Cindy Crawford isn’t letting the world tell her that she’s ageless. Although the term is often used to describe the 56-year-old and her 36-year modeling career, she knows that she has aged.
The model thinks that the word “ageless” does her and all women a disservice. After all, she’s not 25 anymore.
In a recent interview with Haute Living, the actress opened up about what it’s been like to age in the public eye. Although Crawford has paved the way for women to model through midlife instead of only through their 20s, the actress still faces pressure when it comes to her age.
In fact, Crawford feels more pressure than praise when she’s described as ageless. For Crawford, the term reminds her of the demand that’s put on her and other women to stay young.
‘Being Told I’m Ageless Isn’t Right…Getting Older Is Hard Enough’
When Crawford was just in her 30s, she cringed when she was described as ageless. After co-creating the skincare line Meaningful Beauty in 2001, the term showed up even in the infomercials for the line.
“[The infomercials] used to say, ‘She hasn’t aged’ and they would show side-by-sides,” reflected Crawford. “And I’d tell them to stop because it puts too much pressure on me.”
The demand to maintain a youthful look has been a constant throughout Crawford’s career. Although she’s still a model, Crawford is realistic about her changing body.
“I know all the ways that I’ve aged,” she remarked. “My face has gotten much thinner; my mouth isn’t as full. Being told I’m ageless isn’t right, especially because getting older is hard enough, never mind that we live in a youth-obsessed culture.”
For Crawford, being described as ageless negates all the life lessons she has learned. “I’m not 25, so why should I be trying to look 25?” asked the supermodel. “Why do I want someone to mistake me for a 25-year-old? I’ve had children. I have all this life experience.”
The model is proud of the path that she’s taken in her long-term career. When she started out modeling, she never dreamed that her career would last her entire adult life.
As she explained, “When I started modeling, I said, ‘What am I going to do after I turn 25?’ There wasn’t someone who had a career like me before that I could follow or look up to. And then, all of a sudden, I was still modeling at 26, 27, 30, 35, 40, and now, 56. There was no way I thought I would still be quote-unquote ‘modeling’ to this day.”
‘Aging Is What Happens If We’re Lucky’
Crawford’s longevity in the industry as well as the path she has paved for other women are some reasons why she continues to model. However, she still has moments of self-doubt.
As Crawford admitted, “Sometimes I think, ‘Screw it. Maybe I don’t want to model anymore.’ But then I think, ‘Gosh, then I’m just further telling women that at a certain age, we’re just expired, and we should go on the shelf.’ Do I want to play into that for women? And so I don’t.”
“Even though sometimes I don’t necessarily feel as confident, or if I see a picture of me and there are things I don’t like, I still think yeah, but that’s real. Aging is what happens if we’re lucky; it means that I’m alive.”