Cindy And Beyoncé Are FLAWED? Uh, NO! But Your Thinking Sure Is!

Beyoncé and Cindy Crawford

Calling women's normal, healthy, human bodies "flawed" is bullsh*t! Here's why ...

Recently, a photo of 48-year-old Cindy Crawford in a black bra and panties went viral. The photo, according to initial reports, is not photoshopped (although more recent reports say it was altered to deliberately make her look "bad").

Either way, most of the articles commenting on this photo suggest that the image shows Crawford's "flaws" and "imperfections."

Shortly after, the trend continued with "untouched" photos of Beyoncé making the internet gossip rounds because (gasp!) apparently her skin is "flawed".

Ladies and gentlemen— a "flaw" is a defect, a deficiency, or an inadequacy.

From all obvious appearances, Crawford's body is working just fine. By my observation, I see a strong, healthy, beautiful, 48-year-old mother of two, feeling and displaying confidence in her own body.

Flaws? Sorry—I missed them.

Who could really blame most people for suggesting that Crawford has flaws? Compare Crawford's "flawed" picture to the cover photo of this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. The picture is of 24-year-old Hannah Davis and the image is obviously and admittedly photoshopped (because apparently a gorgeous 24-year old's body is still not perfect enough).

Davis's photo represents "the standard" for female bodies and beauty that we see relentlessly repeated in magazines, newspapers, television commercials, and online.

We're accustomed to the photoshopped, young, extremely thin, beautiful women and we tend to think that "ideal" is representative of how we should all look.

So, when an allegedly not-photoshopped image of Cindy Crawford shows up, it's easy for us to think she has "flaws", particularly when we compare her to the Hannah Davis photo.

However, even if the image circulating of Crawford was real, so what? She would simply represent the vast majority of female society—we age, we have wrinkles, we have body fat, and we sure as hell aren't photoshopped. No one looks like Hannah Davis in real life (not even Hannah Davis herself) because it's an altered image of her. Even the young and beautiful Queen Bey has bumps on her real (a.k.a. non-photoshopped) skin. 

Crawford herself wisely once said, "Even I don't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford." 

As frustrating as it is to see Crawford's photo described in terms of flaws, it is equally frustrating to note that pictures of men are rarely treated with the same vocabulary. 

Women's bodies apparently rank as either inhumanely "perfect" or "flawed" ... no in between. And neither term is accurate, nor realistically descriptive.

Yet, how many of us say the same about ourselves?

We tell ourselves, "My stomach is my biggest flaw. My thighs have cellulite. My eyes have wrinkles and are so imperfect."

Our language keeps us in a place of never being good enough and always being flawed—because photoshopped perfection is unachievable.

How will that serve us in living our lives in a productive and joyful way?

While I'm on my "flawed" rant, let's talk about what's missing in our conversation about Crawford and Beyoncé and their pictures. Crawford is an extremely successful businesswoman, a mother of two, and a wife. She is a vocal supporter of women, children, and healthy eating and body image; yet, we talk about her flaws?

Likewise, Beyoncé is a mother, a business mogul, and probably one of the hardest working women in the music industry. A few bumps on her face make her "flawed"? What about her confidence, her strength, and her obvious drive for health and wellness?

Wouldn't it be nice if we were all as talented, successful, and "flawed" as Beyoncé and Cindy Crawford?

Lisa Kaplin is a psychologist and life coach at Smart Women, Inspired Lives


Explore YourTango