Christie Brinkley knows best.
The beloved supermodel, 68, recently sat down with Long Island Woman magazine where she opened up about how she views the modeling industry now that she’s in her late 60s and why the memorable 2017 Sports Illustrated cover with her two daughters was a “cathartic” experience.
When reflecting on her famous cover with daughters Alexa Ray Joel, 37, and Sailor Brinkley Cook, 25, (who were 31 and 18 at the time, respectively), the timeless beauty said the opportunity “came about suddenly” and admitted she questioned whether or not it was a smart choice.
“I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to do it," she said of the shoot, which was shot at her family home in Turks and Caicos. "But I did really want my girls to have that experience, so we said okay.”
Brinkley also has a son Jack, 27, whom she shares with her ex-husband, architect Peter Halsey Cook, who is also Sailor's father. The model shares Alexa with her other famous ex-husband, musician Billy Joel.
Still, despite their experience of being in the limelight, Brinkley says the trio was still faced some body insecurities.
“The second you start thinking about being in Sports Illustrated you start thinking about, ‘Oh, do we stack up?’” she explained. “Everybody gets a little insecure. It was kind of interesting for everybody to be together there and sort of address their insecurities and get it out there.”
She continued: "My girls have both had different fears having grown up in front of the scrutiny of the press, so I think it was fraught with a little bit of anxiety. But it was cathartic, I think. Everybody enjoyed the moment and having that experience together."
On her approach to life, Brinkley shared: "I’ve always been of the school of, 'You’ve just got to be grateful for whatever you’ve got. You’ve got two arms, two legs, two eyes.' It’s silly to stress about anything else. Be grateful. So what if it’s five pounds up, it’s you and it’s all good.'"
That attitude has helped her combat negative thoughts with the healthier ones, especially when it comes to the topic of aging.
"I think it’s really important not to focus on the numbers," she said of getting older. "I think it’s really great if you can forget how old you are and keep just charging ahead, doing the stuff you love doing. I know people that are focused on the numbers and what that represents. I think it’s really important to just be more aware of how you feel."
The supermodel also touched on how she thinks the modeling industry has evolved over the decades, praising its push toward inclusivity.
"The most beautiful thing about this beauty industry is that its arms are wide open trying to make sure that they embrace and celebrate every size, shape, age, race," she said, "and that they see themselves and find themselves on the pages and feel good about themselves.”
Brinkley calls it "a great movement,” adding: “I would still like to see more women my age in magazines, because women say to me on my Instagram account all the time, 'I'm so happy when I see your full outfit. Because sometimes I don’t know what’s okay to wear.’ And I try and give people the message that, if you feel good in it, then it’s okay.”
At the time the Sports Illustrated cover was published in 2017, Sailor had opened up about the experience and how it challenged her ongoing body issues.
“I’ve had issues with my body image since before I can even remember," she captioned a photo from the shoot with her mom and sister. "I grew up not loving how I looked and felt held back because of it. I don’t know why I always felt that way, sure I had baby fat and definitely went through a plethora of awkward phases, but I had a family that loved me i had friends who made me laugh etc. But for some reason I still looked in the mirror and always somehow found something to pick on."
She continued: "I went from being 'too fat' to 'too thin' to 'too muscular' and I never felt satisfied. My body and I have been through it all. But recently I have been liberated. I am healthy, I treat myself well, and for that I’m happy. I’ve looked in the mirror and been able to LOVE the things about my body that beauty norms deem ‘undesirable.'"
Sailor shared she now knows that her body is "worthy of so many great things," saying, "I don’t need to be a size 0 to believe in myself. My body carries me each and every day, it loves the people I love, it holds what makes me healthy and strong, it bends it shakes it runs and it CHANGES. That is okay and that is beautiful."
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