It took a long time for Cindy Crawford to own her recognizable mole that has since become a signature for the supermodel. As an adolescent, she admits she couldn’t stand the sight of it on her face.
“As a kid, I hated having a beauty mark,” the 54-year-old fashion icon told Naomi Campbell during the premiere episode of Campbell’s “No Filter with Naomi” YouTube series. “My sisters called it an ‘ugly mark.'”
“When I went to my first modeling agency, they said I should remove it,” Crawford recalled. “My mother was like, ‘OK, you can do that, but you don’t know what the scar will look like. You know what your beauty mark looks like.'”
Although the seemingly ageless wonder decided against removing her mole, she noted that for years makeup artists tried to hide the mark and said magazines edited it out altogether.
“It’s not flat. You can’t cover up my mole, otherwise, it looks like a gigantic pimple,” Crawford explained, later adding, “I did a British Vogue cover, I think with [photographer] David Bailey. And on the British Vogue cover, they retouched it out. So there is a cover of me out there with no mole, but it is me.”
The mother of two children -- models Kaia Gerber, 18, and Presley Gerber, 20, with husband Randy Gerber -- shot her first American Vogue cover in 1986 and marked the final product as a moment where she believed her mark was no longer a hang-up for publication.
“I didn’t know if they would leave it on or not, and then they did. And I think once it was on the cover of American Vogue then it wasn’t an issue anymore,” Crawford explained. “If it’s good enough for Vogue, it’s fine.”
But Campbell, an actress and supermodel in her own right, told Crawford she often felt envious of Crawford’s distinct feature and even used to give herself one with makeup.
“I always wanted one so much! I used to put black eyeliner [dots] on my face,” she said. “I think it’s a perfection, not an imperfection. It’s all part of making you and your persona. It’s part of your being.”
For Crawford, she explained to Campbell that she hoped others found acceptance of their own unique features through her story and admits that in an unforeseen trial of events, the mark actually helped her more than it didn’t.
“So many women have beauty marks,” she said. “And I think that when they saw me on the cover of Vogue or in a magazine with my beauty mark, it made them feel more comfortable about their own beauty marks. It made them remember me. It became the thing that set me apart, in a weird way.”
“So often the thing that we [believe] sets us apart and maybe we’re insecure about, it becomes the very thing that makes us stand out,” she added. “I think that was a big lesson for me.”