A photo of Cindy Crawford seemingly “unretouched” went viral several months back. The supermodel kept mum about that picture, but recently opened up to Elle Canada and while addressing that hurtful pic she shared 12 lessons she’s learned along her journey of life. We’re highlighting lessons 10-12.
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.”
To read the interview in its entirety visit ElleCanada.com