Cindy Crawford is just like you and me. Honest. At this moment, for example, she is standing in the laundry room of her spacious L.A. home fighting with her husband about access to the telephone. She is using it. He wants to send a fax.
These are things that you and I have done. We have stood in laundry rooms. We have argued with a mate over the use of a phone. And as Cindy has also just done—distractedly—we too have clumsily bumped our head against a shelf and yelped in pain.
Now here are some ways that Cindy, 27, is unlike us. The husband who wants the phone is Richard Gere. She has appeared on the cover of nearly every fashion magazine in the world. She has revealed the magic of moles and shown that there is a healthy and sexy alternative to anorectic chic. She has a multimillion-dollar contract with Revlon, hosts her own fashion show (MTV’s House of Style) and starred in and coproduced a fitness video—Shape Your Body Workout—that has sold some 2 million copies. Cindy makes people forget that Sharon Stone is in the room. During the Clinton-Yeltsin summit in Vancouver in early April, the President invited actors shooting movies locally—including Stone with fiancé producer Bill MacDonald as well as Gere, accompanied by Crawford—to his hotel suite for coffee and dessert. When Clinton spokesman George Stephanopoulos was later asked by a reporter what the Basic Instinct icon was wearing, he responded, “A blouse and slacks or something. I’m not sure. I was too busy watching Cindy.
Cindy-watching has been a favorite spectator sport since 1984, when Crawford, then a 5’9″ fledgling model, attended the senior prom in her hometown of De Kalb, Ill. “Everyone wore white fluffy dresses,” she recalls. “I wore a black Calvin Klein sheath dress that was backless, and it scandalized my boyfriend’s mother.” Actually, she adds, “the men teachers kind of liked it.” While Crawford claims “most of the time I don’t want to be the girl in the room that everyone’s looking at,” all eyes were on her at the Oscars this year. Hermetically sealed in a gauze-white Hervé Leger, she drew more gasps than anyone, save for her husband; a practicing Buddhist and follower of the Dalai Lama, he suggested that if the billion TV viewers tuned in sent “love and truth” to Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader might be moved to take his troops out of Tibet. What many saw as Gere’s gaffe, Crawford perceived with wifely pride. “Give Richard a microphone and he’s not going to waste it,” she says. “I admire him for that.”
Still, the Oscars reminded Cindy of the pressures of being Cindy. “I was aware that I couldn’t show up at the Academy Awards not glam,” she says. “But I got depressed afterward thinking, I don’t want to be doing this for the next 20 years.’ ” What, then, does Cindy want? “I don’t want to have to be beautiful all the time,” she has said. “I want to be able to look cruddy in my weekend sweats, with a pimple on my face and pimple cream on top of the pimple.” In other words, Cindy Crawford wants to be just like you and me.