Other than being an occasional table-dancer, a George Clooney wedding guest, and a supermodel, Cindy Crawford seems pretty normal. She hates doing her own hair (“My arms get so tired,” she tells the Cut) and enjoys ordering beauty products off of infomercials. And now, as the co-founder of her new line, Meaningful Beauty who just launched the new dual-action Ultra Lifting and Filling Treatment, Crawford also stars in informercials. She talks to the Cut about the meaning of her line, her thoughts on thigh gaps, and how she motivates herself to get to the gym.
I read your tweet about your love for the LUSH Jasmine & Henna hair mask. It’s one of my favorites, too.
First of all, it smells amazing. I put it on before I work out and then go into my sauna. Every hairdresser is like, “What are you doing differently?” I’m 48 years old and it helps with the elasticity and the shine. I like it also because you put it on after you wash your hair. It’s not like those masks that ask you to sit in the shower for ten minutes. I don’t have ten minutes to sit in the shower! And it doesn’t make your hair feel greasy. It feels like how it normally does.
Your line is called Meaningful Beauty. What’s the “meaning” behind that?
When we were naming the line, what I kept saying was “I want each step and each product to be meaningful.” I didn’t want any fluff pieces. But I also love it in a broader sense. Why is beauty meaningful? That comes back to confidence. When we feel beautiful, we have confidence and self-assurance. When we feel that way, we go out with our chin a little higher and make better decisions. I don’t think good choices come out of insecurity. That’s why it even matters; otherwise, who cares?
People call you beautiful all the time — when you hear that, how does it make you feel?
It feels great obviously. [Laughs.] It’s really nice. But I think, sometimes, having that projection about you, or perception, can sometimes feel [like] pressure: You have to deliver, or you don’t want to disappoint people.
For example, next week, I’m going to be in Chicago to do a shoot for Michigan Avenue magazine. I want to deliver “Cindy Crawford.” That can feel like pressure. But the older I get, in some ways, the more I realize the impossibility of being perfect.
How do you get “Cindy Crawford” hair?
If I really need Cindy Crawford hair, I have someone else do it. I really dislike doing my own hair because my arms get so tired. I can fake it enough for real life. Or sometimes, I’ll even go to a blowout bar and make that last for three days. Much to my husband’s chagrin, I pin it up. It’s also how my daughter does it now, because that’s how we sleep.
I use one hairpin — not a tight one, a curved one, and gently pin up the front part so it still has movement. And then I might do a little heat styling in one or two places. When I work out, I do the same thing; I pin up only the part next to the scalp. I use Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, which is good as a texturizer.
I just watched your old fitness video on YouTube, and it is really mesmerizing. The New York Times even called it a “riveting performance.”
I’m not sure if everyone who bought my video was actually working out to it! [Laughs.] But it was really cool. For Janet Maslin of the New York Times to review it, and for her to review an exercise video, my exercise video, was the coolest thing. But I had friends who were actors and read the review who were like, “You exercise video got a better review than my movie did!”
My predecessor was Jane Fonda. And it’s because she was wildly successful that people were willing to accept the idea of my doing a video. My trainer, Radu, was post-aerobics, and used more hard-core Romanian training techniques. When I did it, I wanted it to reflect the hard-core nature of the workout. But at the time, MTV was just launching, so it had to reinvent but push exercise videos to the next level. We had to think out-of-the-box about the gym. Because when you’re working out, who likes it? No one. So it needed great music and a great location.
What do you do when you don’t feel like working out?
I just do it. I don’t even think about it. It’s so ingrained. Scheduling it really helps. Putting on the gym clothes is the hard part.
What do you think about body pressures? Have they changed over the years?
It’s hard, because I’m not a 13-year-old girl. I don’t know what it’s like now. I think the idea of beauty has broadened. You have Cara Delevingne and Kim Kardashian. But I do see my daughter and her friends talk about “thigh gap.” I didn’t even know what that is. I was like, Honey, you probably are not going to have one because I don’t have one.
This interview has been condensed and edited.