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The Shape of Cindy

I glanced at the magazines as I typically do while standing in line at the supermarket. I always think it’s so nice that they put them there to help me pass the time while I wait (wink, wink). Usually I flip through US Weekly or People. Sometimes, she admits with coy, embarrassment, I grab a copy of STAR. Come on, when they have the “Stars without Makeup” or “Best and Worst Bodies”? Really, you can pretend to be above it, but I know you’re sneaking a peak.

Anyway, as my life slowly drained away waiting for the woman in front of me to finish her super interesting negotiation to the bored cashier on why she had an expired coupon, the cover of SHAPE magazine caught my attention. It was Cindy. Cindy Crawford.

For you annoying, young people who were too busy learning to go poo-poo on the potty to appreciate her heyday, Cindy, ruled the modeling world in the 90’s. During my most impressionable years, she was gorgeous but in a believable way. She was tall, but not impossibly tall. Thin, but not heroin anorexic like some of the grunge models of that day. Young, but (hee hee) a little older than me. She was with me through the big hair and the straight hair. We had babies at around the same time, and I exercised to her post baby work-out tape with all three of my kids. She was the friend I didn’t actually have.

So when I saw the cover, I experienced of moment of honest happiness to see her. My supermodel was back. Yay! I grabbed the magazine for a closer look, and my smile faded.


Now don’t get me wrong. Cindy looks great. She’s maintained her figure and her hair cascades down the page. But – yes, there’s a but – no amount of air brushing can mistake the obvious. Cindy is old. She looks great…wait for it… for her age. Ow. That last part hurts ‘older’ women everywhere, because if Cindy looks like a woman in her forties, well, I certainly must as well. Damn.

In three seconds of sighting the cover, I did a complete 180. I was no longer happy to see my old friend. She  no longer reminded me of my youth, she reminded me that I was old. I doubt this was the effect marketing executives had hoped for. I knew Cindy was there to appeal to women like me. Women who grew up with her, who else would appreciate this blast from the past? I get it, but guess what, I don’t want to.

Getting old is weird. You almost can’t believe it’s happening to you. It’s an outer-body experience that’s happening to your body. I spend time studying myself, and can see the subtle changes occurring. They’re not terrible, but they’re there. But I don’t need a mirror to know that I’m past my prime.

For one, I just need to look at these magazines.  I don’t know a full 70% of the people they showcase. Who the hey are Chris Hemsworth, Miranda Cosgrove, Gemma Arterton, Wiz Khalifa?

Two. People now address me as ‘so & so’s’ mom. If one of my ‘so & so’s’ is with me, say, in a store, sometimes they get some free stuff just for being cute. Hey! I used to get free stuff too!

Three. I drive a mini-van.

I don’t think I need to go on.

Now I’m not saying getting old is bad. It’s a good thing. Great, if you consider the alternative. And honestly, I’m so much more comfortable with myself than I was in my 20’s. It’s just strange. A minute (okay 20 years) ago, I was fresh and new, with the world open and wanting me. Now, I’m – eeeek!!! – a middle-aged suburban mom?? OMG.

Somewhere in those 20 years, almost all of my goals changed, or very slowly subsided into the background. I don’t want to blame the children, but what-the-hey, it’s their fault. With their blessed arrival, my entire focus shifted from me to them. It’s exactly how I want it, just don’t remind me what I used to want.

I was happy before I saw Cindy on the cover. I didn’t think about any of this. Sigh. I really wish I wouldn’t have seen my old friend today.

She really does look great...for her age. Ouch. Still hurts.

She really does look great…for her age. Ouch. Still hurts.

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

15 responses »

  1. Bruce Schindler

    good post, you still look better than cindy

    On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 8:38 AM, Icescreammama

  2. So wise of you! So true!
    But we were born “before”, so we’ve already had a lot of things…..!

  3. Elle MacPherson was my Cindy. Saw her recently on some show with a very “frozen” smile and forehead. Such a bummer to see.
    Interesting read.

  4. Mini vans rule. So does this post!

  5. This was our conversation !!! Sigh so true and sad

    Sent from my iPhone

  6. Oh man. Sarah Michelle Gellar was my Cindy. Now I’m not sure if I want to Google her and see how she’s aged or actively avoid Googling her ever again. If I don’t look at pictures of her today that means she hasn’t aged so I haven’t either, right? *looks panicky* Right?!

  7. Cindy was my old friend too! The reigning super model of our time. Seeing her on the cover is a brutal reminder of our age. But to tell you the truth there is no way I’d want to relive my twenties again. Like you said, “I’m so much more comfortable with myself” now. Feeling sexy and beautiful really is a mindset. Even if it’s accompanied by toddler snot on your shirt! 🙂

  8. My father-in-law is 98 years young, seriously… He was already advancing in years when Janet was, well you know…into the struggling paddock with Clare (his partner), and hey presto 9 months later, here’s Janet.

    But my point is, he still doesn’t think of himself as “old” he just gets on with living! How good is that…

    He’s my idol!

    And Cindy…she needs a good feed!

  9. I soooooo understand. Everyday I look in the mirror and pull back my skin to remember what my eyes looked like pre-bags. How does it happen?? In my mind I just got out of college until I remember that was 15 years ago!! Well, like you said so eloquently, better that than the alternative. Great essay!
    ps-I wouldn’t mind still looking like Cindy!

  10. This is perfect. I want to cry because I get this completely and feel exactly the same way. Getting older is such an emotional mixed bag – I’ll take the wisdom age brings and leave the ever-deepening crow’s feet and expanding middle – okay? Now that we have that settled, let’s focus on the joys of being our own fabulous selves! Great post!

    • yes – although, my friend, who’s a budding photographer, took some pix of me and she thought they were all fantastic – i was like, uh, who’s the wrinkly old hag??
      AAAAAAAHHHH!! okay, going back to focusing on being fabulous now. 😉


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