Cindy Crawford: Cultural icon embraces 50

Becoming Cindy Crawford

The cultural icon embraces the big 5-0

By Michelle Talsma Everson

There’s no arguing that Cindy Crawford is practically an American establishment unto herself. The super model turned actress, spokesperson, entrepreneur, and author, turned 50 in February.

While most people celebrate the big 5-0 with a party or dinner with friends, Crawford marked the occasion with the release of her new book, Becoming, which she co-authored with Katherine O’Leary. The book made a splash this past fall and is still being lauded in media outlets across the globe.

Literary reflection

“I want to honor and acknowledge the girl I once was while embracing the woman I am today, and I even look forward to the wise woman I hope I will become in future decades,” Crawford says about her book on her official website,

What can readers expect from the much-anticipated title? Her website gives an insider’s look: “American icon and supermodel Cindy Crawford looks back at pivotal moments in her life and career, sharing engaging stories of her professional and personal evolution, and the lessons she learned along the way, illustrated by 150 stunning and iconic images, as well as never-before-published photographs from her personal archive.”

“I didn’t know it at the time but in some way [writing the book] is the end of a chapter of my life,” Crawford told Fashionista. “People are like, ‘Are you still going to model?’ And to me, if I get my picture taken, that’s modeling. If I have to get my hair and makeup done, that’s modeling. So I’m going to continue to do that for Meaningful Beauty and my furniture line but I do think that I’ve finally realized I don’t really have to prove anything in terms of the fashion modeling part of my life any more. But then I said to my husband, ‘What am I going to do when this book’s over?’ It’s taken up so much time over the last two years and I love working. I like being busy, so I don’t know. Something.”

Embracing age and beauty

Becoming was released in September 2015 and Crawford has been hitting the media circuit since to promote her new book. Of course, questions about turning 50 continue to dot her interviews. In each one, she’s refreshingly upbeat and honest.

“I’m happy, I love my life, I don’t like birthdays,” she says to the Los Angeles Times. “Everyone’s like what are you doing for your 50th? I wrote a book. My husband always wants to plan things for my birthday, and we always end up canceling and having dinner at home with the kids, and I’ll do baked potato and caviar. But I don’t know. The buildup is worse than the reality. That’s what I found at 40. Now it’s finally happening and then it will be over and I will be 50. I will feel the same, I feel great. But it’s daunting. It’s a big number, especially for women. You can’t pretend you’re a girl anymore. You might feel girlie inside but you hopefully are kinda like, this is who I am with my flaws.”

Embracing her flaws, Crawford has publically shared that she has undergone some plastic surgery over the years—but she’s quick to admit that she’s not encouraging everyone to go that route.

Referencing the topic of plastic surgery, she told Fashionista: “Not only my job but in our society, everyone else is doing it — do I need to do it? But then you see some people and think, ‘Well, I don’t want to end up looking like that so is it better to look old?’ I’m still trying to figure that out, I guess, where I personally want to draw that line.”

Still, it’s always been the fact that Crawford wasn’t your standard beauty that has made her so relatable over the years.

“I love the fact that I had a beauty mark and that I became a symbol of beauty that helped other women embrace their differences. And that I had brown eyes, not blond hair and blue eyes,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “The generation before me, Kelly Emberg and Christie Brinkley, were that blond, tan, Sports Illustrated girl look. My generation, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, we all looked different. We helped broaden the idea of beauty.”

Cindy today and tomorrow

Crawford’s resume is nothing short of groundbreaking.

As a supermodel, she’s been featured in thousands of magazines, has worked with hundreds of brands, and made the transition to TV and film. She’s been voted one of the world’s most beautiful or sexiest people by several polls and at one point was one of the fashion world’s highest paid stars.

Today, in addition to her book, Crawford focuses on other important roles—mother (she has two teenage children with former model Rande Gerber) and entrepreneur. Currently, she is the co-creator and spokesperson for Meaningful Beauty, a line of beauty products, and she creates and promotes the Cindy Crawford Home Collection—a series of home goods and furniture. She’s also a spokesperson for a variety of brands and products.

“The next chapter is the businesses I’m working on…. And I also like championing other people,” Crawford says to the Los Angeles Times. “The beginning of my career, it was like, you’re a model, they say ‘put this on’ and you do it. Then I got to develop my own businesses and projects, and now I like partnering with or being involved with projects that are less ego-centric but still interesting, or that I can add something to because you do learn a lot over the years. Also, my kids will be gone before I know it, so over the next five years I want to focus on helping them.”

Crawford’s two kids (Presley Walker Gerber and Kaia Gerber) are both following in her fashionable footsteps as up and coming models.

Through all of her career’s milestones, Crawford is adamant that modeling is just one part of who she is.

“Like I say in my book, modeling’s what I do – it’s not who I am,” she told The Globe and Mail. “So my whole world and identity was not caught up in being seen at the right parties and wearing the right designers. I love fashion. And I made great friends and I traveled the world and I made money. I’ve had so many great experiences, but that’s just one aspect of my life.”

To keep up with Crawford’s latest adventures, follow her on Instagram @cindycrawford or visit