Cindy Crawford on Self-Acceptance and the Decision to Keep Her Iconic Mole

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Cindy Crawford

"Every woman feels pressure to look a certain way ... it's intimidating."

With her long legs, high cheek bones and trademark beauty spot above her lip, the iconic supermodel Cindy Crawford has been turning heads in the industry for over three decades. As her new book's release date draws near, the Illinois-born beauty speaks to The Hollywood Reporter about her take on women and female self-criticism.

"If you can change it, do. But if you can't, learn to accept it," says Crawford. "I kept my mole when I was in high school and that was a big choice. And then look it ended up being something that made people remember me. So I guess I try to live by that. It’s like, if I can change something if I’m really unhappy with something, and I can change it if it’s within my power, but a lot of times it’s not."

The 49-year-old model, who has openly discussed her own cosmetic procedures in the past, is set to release her book Becoming on Sept. 29. The book, she says, is meant to help encourage women to develop a healthy self-esteem at all ages. 

When asked about the role plastic surgery plays in a healthy body image, Crawford said that it is not something she looks down upon. "I don't know. It's just personal. I don't judge," says Crawford.  

The mother of two teenagers is still no stranger to the pressures of aging, especially since she believes her body has never been the same after having her two kids, Presley (16) and Kaia (14). 

"Every woman feels pressure to look a certain way, and I think being a model and being in the public eye, in some ways, you're more aware of it, and you're more judged by it. It's intimidating. Even for me, it's like you know I haven't even turned 50 yet, and even writing this book and everything, it feels like, oh my god. It's such a benchmark or whatever ... I've been getting 50 for the last three years, so I'm like geez."

To her fellow women approaching the big 5-0, she offers this as her advice:

"I definitely say stay away from the magnifier mirrors. You know, sometimes you need them to get mascara on, but then you're like, 'Ahh!' Again, I think that when you're happy in your life, and you have balance ... You can't help but notice it, but then just don't be attached to it. Let it go, and focus on the day in front of you. I mean, because what else can you do."

Part of the pressure seems to come from the new generation of social supermodels, like Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss and Kendall Jenner, who have used their social media clout to propel themselves into global fashion superstardom. 

Crawford can't help but express a little envy for the way in which trending hashtags and clever captions have expedited what took her years to build. 

"I'm a little bit jealous that they have social media, because I think that through the use of social media, they are better able to help shape their own image. I think my generation of models, we were perceived the way we were — you know — through our pictures. On social media, you can create or just illuminate your own image, and I think some of the young models are really good at it. I think that more and more social media presence is what will helps you start your own clothing line or campaign or end up on a cover of a magazine."

One thing is for sure. Even with the growing competition, Crawford knows there is only one "Head Mistress." 

"No one is better at Cindy Crawford than Cindy Crawford," she says.