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Cindy Crawford speaks out about leaked, unretouched photo

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Cindy Crawford speaks out about leaked, unretouched photo


Cindy Crawford is speaking out about the unretouched photo of herself that surfaced earlier this year on the internet.

A leaked photo from a 2013 Marie Claire photoshoot was shared thousands of times after ITV anchor Charlene White tweeted it, saying it’s from an upcoming Marie Claire spread that will contain “100% non-retouched photos.”

Her renowned physique appeared less-than-supermodel-like in the shot, which was taken during a session for Marie Claire Mexico and Latin America.

Crawford, 49, writes in the October edition of Elle Canada, “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.”

Despite this, the 49-year-old mother of two didn’t feel comfortable condemning the photograph leak, because it was appreciated by some for its “realness.”

“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,” she said. “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.”


The shot, which exposed the 49-year-old’s tummy, hips, and thighs, was lauded for boosting women’s confidence in their bodies, with many hailing it as beautiful and inspirational.

“Why would seeing a bad picture of me make other people feel good?” Crawford tells Elle Canada.

“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.”

In that circumstance, it would be difficult for anyone to know what to do. Crawford said she didn’t want her teenage daughter, Kaia, who is now a model, to believe it’s OK to bully people online. “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?”

The photographer was “very upset” according to Crawford, because he wasn’t the one who released the photo.

Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

“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.”

After the photo went viral, Russo issued a statement stating that the image was not an unretouched shot of Crawford and that it was a “fraudulent altered version” of his photos, according to ABC News.

“It has been falsely claimed that this photograph represents an un-retouched image of Cindy Crawford. This is not true,” Russo said. “It is a fraudulent altered version of my photograph. I am grateful that this fact has been brought to the public’s attention and that corrections are being run in the media.”

White told The Independent that she wanted the photograph to be seen positively and discussed in terms of positive body image.

“The photo was already being circulated on social media when I posted it,” she added. “As soon as I realised it had been leaked, I made sure I pointed this out on Twitter. It was never my intention to cause offence.”

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