Crawford recently bared it all for renowned photographer Russell James’s new book, Angels, and praised the photographer for the opportunity to pose naked, especially given her age.
“Part of the reason I wanted to do it was that I thought, ‘At what age is being naked not beautiful anymore? Is there a sell-by date on us?’ she toldPorterEdit. “I don’t look the same as I did at 20, 30 or even 40. If we take care of ourselves, why not?”
There are differences in what she feels comfortable with showing, but stresses the importance of feeling good in your skin. “Am I frolicking on the beach in a string bikini? No. But there is a place where I want to feel beautiful naked, in my private life, with my husband [Rande Gerber].”
“[Russell] was tapping into that real place – not high heels, not a lot of makeup, not coy, just a real woman who doesn’t have clothes on.”
In fact, looking back at her Playboy spreads from 1988 and 1998, she questioned why she didn’t model naked more often. “I look back at some of my old Playboy pictures and I think, ‘Why wasn’t I walking around naked all the time?’” she told the magazine. “I’m not getting younger. So I want to celebrate who I am today.”
While she didn’t show quite as much skin, she recently posed for the new issue of PorterEdit on a horse ranch in California modeling green parkas and sandy-colored separates throughout the outdoorsy shoot, where she reflected on the longevity of her modeling career.
“I remember thinking at 20 that I’d model for five years, then go back to school and get a real job,” she said. “Then at 25 I thought it could last five more years. Then at 30, it was the same thing.”
While she has expanded her brand to include a home decor line and a skincare company, Meaningful Beauty, she also helped create the new crop of in-demand models, her kids Presely, 19, and Kaia Gerber, 17, the latter of which has been seen on every big-name runway throughout Fashion Month.
But Crawford insists that while Kaia may have had help getting in the door, she’s made her own name for herself in her career.
“Kaia had some advantages,” Crawford said. “She is my daughter and people know that. But when people say that I bought her a cover of a magazine, I think, if I was going to buy a cover for someone, it would be me! If I could get someone into a fashion show, I would be getting it for myself.”
While Kaia works with some of the same faces Crawford did back at the start of her career, Crawford says social media plays a huge difference in model’s lives today.
“The thing that’s different is that social media is part of the job,” she said. “We weren’t constantly being photographed in what we were wearing to the show. There is more pressure to produce content every day. It’s like a hungry little beast, an animal that wants more and more. It’s never like, ‘OK, you’re good.'”
Right now, she’s happy with her modeling career and how she’s continually evolved herself and her brand.
“ou would hope that some of your body of work over 30 years has some kind of staying power. But I keep wanting to do new stuff just to keep myself interested. It’s less inspiring when you’re trying to re-do old pictures of yourself. I just want to be around interesting people. That’s worth it for me.”
You can find Crawford’s full PorterEdit interview online or download the Net-A-Porter app for iPhone, iPad and Android.
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com