At the age of 50, Cindy Crawford is still more conventionally attractive than around 98% of people on the planet.
But the legendary model – one of the original crew of “supers”, alongside Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington – has spoken out about the pressures facing women to stay looking unnaturally youthful well into middle age.
“There is a lot of pressure on women to, well, not age,” Crawford said in a recent interview.
“Being a model and having your whole career based on how you look, I am probably even more sensitive to it – but you can’t keep chasing this impossible thing.”
Crawford told Refinery29 that rather than trying to look younger, she believes that “looking great at every age” means “looking like you take care of yourself.”
“Exercising, eating right, taking care of your skin… that’s the message that I really believe in, partly because I’m getting older,” she said. “As much as I try to take care of myself I still don’t look like my daughter when I wake up in the morning – and I don’t want to feel bad about that."
Crawford’s 15-year-old daughter Kaia is now working as a model herself: she was recently named the new face of Marc Jacobs Beauty, and was voted Breakthrough Model of the Year at the Fashion Media Awards in September.
And while older women might worry about looking younger, Crawford observes that teenage girls and young women face a different set of pressures. The Amazonian supermodels in of 1980s and early ’90s were tall, leggy, fit and curvy: not “ordinary women” by any stretch, but relatively normal-sized compared to the ultra-thin look favoured by the fashion industry today.
“I have a daughter who is entering this [fashion] world, and the expectation is for them to be even thinner now,” she said. “I was always a size six [UK size 10]; I was never super-skinny and I never felt bad about it… You could have boobs, you could have hips, you could have a little extra flesh. Now, the models are expected to be so much thinner.”
Ultimately, Crawford says: “I think that the idea of beauty should always be about broadening: different colours, different hair, not everyone should look the same.”
A wise woman, our Cinds.
Images: Rex Features