Cindy Crawford is getting candid about the "unretouched" Marie Claire photo that went viral back in February.
In a new interview in the October issue of Elle Canada, the 49-year-old star speaks out about the photo scandal for the first time.
"I know my body, and I know it's not perfect, but maybe I have a false body image; maybe I think I look better than I do," she tells the mag, which features her on the cover in a sexy black dress with thigh high slits. "I think that most women are hard on themselves. We think we look worse than we do."
"So I assumed I fell into that category, even though that picture didn't reflect what I saw when I looked in the mirror—even in the worst dressing-room lighting," she adds.
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Crawford reveals the photographer told her, “'Cindy, I'm going to send you the real one and it's nothing like that. It's clear that someone manipulated that image to make whatever was there worse.' It was stolen and it was malicious,” she explains. “But there was so much positive reaction.”
The seasoned supermodel says she wasn't comfortable speaking out against the image, because many were praising it for its "realness."
"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," she explains. "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," she declares.
Despite the social media frenzy that surrounded the viral image, Cindy found a positive in all of that negative press. “I'm a big girl and I can handle it, but I used it as a teaching lesson for my own daughter.”
The mother-of-two later took to Instagram to share her own behind-the-scenes video of her Elle cover shoot. Check it out above.
What do you think of Cindy's candid comments? Sound off!