Christie Brinkley & daughters reveal body insecurities after SI Swimsuit cover

Christie Brinkley is one of potentially three cover models for the SI Swimsuit Issue. To that I say – ooh-rah, let’s hear it for us older broads (because Christie and I look so much alike). But Christie is gracing the cover with her two daughters, Alexa Joel and Sailor Cook. I like the concept of a mother posing with her daughters and the shot released is beautiful. But the message the three would like to convey is one of self confidence and body positivity. So remember that as you look at this picture, it’s supposed to make you feel better about yourself. Sailor, Brinkley’s 18 year-old daughter (from her fourth marriage, to Peter Cook), posted the following to Instagram:

I've had issues with my body image since before I can even remember. 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. I've looked in the mirror and been able to LOVE the things about my body that beauty norms deem 'undesirable'. I now have grown to know that my body is worthy of so many great things. 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. I could not be more grateful to the beautiful and strong @mj_day for including me in this years Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 😭😩❤ This is more than a magazine to me and always has been. As a growing young woman SI showed me all bodies are different and all bodies are worthy of celebrating. Thank you thank you @si_swimsuit for celebrating my beautiful mama, my beautiful sister, I, and ALL WOMEN!! How lucky am i?! 😩😍😍 i think I'm dreaming. 😭😩😩 thank you!!!!!!! ❤ (Also, thank you @hayleythorpeholla and @v_beast and everyone at @dogpound for changing my life 😭❤) More to come!!!!!!!!

A photo posted by Sailor Brinkley Cook (@sailorbrinkleycook) on

I want to say, unequivocally, that I support messages of body confidence. And this echoes the same message Sailor gave back in December after the Victoria Secret fashion show, don’t measure yourself by what the media shows you. Of these ‘messages’ Sailor’s was the best framed.

But then we get to Alexa, 31, who also looks amazing. But her post is much harder to reconcile:

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. As a conscious society, it's up to us to flip this negativity on its head. I don't have a completely flat tummy, or cellulite-free thighs… nor am I a model's height or shape. Neither are hundreds of millions of other beautiful women out there. SO WHAT? Does it really matter, in the end? 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. DO YOU! We are all perfect, just as we are. Please know that. Thank you @si_swimsuit for showcasing all heights, shapes, and sizes. For within our distinctions, our quirks, and our self-perceived 'flaws'… therein lies the beauty. {Capture Credit: @si_swimsuit #BehindTheScenes Thank you for the honor of shooting me with my Precious & Golden Sunshines: Mamacita & Sailorina.}

A photo posted by Alexa Ray Joel🌹 (@alexarayjoel) on

How is that not a flat stomach?!? I don’t care if Photoshop was employed, she posted it like this. And it’s hard for me to hear about body empowerment from somebody who (allegedly) reconstructed theirs. I have no problem with plastic surgery but admit that’s where your “confidence” comes from, at least. Her next post was a bit more approachable. She thanked SI for the honor and says it did wonders for her ego. This I am fine with.

Christie rounded out the trio of “yay perfect bodies” cheerleading squad. I do think it’s great that SI has maintained a relationship with her. Jay-sus, she is a beautiful woman:

Yeah, I think they’ll notice you, Christie. You’re the six-foot blonde standing on the water, above your daughters, dead center in the picture – I wouldn’t worry about focus-pulling. I don’t have a problem with what she’s saying and it’s nice she’s trying to say it but I feel like CB did when Christie talked about body image in 2015 – consider the source. I think the reference to the apple crate under the water supposed to be an analogy about public perception vs. reality. Actually, I don’t think that’s what she meant but I like the analogy so I am putting it in there anyway.

Why does it bug me so much that Christie is not only facing away from Alexa and toward Sailor but is holding her hand? I know that’s not Christie’s call but I feel like it’s sending the wrong message considering Sailor is a carbon copy of her.

Photo credit: Twitter, Instagram and WENN Photos

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76 Responses to “Christie Brinkley & daughters reveal body insecurities after SI Swimsuit cover”

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  1. lemonbow says:

    Both girls are stunning in different ways. I have to think that their insecurity came from constantly being compared to their mother. Born to “normal” parents I doubt they would feel nearly that way (though we all have our hang-ups).

    • Tata says:

      If Christie Brinkley or her daughters said they had no insecurities society would destroy them for having an ego.
      Women can’t win.

