Model Cindy Crawford Is Retiring at 50, but We Need Her Now More Than Ever

Cindy Crawford announced that she is retiring from modeling. With her 50th birthday approaching on February 20, the supermodel has decided that she simply won't pose for photographers anymore. Crawford, who has appeared on hundreds of magazine covers, on television, and in commercials, music videos, and movies -- and not to mention runs a business empire that includes everything from housewares to cosmetics -- certainly deserves a break. But as a 46-year-old woman, I hope Cindy is hanging up her supermodel status because she is tired -- and not because she feels she has to. 

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"I'm sure I'll have my picture taken for 10 more years, but not as a model anymore. And that's okay. I've done it," Crawford told United Hemispheres magazine. "I've worked with all these incredible photographers. What else do I need to do? I can't keep reinventing myself. I shouldn't have to keep proving myself. I don't want to."

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The fact that one of the most jaw-dropping, gorgeous women on the planet feels she still has to keep proving herself is heartbreaking to me. I don't think Cindy Crawford could look anything other than beautiful no matter how old she gets. And that's the thing -- we need older women to keep showing their faces as beauty icons, not only for our own self-esteem and to represent a more diverse image of what beauty looks like in media, but also for our daughters as well.

We all grow old. If we are lucky.

We get gray hair and saggy skin and stretch marks and wrinkles and laugh lines and crow's feet. We need to see this happen to women -- especially women who were once regarded as perfect -- to destigmatize aging and show that just because a woman hits a certain age, it doesn't mean she can't be viewed as sexy or beautiful. I know this is a lot to put on Cindy Crawford, and she shouldn't have to take it all on herself. She shouldn't be expected to be the poster child for aging beauty, especially because it sounds like she doesn't want to be. 

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But part of me wishes she would -- not just her, but all women. We need more Helen Mirrens and Carmen Dell'orefices appearing on magazine covers and billboards. We need to see women of all shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities, and, yes, ages, gracing all aspects of our media. We need to see that just because a woman gets old, she still has worth, and not because she's old and wise, but because her appearance is worthy, too. 

We are a culture obsessed with youth. Every day we are inundated with messages that tell us that after we reach a certain age we are undesirable. I can't help but feel that if people like Cindy would just stick around, we could maybe start to change that message. We will all grow old one day -- if we are lucky. That's probably the most beautiful thing of all. 

 

Image via @Parisa/Splash News

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