If there’s one trend that we’ve noticed about 2017 so far it’s that there’s a lot being done to shatter outdated standards of beauty. From accepting imperfections to calling out fat shamers, in 2017 beauty comes in every shape. And now, thanks to Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue’s, every age too.
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The famed swimsuit issue took the opportunity to make a bold statement about beauty and age, tapping the ever-gorgeous, 63-year-old Christie Brinkley to shine in their glossy pages for the latest issue. The model, who has graced the cover of more than 500 magazines during her career, posed in matching swimsuits alongside daughters Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook on the beaches of Turks and Caicos.
While this is a major win for the more mature ladies everywhere, Brinkley admits she was caught off guard when she was asked to pose for the issue. “My first thought was, ‘At my age? No way!’” Brinkley told People. “When I turned 30, I was like, ‘This is the last time I’m posing in a bathing suit!’ When this issue comes out, I’ll be 63. I thought, ‘Those days are over.’ But to get to do it with my girls, I thought, ‘One last go!’”
The mother of three hung retired her bikini in 2004, but she admits she could not pass on the opportunity to show the world that beauty has no limitations based on age or size.
“In a country that’s very ageist, people love to put you in little boxes,” she says. “Women feel very limited by their numbers. On a personal level, I thought, ‘If I can pull this off, I think it will help redefine those numbers and remove some of the fear of aging.’”
"This is a real full circle moment for me," @christiebrinkley 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."
Both Joel and Cook are starting to embrace modeling as something they’d like to explore even though many naysayers hold them to unrealistic standards because of the icon status achieved by their mom. The tight-knit duo are proud that this shoot will help add to the conversation about body positivity and encourage women to embrace their individuality.
This isn’t the first time Sports Illustrated has used the swimsuit issue to redefine the outdated standard of beauty of which the publication had for many years been a symbol. The magazine has featured women on its covers that just about anyone can identify with, including curve model Ashley Graham, who has no qualms about showing off her cellulite on social media, and Olympians Simone Biles and Aly Raisman, who have been open about their insecurities over their muscular bodies.
“This is a real full-circle moment for me,” Brinkley reportedly 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.”
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue — featuring proud mama Brinkley and her daughters — hits newsstands on February 15. Let’s hear it for all the ladies everywhere!
What Do YOU Think?
Do you think Sports Illustrated is positively influencing the conversation about beauty? Can you believe Brinkley is still modeling at 63? Let us know in the comments.