Cindy Crawford Refuses to Hide Being 43

Cindy Crawford Refuses to Hide Being 43
Cindy Crawford

08/24/2009 AT 02:20 PM EDT

It's hard to age gracefully as a supermodel. But at 43, Cindy Crawford has her coping strategies firmly in place – a mixture of acceptance and defiance.

"I have cellulite. I admit it," the legendary cover model says with a laugh in the September issue of Redbook, on sale Tuesday.

But if you think she's going to hide herself away as a result, forget it. "Sometimes I just say, 'Screw it, I am going to wear a bikini,' " she says.

Still, the pressures of aging are real – and compounded for those known primarily for their physical beauty. The key to dealing with it, says Crawford, is not to build up too many defenses.

"I think I look good for my age," she says. "I am not 25; I am 43. That feels like a big pressure, especially when the National Enquirer is dying to get a picture."

"I am so aware that I don't want to change the way I live because of that kind of attention ... You just brace yourself for a bad picture."

Kids and Career

Not that Crawford doesn't have other things to focus on. She juggles family life with husband Rande Gerber and children Presley, 10, and Kaia, 7, with an entrepreneurial streak – she's preparing to roll out her new Cindy Crawford Style home collection at JCPenney next month.

Almost 25 years into her career, she still stands out in a crowd, though of course that brings its own stresses.

"People get excited that they're meeting the Cindy Crawford from the Playboy spread 13 years ago, and I am a mother of two now," she says. "I have to check in with myself. It's good to have an awareness of the outside pressure; I can't let it get to my core. I love my life."

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