Christie Brinkley, daughters appear in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue
Updated February 7, 2017 12:52 PM
By Frank Lovece Special to Newsday
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Christie Brinkley, 63, with daughters Alexa Ray Joel,
Christie Brinkley, 63, with daughters Alexa Ray Joel, 31, left, and Sailor Brinkley Cook, 18, in a photo from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017 issue. Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit / Emmanuelle Hauguel
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Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook talk body image worries
Photos posted on Instagram show daughters with their mom, now 63
Sag Harbor supermodel Christie Brinkley says posing with her daughters for the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue harkens back to her own fledgling days as a model.
“This is a real full-circle moment for me,” Brinkley, 63, says in a promotional video on the Sports Illustrated website shot during the photo session at a tropical seaside. “And I can get very emotional about this,” she added with a laugh. “I really can.”
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Choking back tears, she mused, “How many years ago I was that insecure girl and hoping that I would be good enough for the magazine. So to see my daughters now having the same thoughts that I had and to be able to see them actually be there on the job, [is] like, definitely a big moment.”
Brinkley and her daughters — singer Alexa Ray Joel, 31, with her second husband, music legend Billy Joel, and Sailor Brinkley Cook, 18, with her fourth husband, architect Peter Cook — posed together and separately in bikinis and posted images on Instagram, where the two young women spoke of, among other things, body insecurity.
“I’ve had issues with my body image since before I can even remember,” wrote Brinkley Cook, an IMG model and a student at Parsons School of Design. “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. 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.”
Though Joel wrote, “I don’t have a completely flat tummy, or cellulite-free thighs,” neither imperfection was visible in the photos by Emmanuelle Hauguel. Regardless, the singer urged, “Let’s STOP degrading and START celebrating ourselves and others, from both the inside AND out. There’s far too much degradation, competition, insecurity, and unhealthy standards associated with women and their bodies -- particularly on social-media. … All that matters is how YOU feel about yourself. Set your own standards of beauty; both internally and externally. All of those unrealistic-looking, photoshopped images are nothing more than white noise, playing off of your own insecurities in order to make a buck. Don’t let them affect you.”
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Brinkley — who first landed the cover of the swimsuit issue in 1979, then again on the covers for 1980 and ’81 — said her daughters’ encouragement motivated her to return to posing in a bikini.
Christie Brinkley returns to SI Swimsuit ... and this time she's bringing her daughters!
Mon Feb 6, 2017 @ 9:45 PM
And in yet another first for the brand, Christie is joined by daughters Sailor Brinkley Cook (age 18) and Alexa Ray Joel (31). The SI Swimsuit icon revealed that the whole shoot was a dream come true for her.
Shop Alexa's Sky FRANCCA bikini top, available on amazon.com, $197"This is a real full circle moment for me," Christie said through tears on set. "I can get very emotional about this. How many years ago, I was that insecure girl hoping that I would be good enough for the magazine. So to see my daughters now having the same thoughts I had, and to be able to see them actually be there on the job, was definitely a big moment.
"I couldn't even believe my ears when I got the call that MJ wanted to shoot my daughters and me. I was thrilled."
Shop Alexa's bikini, Zimmermann swimwear, available on shopbop.comAlexa Ray, Christie's daughter with world-renowned singer Billy Joel, went on to explain that her experience on set was a learning curve as she begins her career in modeling.
"It was definitely entertaining — a little bit of a reality TV moment," she said. "We all have our own style. And Sailor is kind of the young new little, perfect little, sporty little model. My mom is almost, I tease her, that she's ADD in terms of how much energy she has. She literally can't stop moving. And I'm still new at this and I was just trying to maintain my focus."
The photos speak for themselves — sisters who despite being polar opposites are "obsessed with each other" and elated to be in a publication that shaped their lives from an early age.
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For more on Christie's boundary-breaking photo shoot with her daughters be sure to pick up the new issue of PEOPLE on newsstands everywhere Friday.
BONUS: See some of Christie's most memorable moments from SI Swimsuit!
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