.’ You should know your own truth, and I think you should live your truth. You’re not going to change what people think.”
LESSON N˚5 BE READY WHEN YOU DECIDE TO
PUT YOURSELF SECOND (OR THIRD!). In 1998, Crawford married Rande Gerber. The couple had their son, Presley, in 1999 and their daughter, Kaia, in 2001. “My mom was very young, and that worked out great, but for me it was great that I wasn’t a young mother. I was able to be selfish with my time in my 20s—to try to figure who I was and what I wanted. When I did finally have kids, I was ready to put myself second, or third, or fourth.... All of a sudden, your priorities just change. I was ready to let something else be the focus.” “I think some of my biggest fails happen when I don’t take the time to really listen to what my kids, or my husband, are saying. You say the wrong thing, or you say it at the wrong time. Later I think ‘I could have handled that so much better if I had just slowed down.’ My New Year’s resolution every year is to say ‘no’ more often to commitments. We all over-commit. We don’t have the time to just be.”
LESSON N˚6 BALANCE YOUR LIFE (OR AT LEAST
TRY TO). When Crawford was a full-time model, or later when she managed her business ventures, like Meaningful Beauty and Cindy Crawford Home, she says she struggled to have it all. LESSON N˚7 KNOW WHEN TO SAY YES! When Crawford entered the modelling world in the ’80s, she was exposed to a wild party scene and OTT personalities like Janice Dickinson. “The first time I went to Rome when I was a model, I went to a party and Janice was dancing on the table. I was 18 and fresh out of the cornfield and I was like ‘I’m not ready for this!’ Over the years, whenever I’d been invited to Versace’s place or Armani’s boat, I’d say no because I didn’t want the pressure of being Cindy Crawford 24-7. Then about 10 years ago, some friends, whom I didn’t know very well, invited Rande and me to their boat in the south of France. We went and had a fantastic time. After lunch, we were dancing on the table! That just wasn’t who I was as a young woman. The reason I allow myself now is because I know Rande has my back. Rande will tell me when it’s time to get down off the table.”
LESSON N˚8 PHOTOGRAPHY IS AN ART. It has become fashionable—as well as political—to post #nofilter or #nophotoshop images online.
“There’s not a single picture, even an unretouched one, that hasn’t been edited. It depends on the lighting; it depends on where the photographer puts the camera; it depends on the exposure. There’s no such thing as a real photograph. Photography is an art; it’s about the editing.” LESSON N˚9 IT’S OKAY TO USE FILTERS! Whether you’re a celebrity or not, there’s a certain social pressure to post images tagged #nomakeup or #loveyourlines. “I can have no makeup on and do a selfie in great lighting or ugly lighting. If I choose good lighting, is that bad? It goes back to what is real. If someone wants to wear makeup and that makes them feel good, fantastic. If they feel great with nothing on, that’s fantastic too. If someone wants to use a filter, that’s fine—I would! Even some of those people who say ‘Hey, I love my lines’ probably took five pictures of themselves and chances are they picked the one that they think looks the best. To me, that kind of editing is the art. And putting on a filter is an art—just like hair and makeup. Do I think that sometimes retouching is abused? Yes, but if an artist paints a woman who has acne and he chooses not to show that, is that inauthentic? Is that not art anymore? To me, it’s the same with photography.” LESSON N˚10 WHEN LIFE BLINDSIDES YOU, SAY NOTHING (AT LEAST AT FIRST). Last February, a news anchor for the U.K.’s ITV News posted what she suggested was an unretouched image of Crawford taken from an old shoot with Marie Claire. It became a viral sensation. “I felt that [the journalist] was inauthentic because she acted like this was great but she didn’t check if I wanted this out or if it was a real picture. Why would seeing a bad picture of me make other people feel good? I felt blindsided. I was very conflicted, to be honest. The story had run a year and a half before, and the picture of me in that outfit was from the bust up. I know my body, and I know it’s not perfect, but maybe I have a false body image; maybe I think I look better than I do. I think that most women are hard on themselves. We think we look worse than we do. So I assumed I fell into that category, even though that picture didn’t reflect what I saw when I looked in the mirror—even in the worst dressing-room lighting. We spoke to the photographer, and he was very upset because he didn’t put it out there. He said: ‘Cindy, I’m going to send you the real one and it’s nothing like that. It’s clear that someone manipulated that image to make whatever was there worse.’ It was stolen and it was malicious, but there was so much positive reaction [to the image]. Sometimes, the images that women see in magazines make them feel inferior—even though the intention is never to make anyone feel less. So somehow seeing a picture of me was like seeing a chink in the armour. Whether it was real or not isn’t relevant, although it’s relevant to me. I don’t try to present myself as perfect. It put me in a tough spot: I couldn’t come out against it because I’m rejecting all these people who felt good about it, but I also didn’t embrace it because it wasn’t real—and even if it were real, I wouldn’t have wanted it out there. I felt really manipulated and conflicted, so I kept my mouth shut.” LESSON N˚11 WHEN LIFE BLINDSIDES YOU, FIND A TEACHABLE MOMENT. “This is exactly the type of thing that I wouldn’t want my daughter to do to another girl online. It’s social bullying. I’m a big girl and I can handle it, but I used it as a teaching lesson for my own daughter because my kids were like ‘Mom, you don’t look like that!’ They wanted me to go down to the beach in a swimsuit so the paparazzi would take a photo of me, but that would be playing into it. How do I rise above the situation? What do I do? Go on Good Morning America and pull up my shirt and say ‘I don’t look like that’? That didn’t seem like the right response.”
LESSON N˚12 HAVE NO REGRETS.
“Even the times I failed were the best lessons.” n
“WHY WOULD SEEING A BAD PICTURE OF ME MAKE OTHER PEOPLE FEEL GOOD? I FELT BLINDSIDED.
I WAS VERY CONFLICTED, TO BE HONEST.”
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