Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cindy Crawford: Patron Saint of One-Hit Wonders

Cindy Crawford. She was the most famous and most omnipresent model for a period of time stretching from the late 80s through the mid-90s. She was all over posters, calendars, commercials, TV shows, and runways. I myself had three swimsuit posters of her in my college dorm room, including this one of the yellow one-piece, which I may still have, rolled up in a closet somewhere. Every straight guy on the planet made a habit of drinking in her swimsuit-clad body.

With that kind of presence, it’s pretty amazing that she never appeared in Sports Illustrated. The swimsuit issue was standing tall in the Age of the Supermodel, and Cindy was the most sought-after swimsuit body of the era. Seems like it would have been a match made in—

Wait, what? She was in the swimsuit issue?Yup, 1988. The issue featured only this one photo of her. A couple weeks later, SI published an indignant letter from Robert T. Peck of Oshkosh, Wisconsin demanding more, and he was rewarded with this:So by March 14, 1988, she was already famous enough to be in demand. Why were her pics so scarce, and why did she vanish from the pages so suddenly? Was there a feud between magazine and model? Did Cindy’s career skyrocket so decisively that she felt more SI appearances would be slumming it? I have no idea.

But Cindy Crawford is proof that having only one solitary appearance in the swimsuit issue doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve failed as a sex symbol. So I hereby declare her Patron Saint of One-Hit Wonders.Coco Mitchell (1986), Jenny Brunt (1994), Kylie Bax (2000), Ariel Meredith (2009) and others: look to her for guidance and inspiration.

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