Model born Cynthia Ann Crawford on February 20, 1966 was one of four children born to John and Jennifer Crawford in DeKalb, Illinois. Her brother, Jeffrey, died because of leukemia soon after Christmas when she was ten. Her parents then divorced when she’s sixteen. She graduated first in her class from high school and went on to study chemical engineering at Northwestern University. She reportedly quit a $4 an hour job shucking corn and left college in order to take a chance on a part time modeling job in Chicago. Her risk paid off, she became one of the first major “supermodels” and has appeared on over 400 magazines covers.
She found fame through her physical appearance; the brown haired, brown eyed first distinguished herself through her intellectual attributes. Her academic career proved short-lived when, during her freshman year, she left college to pursue a modeling career. Her entrance into the tough, competitive world of high fashion was eased by her winning the “Look of the Year” contest held by the Elite Modeling Agency in 1982.
The widespread appeal of Cindy Crawford lay in looks that appealed to both men and women. Her superb body, with its classic 34B-24-35 measurements, attracted men, while her all-American looks and trademark facial mole stopped her short of seeming an unattainable ideal of perfect beauty, and thus she was not threatening to women. Furthermore, her athletic physique was in distinct contrast to many of the war-like models, such as Kate Moss, who were prevalent during 1990’s.
The first job that she had was a spokesperson for Pepsi. She chose not to restrict her career to modeling and became the host of “House of Style” on MTV. She has produced her own workout videos “Cindy Crawford/ Shape Your Body” and “The Next Challenge”. Not only these, she also wrote and publish a book “Cindy Crawford’s Basic Face.”
Beginning in the 1980’s, Cindy Crawford was America’s most celebrated fashion model and one of the famous in the world, embodying the rise of the “super model” as a late-twentieth- century cultural phenomenon. Although there had been star models in previous decades, they did not sustain prolonged mainstream recognition like Twiggy in the 1960’s, Lauren Hutton and Cheryl Tiegs in the 1970’s. Cindy Crawford and her contemporaries- Kate Moss and Noemi Campbell among them no longer merely posed as nameless faces on magazine covers, calendars, and fashion runways but rather became celebrities whose fame rivaled that of movie stars and rock musicians. Cindy Crawford stood at the forefront of this insurgence.
Meanwhile, her already high profile increased with her brief 1991 marriage to actor Richard Gere. The couple was hounded by rumors of homosexuality, fuelled after Cindy Crawford appeared on a controversial Vanity Fair cover with the openly lesbian singer K.D. Lang. In 1998, Crawford wed an entrepreneur and nightclub impresario Rande Gerber. They have two children- Presley and Kaia.
After the arrival of Cindy, it was not uncommon to see models promoting a vast of array of products beyond fashion and cosmetics. She herself signed a multi-million dollar deal to promote Pepsi, as well as her more conventional role with Revlon. Her status was so high that ABC invited her to host a special teen sex issues with the provocative title of “Sex With Cindy Crawford”. The opening of the Fashion Café theme restaurant in the mid- 1990’s marked the height of the super model sensation sparked by Crawford. The café’s association and other high profile models revealed the extent to which the “super model” had become a major figure in American culture. By the end of the 20th century, she was still the best known of these celebrities due to the combination of her wholesomely erotic image and her professional diversification through the many available media outlets.
Crawford donates both her time and energy to breast and ovarian cancer research and the Leukemia Society of American in memory of her brother. Half of the money from her calendar sales goes to organizations for leukemia research.