      Thin line between too thin and fat, too confident and not, too toned and not. It seems to be a feminist issue – that we give girls body insecurities at a young age because fhey know they too will be judged by how they look in their bikini.

      I find sports illustrated is less empowering and more about messing with women’s heads?

      • boredblond says:

        I don’t connect the SI cover to feminism. ..yes, we continue to be judged on impossible standards..gee, I wonder why

  2. QueenB says:

    it makes me feel so bad about my body that i cant walk on water like Christie can… :(

    what silly nonsense to have three conventially attractive thin white women stand in for body image…

    • Tris says:

      I think it is RIDICULOUS to have someone stick thin and “traditionally beautiful” explain how hard it is not to fit in. Puke. Makes us real normal people feel like crap for being more flawed that this complaining person.

      • Crowdhood says:

        But I am sure there are things about you that you struggle with that others (friends, family, lovers) find beautiful. I think that they are just making the point that we all struggle with how we look etc. I know they are stunning and traditionally accepted images of beauty but your comment is part of what drives insecurity in women.

      • perplexed says:

        I tend to believe Alexa might not have fit in simply because her face didn’t turn out exactly like her mother’s. In their world, I could see that being perceived as a short-coming though not in the more normal sane world the rest of us inhabit.

      • my3cents says:

        This. Most women cannot relate to being thin beautiful, blond, rich – and their struggle between a size 4 to 6.
        Also SI does not make me feel empowered.
        Sorry ,no real struggle here. So many empty words.

    • QQ says:

      I wanna buy you a drink QueenB *mwah*

    • Sarah says:

      Christie Brinkley looked like a freak a few years ago after having her eyes done. It was the weirdest look I have ever seen. Really freaky. So yes, she looks good, but she has had help, including, I’m sure, a full facelift.
      Both young women are lovely, and it really gets me angry that thin women go on and on about how fat they are. It’s such a false dichotomy, and then they get accolades for not only being beautiful, but for oh-how-modest they are!!!

  3. Shambles says:

    They’re all ridiculously beautiful, but I still maintain that that photo is weird.

    “Look how sexy I am in my string bikini with my mom!”

    Eh.

    • Alix says:

      The swimsuits in that pic are ghastly.

      • perplexed says:

        Oh good, I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking that. Alexa’s swimsuit struck me as particularly ugly.

        I don’t know if they were pressured by their mother to do this shoot, but I would have said no….just because of the swimsuits.

    • Esmom says:

      The weirdest part of the photo to me is that they have Christie walking on water. Why?

      They are indeed ridiculously beautiful but Christie just strikes me as very exhausting, especially about her appearance. No wonder her daughters had body image issues.

      • Shambles says:

        Yeah… that’s interesting to think about. You’d think Christie would realize that having both her petite daughters publicly detail their body image issues says a lot about her.

      • Tata says:

        Agreed Shambles! It also says a lot about what society teaches women to think about themselves – accept how we are always on display, and our bodies are always up for comment and comparison.

      • NastyWoman says:

        That’s kind of what bugged me as well. That they had to detail these “body image” issues – for what? Why? “Don’t hate me. I know I’m beautiful, but look, I feel ugly inside, just like the rest of you.” Why do we make women feel like they have to pick themselves apart for public consumption?

      • Slowsnow says:

        @Tata Thank you for this comment. I was struggling to find, the other day, the main thing that bothers me about women/men discrepancies and yes, I think you nailed. We’re always on display – just check instagram. It’s both society inflicted and self-inflicted. We’ve interiorised and it makes me so sad.

      • QQ says:

        EXACTLY Shambles!! to me if nothing else about this spread/interviews/these particular ladies make sense what you just typed DID is Glaringly obvious where their hang ups come from I guess

      • Sarah says:

        I agree. And I’d much prefer they talk about how being smart means they don’t have to depend on their looks.
        Ha. Never happen with Brinkley the Vain.

    • susiecue says:

      It’s an awkward, awkward photo.

  4. My cold, cold heart isn’t buying it. I think dismay over body image is the celebrity relatability tactic du jour. they tout it after disappearing for six weeks for procedures and treatments and the reemerge to talk about how they’ve grown to embrace themselves. Oh, and how smart their water is :/

    • trollontheloose says:

      see the kardashinanigans ..same tape: i feel so confident now, nobody should shame anyone “but not after having butt injections, breast lifts, Michelined Lipped, fat trimmed from the waist” and pretend the corset did it..

