Christie Brinkley on Alexa being mocked as a child: ‘It was excruciating’

As we are aware by now, returning Sports Illustrated model Christie Brinkley and her daughters, Alexa Joel and Sailor Cook appear in this year’s Swimsuit Issue. Since the issue’s theme is ‘body diversity and age inclusivity’, the message the three are promoting is that most people feel bad about themselves at some point, even those deemed worthy to model. It’s a good message and it always helps to hear that even the privileged have the same doubts we do. Unfortunately, this particular message comes from a place of real pain because both girls were taunted online for their appearance and Christie had to not only read these things being said about her girls but watch what it did to their self-esteem. Worse, she couldn’t do anything about it.

The trio are happy with the end result, but Joel, whose dad is singer Billy Joel, was a bit nervous at first. “I was completely freaked out as the non-model,” she admitted.

“[I was] definitely more excited,” Cook interjected. “I’ve wanted this my entire life.”

The trio also spoke about body insecurities and being in the public eye from a very young age. “I think growing up just as a girl, just as any young girl, you deal with body-image issues and you deal with seeing people on billboards that have these tiny bodies and these perfect airbrushed figures,” Cook said. “And you look at yourself growing up and you go through all these phases, awkward phases, and you don’t feel good enough. I definitely didn’t.”

Growing up in a famous family was especially hard for Alexa. The musician said that critics used to make fun of her face.

“The one thing that’s hard growing up in the public eye is when you happen to catch the criticism at about 9 years old for a girl. It’s crucial,” Brinkley said, tearing up. “That’s the age where they are sort of separating from their parents and gaining their own identity and to suddenly see a newspaper that calls you a name — and Alexa had to deal with that … It was excruciating as a mom. I could cry now.”

[From Us]

I posted a clip below. In in, Christie does start choking up when she talks about her kids getting attacked in the media. I know some of you have mixed feeling about Christie but I believe 100% that it destroyed her to witness that. Alexa specified that they used to say she had a ‘bow-wow face’. Bow-wow face – could you imagine being called that when you were nine? Could you imagine a nameless, faceless voice in the media calling your child/niece/nephew/godchild that? I realize Sailor has chosen the path of a model and will need to have a pretty thick skin for that, which it sounds like she’s grown. But she really shouldn’t have been subjected to it until she signed up for it, you know? And it sounds like she was, her whole life.

When Christie started crying in the clip, Alexa jumped in and said, “She cries at the drop of a hat.” Elsewhere in the article, Christie referred to Alexa being the boss on the set of the shoot and praised her for getting everyone else prepared. To this, Alexa responded, “I’m a bit of a control freak.” Ha! I know I liked her for a reason. In a few interviews I have watched with Alexa, she’ll crack a joke when the subject starts going deep. I, too, am a control freak and do the exact same thing. It’s not to mock the emotion but an attempt to protect the person from becoming vulnerable. It’s a knee-jerk thing. I am adding Alexa to my “Grab a Beer/Root Beer Float With” list. (That needs a better name.)

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Photo credit: Twitter, Fame/Flynet and WENN Photos

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36 Responses to “Christie Brinkley on Alexa being mocked as a child: ‘It was excruciating’”

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  1. Angi says:

    They are all so uniquely beautiful!

  2. weegiewarrior says:

    They all look perfect to me – kids can be so cruel – if only we could learn to ignore the haters – most of the nasty comments come from jealousy. Self belief is so important.

  3. elle says:

    I hate what Christie’s done to her face. She looks like a Persian cat.

    • shelly says:

      I feel she has Joker-ised her mouth somewhat, other than that the work she’s had done looks pretty good to me.

    • NotSoSocialButterfy says:

      The same thing struck me in the interview clip. She is so pulled and frozen and filled, she has lost the natural and normal facial contours so much so that she looks flattened/rounded like someone smacked her in the face with a fry pan. Just age gracefully, for god’s sake.

      • Pippa says:

        Oh, buzz off. She looks THAT incredible at her age, and it’s still not good enough for you? This is why women are insecure.

  4. Darkladi says:

    Alexa actually did have some plastic surgery in her early 20′s.

  5. Alleycat says:

    “I’ve wanted this my entire life”- so many eye rolls. Isn’t she still a teenager? Can we read about a celebrity kid that doesn’t dream about modeling?

  6. Amide says:

    Alexa had surgery and tweaks on her face, and I could be wrong but I think she gave an interview alluding to being a disappointment to her supermodel mom.

    • Lovisa says:

      Oh, that’s really sad. I do think Alexa, tweaks and all, is very pretty. Striking, is another way of putting it. I can remember her face, whereas with Sailor I forget her face if I can’t see it.

  7. MC2 says:

    Alexa took way too much- I remember and that was absolutely brutal. Growing up with Christy as a mom but looking like Billy Joel was made very difficult for her. She went through some really tough emotional times & was in a dark place. I don’t care what she did or didn’t do to her face or body- it seems like she has worked on her soul & it has come out quit nicely. I wish her peace, confidence & self worth.

