Have you seen the pictures or heard the buzz about Cindy Crawford’s leaked photos of her untouched and un-Photoshopped body? Probably. It’s big news. CNN published an article (see link below) about it and called it empowering. Would I consider the photos empowering? I don’t think so. Would I call the photos real? Absolutely.
The photo is not airbrushed or retouched in any way, and Cindy’s real body is present. She is a woman in her late 40s who birthed two children, and it appears her body realistically reflects this. I boldly disagree with the statements in the CNN article, stating that the public is praising her photo because we are looking at her flaws as a way to may ourselves feel better. Bull. I think that most people, specifically woman, view the photo as something organic and normal. And yes, that may indeed make them feel better about their own changing, aging, post baby, body. It’s not about glorifying the aging process “only when it mirrors our own or when it shows some imperfections.”
Again, I believe the photo is being praised because it shows a realistic image of what happens to most women as they age, which is not depicted well at all in the media. It feels good to see someone who looks like you. Someone with stretch marks. Someone with cellulite. Someone whose butt is lifted to the Gods. It’s nice to see a positive image of a real (celebrity) body versus an unattainable standard of beauty.
The same is depicted in the Buzz Feed article (below). These women are praising their bodies after creating life. So often we are bombarded with pictures of celebrities who have “bounced back” post baby. We aren’t all blessed with genes that allow such a quick loss of the baby weight, or a chef that prepares all of our meals, or a trainer that can come to our house on a daily basis, or technology to airbrush all of our photos, or a plastic surgeon to do our tummy tuck, etc. The fact of the matter is that our bodies change over time. We age. We have children. And our bodies come in such variety to begin with and do amazing things on a daily basis. That’s certainly something to be praised.
By Courtney Thomas, LCPC at The Body Image Therapy Center. If you would like to get in touch with Courtney please call 443-602-6515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.