    • my3cents says:

      I’m feed up with this trend. Thin beautiful girls talking about body image while in a tiny bikini. This is just a bandwagon they are jumping on for good PR.

  5. Lily Randall says:

    That thigh gives photoshop a bad name . SI hire some decent people.

    • Adele Dazeem says:

      Do you mean on Christie where she’s got almost a weird tan line at her upper thigh/where her torso and thigh meet? You guys with the eye for photoshop fail impress me!

      • hunter says:

        No I think she is referring to Alexa’s inner thigh, the lower one on her solo image.

      • Lou2413 says:

        SomethIng about Sailor’s butt is off if you zoom in and look closely. Could be another Photoshop fail or failing eyesight on my part.

  6. Cannibell says:

    I imagined that picture with me in a bathing suit on an apple crate surrounded by my grown, bikini-clad daughters, the four of us waxing poetic about beauty standards. It would be hi-larious!

  7. Slowsnow says:

    Like Jesus Christie Brinkley washes people’s feet (stay in the water until the dirt has come off, girls) and walks on water.

  8. LT says:

    I want to like this, but I just can’t. Considering that Alexa had a suicide attempt a few years ago, this feels like it’s sending the absolutely wrong message about how important it is to look good in order to feel good. Christie looks fantastic and I love that SI is including an older woman, but the including the daughters works better in theory than reality.

    • Neelyo says:

      Yeah i thought about the suicide attempt first thing plus she’s always had issues with her looks so this just doesn’t feel right.

  9. Giulia says:

    Alexa is just stunning.

  10. adastraperaspera says:

    I wish women would stop working with SI at all. I think this 2013 excerpt from “Pacific Standard” is the most appropriate response to the Brinkley cover:

    “For their research, published in the “International Review for the Sociology of Sport,” Weber and Carini looked at 716 SI covers from January 2000 through June 2011. They excluded the annual swimsuit issue, “as its focus is not on sports performance per se.” While they found considerable variation from year to year, the total added up to a paltry 35 covers, or 4.9 percent of the total. A grand total of 11 featured women of color. The imbalance looms even larger as you dig further into the numbers. “Of the 35 covers including a female, only 18 (or 2.5 percent of all covers) featured a female as the primary or sole image,” they write. “Three covers included females, but only as insets (small boxed image), or as part of a collage background of both male and female athletes.”

    https://psmag.com/swimsuit-issue-aside-sports-illustrated-cover-is-a-female-free-zone-ace069995b43#.rd1e00eey

  11. Lenn says:

    I’m so confused about that family-picture! How is Christie standing so high, right behind her daughters??? weird.

    • GingerCrunch says:

      And she might’ve put a hand on Alexa’s shoulder. Or something?

      • Tris says:

        But if she put both arms down her boobs would flop. Better to disregard “ugly” (read: brunette) daughter than risk being less than a 10. Ridiculous.

      • Liz says:

        That doesn’t bother me as much – Alexa is 31 years old and hasn’t lived with her mother in a very long time. Sailor is still a teenager. My mom was far more physically affectionate with my younger siblings. I was an adult and on my own when she was still ruffling their hair at the breakfast table and laundering their underwear. I’m the one who looks like Mom, my youngest sister looks like our Dad’s mother (aka Mom’s Mother-in-law) and she was still more affectionate towards her. I look at it as Mom trying to hold onto their babies a little bit longer.

      • Amanduh says:

        Boom, Tris!!!
        Very astute, love it.

      • WTW says:

        @Tris, I think Alexa is the most stunning of all of them, but I get what you’re saying.

    • trollontheloose says:

      she is standing on a box if that’s your question.

  12. Mar says:

    Alexa has come a long way. She’s really beautiful but she has had a lot of surgery so it’s a bit disturbing for a young woman that has undergone so much alterations to be preaching about liking the way that you look.

  13. perplexed says:

    “How is that not a flat stomach?!? I don’t care if Photoshop was employed, she posted it like this..”

