Christie Brinkley spent decades on the covers of magazines, from Sports Illustrated to Cosmopolitan. She also happens to be a vampire, who looks pretty much the same as she did in her glory days. And while it’s easy to assume her life continues to be a glamorous one, the 65-year-old revealed that despite her success in the modelling industry, she still had her share of body image issues.
All you have to do is look at Brinkley’s Instagram to know she’s come a long way. She often posts pics from the early days of her career yet despite being a super-successful model and actress, gracing all kinds of covers, Christie believes the best time to model is right now, because body image is so much more positive than it was when she was posing full time. Christie posted a throwback Cosmo cover from 1977. She was 23 at the time, looking fit as a fiddle and there’s no way anyone could look at it and think “fat” — except Brinkley, at the time.
Along with the groundbreaking purple bikini pic, the former CoverGirl described in her caption just how different some of the technical aspects of that photoshoot were, explaining that back then, there was no such thing as retouching so everything had to be perfect, from the makeup to “every strand of hair.” But it’s how she felt that was most troubling. “I remember I was worried that I looked fat,” she recalled, but noted how things have changed and that she’s “so glad that today our industry appreciates all shapes and sizes so we can just focus on being healthy.”
Brinkley pointed out that “there is something in some young girls that often makes them feel they just don’t measure up” and admitted she was one of them. Christie Brinkley, cover girl of over 500 magazines, was one of them.
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In 1977 this bathing suit caused a stir! At the time all the bikinis were low slung on the hip.This high leg cut made the hip a new erogenous zone. I couldn’t figure out how to put it on as just one string holds it all together! Francesco Scavullo shot all the covers for #cosmopolitan back then . He had a big umbrella with a string that ran from the middle of the umbrella which contained a light to the tip of your nose . You were in perfect light at the end of that string. They did not have retouching back then so they really perfected the make up and every strand of hair. I remember I was worried that I looked fat. I’m so glad that today our industry appreciates all shapes and sizes so we can just focus on being healthy. Not cookie cutter. Still there is something in some young girls that often makes them feel they just don’t measure up . I was one of them. I look back at these and think that worry was such a waste of time. If only the perspective we gain with age that alleviates the worries, could be passed on and absorbed by the younger generation …but I do think shifting the focus to feeling great is a giant step in the right direction. Just thinking out loud as I sift thru a few photos . Wishing everyone a great day ( and decade! ) #1977 #kamali #swimsuit #cover #christiebrinkley #cosmo #confidence #bodyimage
Reflecting on that time has given the entrepreneur a renewed appreciation for how she’s grown, what she’s learned and what she wishes she could pass along to other young people dealing with those same struggles and insecurities.
“I look back at these and think that worry was such a waste of time,” she wrote. “If only the perspective we gain with age that alleviates the worries, could be passed on and absorbed by the younger generation …but I do think shifting the focus to feeling great is a giant step in the right direction.”
Sadly, it’s unsurprising that Christie felt this way at all, but also, a tad reassuring to know that someone who looks like her and has accomplished what she has also had body image issues. Still, going through everything she has, living life and simply maturing has allowed her to be grateful for who she is and thankful that the world now gets to see bodies of all shapes and sizes and colours and abilities.
Brinkley’s hope that there might come a day where girls no longer have to worry about those things probably isn’t realistic but the fact that perspective is shifting, slowly but surely, is definitely progress.