Cindy Crawford Untouched Photo ‘Cruel Rather Than Liberating’ Says Former Cosmo Editor

Cindy Crawford received a flood over praise over social media after an untouched photo of her appeared online. Crawford, dressed in lingerie, exposing a less-than-taut belly. Now what was first spun as an empowering message for women and body image has become a point of controversy, as it has been revealed Crawford herself did not release the photo.

While some call the leak an invasion of Crawford’s privacy, others, like former Cosmopolitan editor Linda Kelsey, think the photo is simply embarrassing. Kelsey wrote in The Telegraph that there is nothing wrong with altering photos.

“My hunch is that Crawford is mortified that this image of her less than toned tummy and not quite made-of-steel inner thighs has leaked out. Supermodels aren’t paid for being real, they’re rewarded for being as unchanging as Botticelli’s Venus. And if they slip up because of the ravages of time, motherhood or a break from the chive diet, there’s always a younger and less time-worn model to take their place….

I’d go so far as to say that this leaked photograph is cruel rather than liberating….

If older women are finally having their moment – on screen, on the catwalk, and in advertisements for hair and beauty products – I think we have to be prepared for the fact that what we see in these images involves a degree of deception.”

Kelsey also explained that the photo is an outtake of a 2013 Marie Claire shoot. In the magazine Crawford, now 48, was shown with her stomach covered.

Jessica Valenti, writing in The Guardian, compared the release of the Crawford photo to the nude celebrity photo hacking scandal, specifically because Crawford did not take the initiative to distribute the pic.

“Tearing down unrealistic beauty standards is noble, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of a woman’s privacy and her ability to craft her own narrative, even if that narrative has unbelievably – no seriously, I don’t believe it – flawless skin.”

Author Leslie Goldman had a similar take, as quoted by the BBC.

“Now that I know the image was leaked, it kind of changes my response to it. When we thought she had intentionally released that photo, it was different. We thought she was putting it out there to say ‘I’m not perfect either.'”

A few days prior to the photo leak, Crawford spoke to Marie Claire about her own views on body image.

“I really think—at any age—it’s about learning to be comfortable in your own skin, which is a lot easier said than done. For me, that’s doing the kind of work I like, being in a good relationship, being the kind of mother I want to be—and taking care of myself.”

[Cindy Crawford main image: Getty]