    She probably grew up around her mom’s Hollywood friends. I suspect she’s comparing herself to them. In her mind and in the world she grew up in, maybe that kind of stomach isn’t flat enough. Maybe she feels a truly flat stomach is the one with lines across them the way Cameron Diaz or Alison Williams has. I’m just saying she probably doesn’t hang around normal people who look good compared to other normal people — she’s most likely hanging around people who devote themselves to their bodies 24/7..

    She admits she doesn’t have a model’s height or shape, so despite the fact that she had plastic surgery, I don’t think it’s really contrary to have her preach body confidence. You can probably still feel insecure even if after you’ve reconstructed your body (or face or whatever else.). I suppose people assume that plastic surgery is automatically supposed to make you feel confident, but maybe it doesn’t — you’re still the same person inside with the same insecurities and you still probably have to work to like yourself (if it’s something that doesn’t come natural to you. I think she has a unique face, but being related to Christie Brinkley could have messed with her mind).

    • MissMarierose says:

      I think it might just be the camera angle in that shot. Her belly looks rounder in the shot where she’s lying on her side. Still tiny, but softer. In any event, her perception of herself is a good example of the way the media’s unrealistic expectations of women’s bodies harms us all.

  14. Fluff says:

    Ugh, so much nepotism. Disgusting.

    The daughters are pretty but generic – they look like half the girls you see at the mall.

    • TwistBarbie says:

      I don’t know, I think Sailor has a unusual look. She looks like a fictitious Eastern European student here on a sports scholarship…let’s say swimming, that I secretly lust after. I like her strong features.

  15. Pumpkin Pie says:

    That’s such a terrible picture.

    Body insecurities? Those start at home. Body securities start at home as well.

  16. QQ says:

    My eyes Arent’t built for this level of eyerolls you guys what if I develop an actual medical issue or f*ck my neck up??

  17. Jag says:

    First, I love Sailor’s take on things! I wanted to bash her because she’s beyond gorgeous, so how could she not love what she looks like? But then I remembered that she’s human, so she could’ve been affected by her mother’s industry and cosmetic enhancements, too.

    Second, Alexa smoothed the heck out of her first picture. Why talk about supposed flaws if you’re not going to show them? I don’t like her very much.

    Third, I had wondered about Christie holding hands with one daughter and not the other. Her arm is awkwardly held above her head because of it. It seemed to me that Alexa wanted to show her independence, but if the photographer made the call, then yes, it does seem that SI wanted to show that Alexa isn’t quite exactly the same because her hand isn’t being held.

    I do think that Christie is gorgeous. I always wanted to look like her back in the day. Now, I just hope that I can age incredibly well like she has – enhancements included. lol

  18. Bridget says:

    Christie Brinkley doesn’t strike me as someone who would be easy to grow up with, in regards to appearance and body image. It’s clear that she still places a high premium on keeping her looks up, and I find myself wondering if the way her girls pick themselves apart is a direct result of Christie’s attitudes.

  19. Say What says:

    Except for a few narcissistic personalities, many women have grown up hating their bodies or a body part at one time or another. It use to be a passing phase ,now it’s an obsession isn’t it? With social media leading the way with what is beauty, body shaming women who do not meet the standards. Television make over shows that make us take a second and third look at ourselves. Ads that run in magazines and on our social media accounts for plastic surgery and makeup. It also gives men a distorted view of women on what is beauty. We are constantly being bombarded, but hopefully we can grow up and out of it.

  20. hogtowngooner says:

    I appreciate the message of body acceptance and positivity and I know even those who look “perfect” have their hangups, but does anyone else feel like it rings a bit hollow when three skinny white women go on about how hard it was for them too? It’s a case of the right message, wrong messengers.

  21. HK9 says:

    Maybe it’s just my cynical self but there’s something a little ‘mommy dearest’ about this whole thing….

  22. TyrantDestroyed says:

    That weird pic belongs to “awkward family photos”, that’s all I’ve got.

  23. april says:

    Christie is holding Sailor’s hand to maintain balance. Otherwise she’d fall off the box because she has her other arm in the air. It’s a great photo but when they start talking about their problems with their body images, it’s very annoying when they look they way they do.