  8. someone says:

    I’m still irritated by how Christie is facing towards and/or holding Sailor’s hand in every picture and facing away from Alexa. It’s not just these Sports Illustrated photos either. There were pictures of them last week walking a red carpet and Christie had her arm around Sailor and not Alexa. I have two daughters and I know better than to favor one over the other.

    • RuddyZooKeeper says:

      This doesn’t bother me at all. We don’t know the family dynamic. I have two children also – one clings to every skin cell, and the other just doesn’t crave physical touch at all. The clinger is always reaching for my hand, even as a teenager. And the other has always insisted on staying just out of reach. We are all three incredibly tight, but physically they want different things from me. I read absolutely nothing into these photos.

  9. Justmeonlyme says:

    Online bullying is the worst for children, I feel for them.

    But I also think having Christie as a Mom must be excruciating at times in regards to this as she herself is obsessed with looks, staying young etc (she even calls herself “the old one” so that everybody goes “aww..no, you look amAHZing!!”, she lives for that). So there is NO WAY that Christie’s emphasis on looks only hasn’t impacted and trickled down to her daughters and how they feel about themselves. I have NEVER heard Christie talk about about anything else, like did she instill in her daughters that what is on the inside is more important? Probably not as Christie herself likely judges a book by it’s cover only. How about education or simply being a good person, working hard, having a brain etc. Nope, think life is mainly all about how you look in a bathing suit for Christie. No doubt she loves her kids and mothers the best and only way she knows how but there is NO WAY it doesn’t come down to how they look for her as well. I mean, this is a woman who has not even changed her hairstyle in 40 years – she’s maybe afraid of loosing her blond Barbie status (and her “wow you are 60″ status she now cultivates. I can’t see that she talks to her kids about serious stuff, about what is on the inside. Does Christe even do ANYTHING not related to looks (even her charity is about smiles, no??!). Christie has had a hard time with relationships, so likely she’s not brain or personality plus, perhaps as shallow as a pretty puddle know what I mean.

  10. Dani says:

    Alexa has such a striking face. Sailor is cute, but she does not have a particularly remarkable look.

  11. Tessa says:

    I don’t think she favours sailor. Sailor can’t possibly be genetically hers anyway. So I don’t think there’s a ” you look like me and you are dark and look like your dad” thing going on
    They did not have the technology 18 years ago to get a woman in her 40s pregnant using ART. They hadn’t worked out the ovarian stimulation needed then. Bless Christies deluded heart tho

    • AnneC says:

      My best friend had in vitro done using her eggs and her husband’s sperm 23 years ago. She’s the same age as Christie B.

    • tracking says:

      You know, women can and do get pregnant naturally well into their 40s as well, right?

      • april says:

        My sister had a baby at 42. The “baby” is now 26 years old. It was one of those unexpected late life blessings. She already had 3 children. When the “baby” was born, her oldest was 17 and her youngest was 10. There’s many, many other people who have this same story.

    • Bee says:

      News flash: Women in their forties get pregnant without technology all the time. I did. My friend did. I did on the first try, both times.

    • Miss Melissa says:

      Women in their 40s have more “oops” babies than any other age group… because they stop using birth control when their doctors tell them statistically their odds of pregnancy is next to nil.

      Funny that.

    • Ange says:

      Are you kidding? That smile is all Christie.

  12. april says:

    Sailor has Christie’s smile completely. I think Christie needs to help Sailor develop a thicker skin. She seems overly sensitive. I hope Christie dumped David Foster after the photos of him with a 21-year-old at a strip club. I haven’t seen anything more in the media that they have seen each other again.

  13. Shar says:

    Christie is beautiful.She has been a super model her entire life.Of course she is surrounded by looking good.Her girl’s are just as pretty..
    If you got it.. just flaunt it….

  14. Carol says:

    And here they are, still setting themselves up for criticism. Social media can be cruel for anyone at any age. Christie is use to being in the media. Why drag in your kids just to further your own ego. Christie has had her time in the lime light…time to retire!

    • Ange says:

      Ummm Alexa is a singer/songwriter so she has her own stuff she may want to promote and Sailor outright says she wants to be a model. Obviously they both want the limelight for their own ends.

  15. Mia LeTendre says:

    It’s sad that loving your body is still the focus for women. Alexa grew up a musician under Billy Joel. I would love to hear about her father\daughter relationship, finding her voice as an artist, etc. If she was a guy, yeah. But no, we get looks, looks, looks….

  16. ... says:

    They are both ABSOLUTELY STUNNING, especially Alexa. She looks like a mediterranean goddess. : ) Her eyes are so amazing, like out of Phoenician portraits. One of the most beautiful and unique eyes I’ve ever seen, really. : )

    Back off jealous Beckys.