cindy crawford admits she felt 'very conflicted' about fake unretouched photo

The supermodel speaks for the first time about the supposedly unretouched photo of her that went viral.

by Nick Levine
03 September 2015, 2:01pm

Cindy Crawford has spoken for the first time about the supposedly "unretouched" photo of her that went viral earlier this year, admitting that the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the image left her feeling "very conflicted." When the photograph appeared online in February, the supermodel was praised for her bravery in allowing a supposedly more realistic - and arguably unflattering - image of her body to be shown to a mass audience.

However, in a new interview with Elle Canada, Crawford has admitted that she felt "blindsided" by what happened because the image had been manipulated, with photographer John Russo calling it a "fraudulent, altered" version of his original shot. "It was stolen and it was malicious," Crawford said of the photograph, "but there was so much positive reaction. Sometimes, the images that women see in magazines make them feel inferior - even though the intention is never to make anyone feel less. So somehow seeing a picture of me was like seeing a chink in the armor. Whether it was real or not isn't relevant, although it's relevant to me."

Explaining why she chose not to speak out at the time, Crawford added: "It put me in a tough spot: I couldn't come out against it because I'm rejecting all these people who felt good about it, but I also didn't embrace it because it wasn't real - and even if it were real, I wouldn't have wanted it out there. I felt really manipulated and conflicted, so I kept my mouth shut."

Cindy Crawford
retouched photo