Earlier this year, a photo emerged of Cindy Crawford that allegedly showed the supermodel unretouched.
The 49-year-old stayed quiet about the image, simply posting her own shot on Instagram of herself looking flawless in a bikini. But she has now spoken out about the image, saying it left her feeling "conflicted".
"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 – and even if it were real, I wouldn't have wanted it out there," she told Elle Canada.
"I felt really manipulated and conflicted, so I kept my mouth shut."
Despite her feelings about the photo, she explained that she understood the positive reaction that it received from some women: "Sometimes, the images that women see in magazines make them feel inferior – even though the intention is never to make anyone feel less. So somehow seeing a picture of me was like seeing a chink in the armour."
She adds: "I felt blindsided. I was very conflicted, to be honest. The story had run a year and a half before, and the picture of me in that outfit was from the bust up. 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. We think we look worse than we do. So I assumed I fell into that category, even though that picture didn't reflect what I saw when I looked in the mirror – even in the worst dressing-room lighting."
Cindy went on to describe the incident as 'social bullying' and revealed her children's reactions to the situation.
"I'm a big girl and I can handle it, but I used it as a teaching lesson for my own daughter because my kids were like 'Mom, you don't look like that!' They wanted me to go down to the beach in a swimsuit so the paparazzi would take a photo of me, but that would be playing into it," she said.
"How do I rise above the situation? What do I do? Go on Good Morning America and pull up my shirt and say ‘I don't look like that'? That didn't seem like the right response."