Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
Modeling, Acting, Reality Television
Currently Known For:
Activism and Continued Modeling Career
1988 - Present
From a small-town girl that was spending her summers on the farm and shucking corn to one of the most famous supermodels of all-time, Cindy Crawford’s career has been quite the journey. Born in DeKalb, Illinois on February 20, 1966, Crawford is still one of the first names that comes to mind in the modeling industry, even if she’s now north of 50 years old.
Growing up in a small town, Crawford was just eight years old when she had to deal with tragedy for the first time in her life, as her younger brother Jeff was diagnosed with leukemia at just two years old. After a series of treatments, Jeff would unfortunately pass away when Crawford was 10 years old, and it helped to put a new perspective on her life.
“When my brother died, it was a huge loss, but it also fueled me,” Crawford said. “There are always two sides to these kinds of experiences. I learned at a young age not to take life for granted.” Crawford had large aspirations for herself following her family’s loss, and set some lofty goals. “For a while, I wanted to be a nuclear physicist and I later dreamed of becoming the first woman president,” she said.
Crawford, who stands at nearly 5’10”, also dabbled in modeling as a teenager, though it came at the expense of some teasing from her classmates. As part of a fashion shoot for a local store, Crawford was featured in the Chicago Tribune, one of the nation’s largest newspapers. “Within hours it was plastered all over my high school,” Crawford said. Her bullies had even set up a fake modeling job at a local store, but Crawford was not deterred and plugged ahead.
Outside of modeling, Crawford was a terrific student while she was a teenager. So much so, in fact, that she earned herself a scholarship to Northwestern University where she was majoring in chemical engineering. That alone would’ve set up Crawford with a high paying job later in life, but after a semester at the college, Crawford decided to give the modeling career a full-time shot. With that, she was off to New York City to begin her career, signing with Elite New York.
Crawford says that the main reason why she wanted to jump into professional modeling early was so that she could support her mother. Landing her first modeling gigs, Crawford saved up so her mother “didn’t have to ask for money from my dad,” she says. “It taught me to be financially independent and it gave me a great sense of security that I could take care of myself.”
Crawford was receiving job offers frequently during the late 1980s and into the 1990s, appearing on magazine covers such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and many more, while also modeling for some of the biggest designers in the world. She would also appear in music videos, movies and television shows, helping Crawford to further her brand. If there’s one particular advertisement she’s known for, it’s certainly the ad she did for Diet Pepsi.
During the height of her career in the early 1990s, Crawford became engaged to actor Richard Gere, and the two were married in 1991. However, the marriage wouldn’t last long as they parted ways in 1995. Crawford said that these days, “We’re friendly, but I think it’s almost like he’s gone back to being, like, ‘Richard Gere’ again, like a stranger, because we don’t really see each other that much…I think part of the problem in our relationship was that we were a lot of other things, but I don’t know if we were ever friends.”
When she approached her mid 30s, Crawford decided she wanted to take things in a new direction. With that, she started a skincare line called Meaningful Beauty that became a success. Thinking that her modeling career was going to be coming to an end soon, Crawford focused more on business.
“I thought that I could benefit greatly from the upside, but if it didn’t do well that would be a lesson learnt,” she said. “And at that age, who knew how much longer my modeling career would go? So I thought it would be a nice end to my career thing to do my own business. I wanted to have more of a voice in the process and I felt like I earnt that.”
Now in her 50s, Crawford is a mother of two that has been married to Rande Gerber since May 1998. Gerber did some modeling in his time, as well, and the couple’s children (Presley and Kaia) are both getting into modeling themselves. Crawford admitted that “The idea of turning 50 was daunting. For so long I was the 20 year old model on the cover of Vogue, or 25 or 30 – and then all of a sudden my daughter is becoming that.”
It’s not like Crawford is completely out of the modeling game herself, either. Looking like she’s still 20 years younger than she actually is, Crawford is regularly seen in front of the camera. “No matter what I do, I’m not going to look 20, or 30,” she said. “I just want to look great for 50. I exercise, eat healthy and take really good care of my skin.” Whatever she’s been doing these days, it’s certainly working, as Crawford has aged better than just about anybody in recent memory.