Cindy Crawford Untouched

An un-retouched photo of 48-year old Cindy Crawford leaked online has reignited the debate about photoshopping women’s bodies…

Across social media today and yesterday, commentators were celebrating this photo of Cindy Crawford, baring dimples and all. Whether she meant to, or it was leaked online from a 2013 cover story in Marie Claire Mexico and Latin America, who knows. But it is interesting to see the furore it has created.

What we find most interesting is the way that the media, including publications such as The Independent and The Guardian have reported it. Not one of them has actually lead with this picture, choosing instead to use a glamorous, touched up and heavily styled photo of the former supermodel and then posting the untouched one below.

On one hand they appear to be supporting the ‘celebrate the untouched image,’ on the other undermining this by using a glam lead picture. ¬†Why? With this very editorial action it makes it seem that they feel the image too repugnant to lead with.

And what of the flip side? Many social media commentators have praised the pictures as beautiful.

It is neither beautiful, nor disgusting. It is just a woman’s body.

This image of Cindy is positive because it shows reality for most women, who don’t have hours to spend in the gym, and for whom love, family, relationships and friends are part and parcel of a rounded life.

The sooner we face up to the fact that the body images that we are bombarded with from teens to sixties are just smoke and mirrors, the more quickly we can accept, embrace and celebrate our figures for the incredibly amazing things they can help us do, and the happier we will all feel in our own skins, no matter what age we are.

Don’t get us wrong, we are not saying ‘give up, exercise and eating healthily is futile.’

Exercise and a good diet does change your body shape, it does make you feel good, it influences your hormone levels and so much more besides. But to do it in the pursuit of an image from a magazine is futile because you’re chasing something that is not real.

Celebrate your body and exercise to train for something like a running race, a sportive, a hike, or simply to ensure you can keep moving well right into your nineties. Now, that’s an inspirational body that is worth working out to achieve.