Is There a Sell-by Date on Us? Ask Cindy Crawford and Paulina Porizkova (Echochamber Friday)

edited by O Society Friday March 8, 2019

Welcome to Echochamber Friday, which is when we read articles we normally wouldn’t, so we don’t become frogs in a well. Understanding our culture instead.

Is age just a number? Is 50 the new 35, as the clichés go? What’s proper for a woman with class – e.g., your favorite ’80s high-fashion supermodel – to do… and undo?

Today we have Cindy Crawford, who’s posing at 50 with no clothes on. Again. News to me because I didn’t realize she’d posed nekked when she was younger. This article just popped up in the news feed this morning and here we are.

Crawford really just wasn’t a model I paid attention to in the ’80s to know what she was doing. I knew she married Richard Gere, but it wasn’t like we’d see her in the movies as an actress the way you’d see someone like Priscilla Presley in Naked Gun.

Back then, I was much more interested in Czech model Paulina Porizkova, who coincidentally is in Sports Illustrated now here. She’s 53! Priscilla was married to Elvis, and Paulina to Cars’ singer Rick Ocasek, so I knew of these models through music.

Paulina also penned an essay for us last year, in which she reflects on ageism and her “nightmares about being once again photographed for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.” At the time, she believed despite personal knowledge of her inner strengths, “as far as modeling goes, her expiration date passed.”

“In my opinion, nothing ages as poorly as a beautiful woman’s confidence,” Paulina said.

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Cindy Crawford‘s only regret about modeling is she wishes she had shown more when she was younger.

Supernatural with Cindy Crawford Mar 5, 2019

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While discussing her decades-long career at a fashion shoot with Zoey Grossman, the supermodel extraordinaire opened up about her decision to go bare for photographer Russell James’ new book, Angels, as well as taking it off early in her career for Playbοy.

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Cindy Crawford talks about posing nude now and then.

“Part of the reason I want to do it is I thought, at what age is being naked not beautiful anymore?” she says of posing nude for James. “Is there a sell-by date on us? I don’t look the same as I did at 20, 30, or even 40. If we take care of ourselves, why not?

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“Am I frolicking on the beach in a string bikini again? No. But there is a place where I want to feel beautiful naked, in my private life, with my husband. (The Angels photo shoot) tapped into this real place – not high heels, not a lot of makeup, not coy – just a real woman who doesn’t have any clothes on.”

Crawford says she now questions why she didn’t show more earlier as a young model. She first posed for Hugh Hefner’s lad mag in 1988, when she was 20. It was a big deal at the time — she risked lucrative endorsement deals by showing as much as she did, but maintained full editorial control over the photos, she said. Crawford also says seeing fellow model Paulina Porizkova in the magazine, in 1987, inspired her to pose. (She did a second shoot for the magazine in 1998.)

“I look back at some of my old Playbοy pictures and I think, ‘Why wasn’t I walking around naked all the time?’” she said of the shoots she did with acclaimed shutterbug Herb Ritts. “I’m not getting younger. So I want to celebrate who I am today.”

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Crawford’s two children with Rande Gerber – Kaia and Presley – followed her into the modeling business with her 17-year-old daughter especially being a bright star on the scene. Last year, Kaia became professionally eligible for runway modeling, so Crawford traveled with her to get her acclimated. But mom makes it clear her daughter’s doing the real work.

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“Kaia has some advantages,” Crawford admitted. “She is my daughter and people know. But when people say that I bought her a cover of a magazine, I think, if I was going to buy a cover for someone, it would be me! If I could get someone into a fashion show, I would be getting it for myself.”

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Crawford is clearly protective of her brood, both in real life and online. She talks about the discouraging comments both kids get from strangers on social media. “I can’t believe how hateful people can be,” she said. “As much as people put garbage on my Instagram, it doesn’t bother me. But when they do it to my kids I think, grrr.”

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Cindy Crawford’s daughter, Kaia Gerber 

She continued, “But you’re not supposed to go after the trolls. It’s shocking. We’re becoming more immune to it because people just lash out so frequently. We have to be so politically correct in one way in response. If you’re not famous, you can say the most hateful stuff. God forbid you [as a celebrity] offend the wrong person.”

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