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Sunday, May 19
The Indiana Daily Student


Tracy and the real girl

The Internet is buzzing with all kinds of chatter about the recently leaked photos of 48-year-old model Cindy Crawford posing in lingerie for a December 2013 issue of Marie Claire Mexico and Latin America.

Lingerie and models — that really isn’t anything new. Models are exceptionally beautiful people who are subject to extreme sexualization when portrayed in the media.

However, the leaked Cindy Crawford photos were entirely untouched. The photos depict the then-47-year-old model as entirely herself and natural, without any “enhancements” or “touch-ups.”

The veiled critics of the Internet are sitting at home behind their computer screens and hailing these photos, praising them left and right because there is at long last a photograph of a “real woman” circulating in the media. Much of the talk is that Crawford is middle-aged and the mother of two children.

It says this is what a body is “supposed” to look like at this stage in life. Her body is no longer the perfect tan, tight and lean body that it was 20 years ago.

Everything about this is a load of bologna. There are so many different types of real women in the world that there cannot be any single vision of what a “real woman” looks like.

There are people begging to see “real” in the media, they want to see the some kind of Average Jane body type on runways and in magazines, and there is nothing wrong with this, for the most part, because it is calling for a larger and more diverse representation of women in fashion and media.

But at the same time, calling for “real women” to replace the women who currently fit the role demeans and belittles these women. It tells them their bodies make them unreal and they somehow are less for having a body the media clings to as a beauty standard.

The issue is not the bodies of women themselves, but rather the representation.

Photos of women everywhere in the media are consistently retouched and altered to make the women perfect and without any kind of flaw. These women are not being represented as themselves. They are being represented as enhanced versions of themselves.

Bits and pieces of their bodies are picked over in Photoshop and then changed to fit whatever it is the media thinks is the perfect woman.

It is the retouching that makes these representations of women not real. Body type and size and color has nothing to do with realness. It’s all about representation.

And Cindy Crawford’s body has finally been represented as it is naturally. But the claims that people make about it are all ?circumstantial. Her body looks great after two kids. Her body is ?wonderful for being ?middle-aged.

There should be no circumstance surrounding bodies and beauty. Bodies are beautiful, and that’s the end of the story.

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