Christie Brinkley Says She Was Successful Because She Wasn’t Skinny

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Supermodel Christie Brinkley may not be seen in her swimsuit in the cover of magazines anymore, but she sure does still spend her days being super!

The 60 year old mom of 3 has never looked better, and her career is still going strong. These days she can also be seen guiding the modeling career of her youngest daughter Sailor Cook, 15 and showing her love of fashion and beauty in different ways to what we were used to seeing in the 80s and 90s.

Both mom and daughter were interviewed by Into The Gloss and aside from talking about their fave beauty products and love of organic things, they talked a bit about body image. It was interesting to see that although they are from completely different generations, the same healthy body image ideals have been passed down from mother to daughter, which is so important.

Sailor talks about not wanting to be a model initially because she thought it meant she had to lose weight to get work.

“I had low self-confidence when I was younger—modeling was never in the cards for me. And I didn’t really want to, either, because I thought as soon as you were a model you had to be stick skinny,” she says.

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But thanks to women in the media who are busting open the dam wall and showing what beauty looks like in a range of sizes, this has had an impact on young women like Sailor.

“Just recently, the door sort of opened up for more healthy models, ones who are like Jennifer Lawrence—she got huge because she was pro-health. It was then I started thinking, ‘Hey I can do this. I don’t care if I’m not a size zero, I can do this.’ ”

Christie talks about her illustrious career where she was featured in fashion tomes such as Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition. The secret to her success? Embracing her own body type!

“When I became a model, the reason I was successful was because I was not skinny like the other girls, either. I could barely fit into the sample clothes because I was what they called back then ‘athletic.’ This was about 43 years ago—in the late ‘70s. That’s when everybody was starting to do the exercise thing. Jane Fonda was coming out with the workout tapes and Olivia Newton-John was singing, ‘Let’s get physical!’ ” she says.

“I had that newer look—I was getting booked for things because you couldn’t see my bones through my skin. I was healthy, I was a surfer girl from Malibu. I went skiing and I liked being active and doing things.”

Christie’s other daughter is Alexa Ray, who she had from her marriage with singer Billy Joel. She also has a son named Jack.

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The thing that has stood out the most about Christie is her message of not conforming and being yourself. While they seem like easy words to live by for someone who is gorgeous and has made a successful career out of her looks, we all know it is not easy for women in the fashion industry either. They are still held to the same rigorous standards and sometimes unrealistic ideals that the rest of us sometimes feel the pressure of, second hand.

But seeing the type of wisdom and maturity she has passed on to her teenage daughter who is now having to navigate the fashion industry is reassuring. It says everything about what she believes in when it comes to body image.

“It’s funny because it’s the things you sometimes think of as your flaws that actually make you who you are. Like, if I had been successful with the crazy diets that I tried in the very beginning, I probably would have dieted myself out of a career. So it’s funny that Sailor and I started following the same trajectory of finding a niche and being a more athletic type,” she says.

We love women who walk the talk and promote healthy body image. This is the true definition of a supermodel. Not just someone who is uber successful, but someone who can go through any stage of their life being confident, healthy and embrace who they are, not just in their 20s or 30s.

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