It’s not very often that we see a woman in her 40s wearing lingerie in the pages of a major fashion publication. Even less so in images that aren't retouched or altered in any way. But, that seemed to be the case late last week when this picture of Cindy Crawford was leaked online.
As Buzzfeed reports, the photo spread like wildfire after it was tweeted by a news anchor who claimed that this black lace- and fur-clad Crawford was to appear in the new issue of Marie Claire. Responses flooded in instantly praising both the publication and model for honoring her natural body — not one airbrushed to “perfection.”
The joy was short-lived, though, when Marie Claire quickly responded that the shot was actually from a 2013 editorial from its Mexico and Latin American edition and would not be appearing in print. “An unretouched photo of Cindy Crawford has been circulating on Twitter this morning, revealing a body that defies expectations — it is real, it is honest, and it is gorgeous,” the magazine posted on its site. The statement added that the magazine's staff doesn't know the source of the leak. “No matter where the photo came from, it's an enlightenment — we've always known Crawford was beautiful, but seeing her like this only makes us love her more.”
What made this reveal feel different from past leaks, such as Lena Dunham’s 2014 Vogue editorial or most recently Kerry Washington’s Instyle cover, was that it became a truly special moment for women and the media. Crawford may be embracing the photo's resurgence, too. While the iconic supermodel hasn’t made any official statements yet (we've reached out for a comment), her husband, Rande Gerber, did post an image of his bikini-clad wife on Valentine’s Day. Neither acknowledged the trending lingerie photo outright, but the 48-year-old model was shown similarly true-to-life in the romantic snap.
Crawford certainly doesn't need us, or anyone else, to tell her how gorgeous she looks, but in an industry that tends to favor a certain BMI and age range, it's exciting to see the publication and public aligned on what makes this photo special: its authenticity. The next step would be publishing images like this within a glossy’s pages. Fashion magazines, your move.