  24. Anilehcim says:

    I have a theory about Christie that she isn’t the perky sweet person that she comes off as in the media. I also think that her appearance and the emphasis that is constantly placed on it by both her and others around her is the reason she has two daughters who’ve struggled majorly with their self esteem. I mean, even the posturing of this picture…. her daughters are at her side and below her while she’s hamming it up and obviously the focal point. They’ve played second fiddle to her their whole lives. I’m sure it’s hard to grow up with Christie Brinkley as your mother. Alexa seems to have had a much harder go of it than her half-sister has.

    I’m really lucky for the relationship I have with my mother. Two of my closest friends have very tumultuous relationships with their mothers as their moms were the kind of women who don’t want to grow up, want to be the “cool mom” and dress and act young to an embarrassing degree, and actually compete with their daughters. I don’t know what that’s like first-hand, but I’ve seen my friends go through it and I know how much they struggled with it. I always feel like I get vibes like this from Christie’s relationship with her two daughters… especially Alexa. There is obviously an enormous emphasis placed on looking young and staying youthful and attractive, and I think it has very obviously had a terrible impact on these two young women.

    • perplexed says:

      Alexa inherited her dad’s musical talent. So I’m kind of surprised that doesn’t boost her confidence a bit. If you asked me to choose between being musically gifted and pretty enough, or, er, just model-pretty like Christie Brinkley, I’d choose the former. I tend to think the world appreciates more someone who can play the piano, and as an addition looks pretty enough even if they’re not Cindy Crawford, than someone who can only pose on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

      Also, back in the 80s I’m sure Brinkley’s look was the height of everything. But nowadays I actually think Alexa’s look could be more favoured to some degree. In today’s multicultural world, Brinkley’s face seems kind of bland (I’m not disputing the fact she has a great body though). Of course, in my mind, no one is as bland as Cheryl Tiegs. Yowza, bland city (though that was probably the go-to look in the 70s, I guess).

  25. CityGirl says:

    I’m too Trumped out to read all preceding comments, so hopefully I am not repeating what someone else has already offered, but while I think this is a very striking photo, I think it would have been a better photo to have her holding the hands of both daughters and make it look like an “all grown up family photo” instead of turned away from Alexa and holding the hand of the daughter most resembling herself (as Hecate notes) thereby implying favored status (as CityGirl thinks).
    Just sayin….

  26. weegiewarrior says:

    I dont know why in th 21st century there is still a SI swimsuit edition? Im in my 50′s and thought that by now women wouldnt still be doing th “dolly bird” thing.

  27. Snowpea says:

    I find this thing to be bizarre in the extreme! Why in gods name is CB standing on a box in the first place? It would have been much cuter if she had her arms around her girls in a beautiful all encompassing expression of love.

    I also find all this talk of how accepting SI is of older ladies and bodies of every size to be disingenuous at best and gagworthy at worst. CB is hardly your average 60 year old with all its accompanying jowl sagging and the beginning of the older woman’s journey. My mum was a red hot spunk in her younger years but now at 65 she is definitely starting to show her age and she is pretty ok with that.

    CB on the other hand looks utterly, exhaustingly obsessed with staying ‘hot’ and not letting go of her youthful splendour. She looks like she’d choose particular light to stand in in order to maximise her hotness or muscling people out of the way in order to be the centre of attention. Imagine having a narcissist like that for a mum?

    CB is certainly in very good shape for 60 year old but Im quite frankly exhausted just looking at her. I wonder if she chills out in the comfort of her own home if she’s always ‘on’?

    • perplexed says:

      I don’t find Brinkley’s insistence on looking “hot” that strange, in the sense that she makes a boatload of money from trying to be so. If she wasn’t making money from looking good, I wonder if the motivation would be as strong. I just can’t tell if she has any wisdom. If she doesn’t have any wisdom, I would find that sad.

      • Snowpea says:

        I mean that this at-all-costs approach to being hot as a 60 year old with no nod whatsoever to acquired wisdom along the way.

        Helen Mirren is hot as an older lady but she’s also wry, dry, intelligent, political and very very talented.

        Brinkley seems as matured as a 14 year old girl…

    • Naddie says:

      I imagined being her daughter for one second, but my brain stopped. I guess I’d avoid being seen with her at all costs, for so many different reasons, lol.

  28. Mia LeTendre says:

    Three skinny, traditionally beautiful, healthy, rich white ladies showing us how confident they are in their bodies. HOW BRAVE.

  29. s says:

    Messed up