Cindy Crawford on unretouched photo leak: 'Why would a bad picture of me make other people feel good?'

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An alleged unretouched image of Cindy Crawford from a 2013 Marie Claire Mexico and Latin America cover went viral this past February, and while it was later reported that the photograph may have been falsely representing the supermodel, she still says she felt "conflicted" about it.

"I felt blindsided," Crawford told ELLE Canada. "That picture didn't reflect what I saw when I looked in the mirror -- even in the worst dressing room lighting."

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That being said, the 49-year-old mother-of-two didn't feel comfortable speaking out against the image, because it was being praised by some 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 said. "And even if it were real, I wouldn't have wanted it out there."

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Cindy Crawford on unretouched photo leak: 'Why would a bad picture of me make other people feel good?'
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Cindy Crawford arrives at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
She got flowers and I got her. Happy Valentines Day @cindycrawford
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 23: Cindy Crawford is seen on February 23, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by SMXRF/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 05: Model Cindy Crawford attends the 'The Hospital In The Sky' New York special screening at New York Historical Society on February 5, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 05: Model Cindy Crawford attends 'The Hospital In The Sky' New York special screening at New York Historical Society on February 5, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Cindy Crawford arrives at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Former supermodel Cindy Crawford waves after cutting the ribbon to open the new Omega Boutique on Oxford Street in central London, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Cindy Crawford is spotted as she arrives at LAX Airport in Los Angeles, Ca Picture by: Quarterflash/Vantage News 12 December 2014. Picture by: Quarterflash/Vantage News 12 December 2014. Vantage News/IPx
Cindy Crawford arrives at the LACMA Art + Film Gala at LACMA on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Cindy Crawford arrives at the Opening Of Famed Photographer Brian Bowen Smith's WILDLIFE on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
cindy crawford,66° Festival di Cannes
Cindy Crawford attends the "Fantastic Mr. Fox" premiere at Leicester Square, London, 14th October 2009.
London, UK, UK. 14th Oct, 2009. Cindy Crawford arrives for the Opening Gala for The Times BFI London Film Festival which Premiere's 'Fantastic Mr Fox' at Odeon Leicester Square © Ferdaus Shamim/ZUMA Wire/Alamy Live News
Dec. 27, 2006 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, USA - CINDY CRAWFORD & KAYA.MODEL & DAUGHTER.PADDLE OUT PROTEST.MALIBU, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA.22 October 2006.LAS75237.K51177.CREDIT:(Credit Image: © Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Rande Gerber, left, and Cindy Crawford arrive at Helmut Newton: White Women - Sleepless Nights - Big Nudes exhibit opening at the Annenberg Space Photography on Thursday, June 27, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
FILE - This May 15, 2013 file photo shows model Cindy Crawford wearing a Roberto Cavalli white gown with plunging beaded neckline as she arrives for the opening ceremony and the screening of "The Great Gatsby" at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
Cindy Crawford and her husband Rande Gerber arrive at the premiere of the HBO documentary film "His Way" in Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Cindy Crawford arrives at the UNICEF Ball honoring producer Jerry Weintraub in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Model Cindy Crawford makes an appearance at Jimmy Choo store to celebrate fashion night out, in New York, on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009. (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)
Fashion design icon Tom Ford, from center, and model Cindy Crawford attend the 19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday, April 26, 2008, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Weeks)
Cindy Crawford arrives at the premiere of "Leatherheads" in Los Angeles on Monday, March 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Cindy Crawford arrives at the Warner Music Group post-Grammy party on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
CINDY CRAWFORD US model in March 2013. Photo Jeffrey Mayer
FAIR GAME (1995) CINDY CRAWFORD FGAM 007FOH
FAIR GAME -1995 CINDY CRAWFORD
FAIR GAME -1995 CINDY CRAWFORD
Front cover of Rolling Stone 1993 Yearbook - Cindy Crawford
Fair Game Fair Game Cindy Crawford, William Baldwin Kate (Cindy Crawford) und Max (William Baldwin) sind mal Jaeger, mal
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Crawford confessed, "I felt really manipulated and conflicted, so I kept my mouth shut."

She got flowers and I got her. Happy Valentines Day @cindycrawford

A photo posted by Rande Gerber (@randegerber) on



She also didn't understand the popularity of the photograph.

"Why would seeing a bad picture of me make other people feel good?" she wondered. "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. I think that most women are hard on themselves."

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Crawford later confessed, "Sometimes, the images that women see in magazines make them feel inferior -- even though the intention is never to make anyone feel less."



She continued, "So somehow seeing a picture of me was like seeing a chink in the armour. Whether it was real or not isn't relevant, although it's relevant to me. I don't try to present myself as perfect."

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After the release of the photo, celebrity photographer John Russo said in a statement to ABC News that the image was "stolen or unlawfully accessed and then altered and distributed to the media."

"It has been falsely claimed that this photograph represents an un-retouched image of Cindy Crawford. This is not true," Russo said. "It is a fraudulent altered version of my photograph. I am grateful that this fact has been brought to the public's attention and that corrections are being run in the media."

Photo that sparked conversation:

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However, Marie Claire commented at the time that the photo was, in fact, accurate. "No matter where the photo came from, it's an enlightenment -- we've always known Crawford was beautiful, but seeing her like this only makes us love her more," said a statement from the magazine. "[The photo] is real, it is honest, and it is gorgeous."

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